Mayors to be granted power to build on green belt land
According to a report by IPPR North, mayors should be granted the power to decide if homes can be built on the green belt, Paul Grant comments.
The housing industry has struggled with undersupply for several years now, so it makes sense that local plans reconsider the land which is available to increase the housing supply.
Given the thirty years or so that has passed since green belts were designated, it is sensible to reconsider these, not least if they enable the development of enlarged settlements near to existing infrastructure such as schools, transport links etc.
No doubt there will be opposition from local interest groups and national pressure groups concerned with the preservation of certain green spaces. However, a balance must be struck in providing homes and preserving the environment, both of which are important for future generations.
It is important to note that there are several additional protections, such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, so the erosion of ‘green belt’ land within planning policy does not mean that the countryside will be concreted over.
Paul Grant is an Associate Solicitor in Coffin Mew’s Planning and Environmental team.