To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on protecting the Green Belt from planning applications for battery storage units; and if he will update the national planning policy framework with a strategy for locating these units on land other than Green Belt land.
This Government has a manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the Green Belt. Our National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that most new building is inappropriate in Green Belt and should be refused permission unless in very special circumstances. Very special circumstances are not defined in national planning policy as it is rightly for the individual local authority to assess each case on its merits, and give relevant circumstances their due weight. However, when considering any planning application affecting Green Belt land, the local authority should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt.
The Framework is also clear that local authorities should support transition to a low-carbon future, including renewable and low-carbon energy generation. Local plans should identify suitable areas for renewable and low-carbon energy sources and infrastructure and guidance sets out how local authorities should take account of environmental, landscape and amenity considerations.