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Green belt

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 12 May 2008, Official Report, column 1393W, on the green belt, what her reasons were for approving the Regional Spatial Strategy's proposals to review and develop on the green belt. (229624)

Once the general extent of a green belt has been approved, it should be altered only in exceptional circumstances. However, it is good practice to check, from time to time, that the extent of a particular green belt is still appropriate and justified. The Regional Spatial Strategy is the appropriate vehicle for this.

In general terms, if any alteration is proposed, the Secretary of State will wish to be satisfied that the relevant local planning authority has considered opportunities for development in the urban areas contained by, and beyond, the green belt. National planning policy is a consideration throughout the process, including, especially, Planning Policy Guidance Note 2: “Green Belts”.

Detailed changes to a green belt boundary would be a matter for the local planning authority through the development plan process. The guidance states that boundaries should not be changed unless alterations to the Regional Spatial Strategy have been approved, or other exceptional circumstances make revision necessary.