48000 homes threaten Yorkshire’s Green Belt land, warn CPRE
Yorkshire has the second highest number of houses in the country planned on the Green Belt, according to a new report published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).
The campaign group found that over 219,000 houses are planned for the country’s Green Belt nationwide, 60,000 more than in August 2013 when CPRE last made a count.
In Yorkshire, 40,800 are planned, which is the second highest number after the Metropolitan area (around London) which has 86,935.
The report also suggests planning inspectors have ‘signed off major releases’ of Green Belt in areas such as Leeds where brownfield land is available.
According to campaigners, more houses are planned for Green Belt land than when the government’s flagship planning reform – the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) – was implemented three years ago.
Green Belts cover approximately 12.4% of England, mostly open land and countryside around the largest or most historic towns and cities, and campaigners have called on local authorities to protect it and prioritise brownfield development instead.
A report from CPRE and the University of the West of England suggested there is capacity for at least one million homes on suitable brownfield land, 194,000 of which could be built in the south east.
“We need to strengthen Green Belt protection”
Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the CPRE, said: “Ministers have quite rightly resisted the siren calls of some organisations to relax controls over development in the Green Belt. Yet, our new research shows that large scale development is already planned – despite existing protections, the availability of brownfield land and community objections. We need to strengthen Green Belt protection, not weaken it.
“We welcome recent interventions made by Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to address growing local threats to the Green Belt, but Government does not and cannot always prevent inappropriate and unnecessary development. Whoever forms the next Government must look to improve Green Belt protection and focus development behind the one million homes we could build on brownfield land – for the benefit of both town and country.”