Green Belt Development

MQT on 2002-05-22
Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Does the Mayor support the Royal Town Planning Institute in its call for the relaxation of the rules on development in the Green Belt to ease the housing crisis?



Answer for Green Belt Development

Answer for Green Belt Development

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Unlike the Royal Town Planning Institute, I am opposed to relaxing the rules on development of the Green Belt.The Green Belt was originally established to prevent urban sprawl. It also provides protection for some of London's most important open spaces. In the next 15 years, London faces growth in population equivalent to a city the size of Leeds. I am determined that this increase should be absorbed on brown field land, within London's boundaries and will be promoting strong protection of the Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and London's inner green spaces through the London Plan. Green Belt policy also helps to protect Londoners' access to countryside, provide opportunities for recreation, promote biodiversity and establish a framework to improve of degraded land. The very special circumstances in which exceptions can be made to Green Belt policy and the limited scope to accept development are set out in national and regional planning guidance. Inappropriate development is, by definition harmful to the Green Belt and it is for the applicant to show why permission should be granted. If there is a need to review Green Belt boundaries this must be done in a regional and sub-regional context and not just from a local perspective. The London Plan will not look to the Green Belt as a source of housing capacity. My studies show that re-development and intensification within the urban area should be sufficient to meet London's forecast housing needs and foster an urban renaissance across London. .