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Unprecedented development of Green Belt planned

Sun Bank Farm in Manchester: released from Green Belt and now under construction for a warehousing & distribution freight hub Sun Bank Farm in Manchester: released from Green Belt and now under construction for a warehousing & distribution freight hub Photo: © Jackie Copley

Development on Green Belt at highest level since NPPF published three years ago.

Development planned for Green Belt land is at its highest level since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), according to a report by CPRE National Office, entitled Green Belt under siege: the NPPF three years on.

Research by colleagues deomonstrates that 219,535 residential units and 1,025 hectares of industrial space in March 2015 are planned to be built on land designated as Green Belt around towns and cities. This represents a dramatic increase of homes from the 81,275 that were proposed in August 2012.

CPRE has called for an urgent review of the National Planning Policy Framework based on these alarming findings.

CPRE Lancashire’s own recent research supports the National findings and its evidence reflects a similar picture of what is happening in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

CPRE Lancashire’s research into the operation of the NPPF found the same trend of greenfields being targeted for residential developments, including Green Belt, despite more than 5,000 hectares of empty brownfield in urban areas being left undeveloped.

Like CPRE National Office, we want the NPPF to be improved upon to ensure brownfield land is prioritised ahead of greenfield. We believe that the argument that economic growth is an exceptional circumstance which can allow development on Green Belt is flawed and most likely unlawful.

Jackie Copley, CPRE Lancashire Planning Manager said:

“The NPPF actively promotes countryside loss by pursuing growth at all costs, needlessly sacrificing best farmland and Green Belt land.

The Coalition Government has chosen to ignore the majority of the recommendations of the Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the operation of the NPPF and this is extremely disappointing.

Whoever forms the next government must enshrine Green Belt protection and brownfield first in policy in the NPPF – for the benefit of both town and country.”

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