16. What his Department’s policy is on the building of houses on green-belt land. 
The Government are committed to the strong protection and enhancement of green-belt land. Within the green belt, most new building is inappropriate and should be refused planning permission except in very special circumstances.
I welcome the Minister to his post, although I am sure he is disappointed to no longer be my Whip.
My constituents in Burley-in-Wharfedale, and other villages such as Baildon and Eldwick, to name but a few, are facing planning proposals for green-belt land, with 500 houses proposed for Burley-in-Wharfedale alone. Surely the whole point of the green belt is that it should not be subject to housing, and particularly not until all brownfield sites in the district have been built on. My constituents do not trust Bradford council to look after their interests, so they look to the Government to protect them. What can my hon. Friend do to protect their interests and stop that building on the green belt?
I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words and wish his new Whip the best of luck.
If he looks through the national planning policy framework, he will see a clear description of what development is appropriate on the green belt, and a strong presumption that inappropriate development is harmful and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.
The Whip will certainly need to be a natural optimist.