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Tightening our belts

16 September 2011

The report on Green Belt Policy by the House of Commons Library which was released this week has re-ignited the debate in the national press about the protection that Green Belt land will be given under the Coalition’s new planning regime.

The draft National Planning Policy Framework’s (“NPPF”) presumption in favour of sustainable development has raised fears as it makes no reference to Green Belt land, and only contains an exception in relation to the effects on sites protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives.

The coalition has stated on previous occasions its commitment to maintaining the protection of Green Belt land, and paragraph 142 of the NPPF sets out that ‘Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances’.

But with a ‘crisis’ as a result of the lack of new homes, we may have to wait for the final version of the NPPF before we , NPPF, Browne Jacobson, Johnathan Allensee whether Green Belt land will truly be protected.

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