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Green Belt (Somerset)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

The Petition of residents of the Woodspring constituency and others,

Declares that the Government’s Regional Spatial Strategy proposes over 10,000 new homes on Green Belt land surrounding Long Ashton; and further declares that there are feasible options to accommodate necessary new housing without sacrificing the Green Belt.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to withdraw the proposed South West Regional Spatial Strategy and make a renewed commitment to the retention of the Green Belt.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Dr. Liam Fox, Official Report, 2 July 2009; Vol. 495, c.1P .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, received 12 October:

The proposed changes to the South West Regional Spatial Strategy were the subject of public consultation between July and September 2008. A substantial number of representations were received during that period about the proposed area of search 1A. No new representations can be taken into account now, as to do so might be unfair to other respondents.

However, the Government’s policy on land designated as green belt has not changed.

Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) states that there is a presumption that housing development should be prioritised towards previously developed land, but recognises that some Greenfield land—undeveloped land that may or may not be part of existing green belt—may be needed for development. PPS3 puts the responsibility on local authorities to decide (within the broad framework provided by Regional Spatial Strategies) where to locate housing, to identify sites and to manage previously developed land back into development where possible to minimise the call on Greenfield and designated green belt land.