On Tuesday evening Jenny hosted an event for the Campaign to Protect Rural England in the House of Lords ‘River Room’.
CPRE were launching their report entitled ‘Safe under us?’ – the report is an investigation into widespread threats from house-building in the London Metropolitan Green Belt and highlights how government policies and sanctions appear to be forcing councils to release Green Belt land for development.
Drawing on local evidence provided by CPRE branches in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, London and Surrey, the report demonstrates that the London Green Belt is likely to be under greater threat than ever. There are now plans for 203 sites within the London Green Belt including proposals for 123,528 homes.
Within the 42 local planning authorities that were surveyed covering nearly 84% of all London Green Belt land, the majority of the proposed homes (94%) are on sites allocated by councils in their Local Plan documents. The London Green Belt is also under pressure from infrastructure such as schools and roads.
The report finds that there is national pressure being applied to Local Planning Authorities to deliver inflated housing targets. These targets are inflated by unrealistic economic growth forecasts, forcing councils to give up Green Belt land.