- The Green Belt has never before faced such serious threat as large sections of land disappear under new developments.
- There is a worrying trend of increased proposals for housebuilding on the Green Belt rising from;-
81,000 proposed houses in 2012
275,000 proposed houses in 2016
460,000 proposed houses in 2018
- Planning inspectors continue to sign off significant releases of Green Belt for development around major cities.
As I have learnt, not only from personal experience but , whilst researching for my next book, from people all over the UK, once plans are “proposed” in due time they materialize despite any objections from the local populace. Yes consultations are held but any views expressed are totally ignored. The consultations are only held as a tick box exercise and to make it more difficult to challenge the plans on legal grounds.
So the question is how to become more “active” in protecting the Green Belt. As an individual this is difficult. One way is to become a member of the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England). This is what I have done. Membership is only £3.00 a month; less that a cup of coffee or pint of beer.
Feeling passionate about our countryside I felt it was important to support the work of the CPRE so I also joined my local group. The committee members (all volunteers) are extremely hardworking and very knowledgeable about planning application, engineering, town planning, policy making etc. The CPRE uses any monies they receive on fees needed to legally challenge various applications.
One important thing I have learnt is that the only objections given any consideration are those which challenge the reasons for the application. So for example if public transport is not mentioned as a benefit of a specific application then any concerns about public transport the general public may raise are totally ignored as being irrelevant. Another significant lesson I have learnt is the power of the law and money. Any application which is carefully scrutinized by a lawyer (which usually costs a lot of money) is more likely to be modified if not rejected. Oh to have won the lottery!!
So if you value our wonderful countryside and want to help protect the Green Belt join NOW the Campaign to Protect Rural England https://www.cpre.org.uk/