Local Plans: Green Belt

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 22nd September 2022.

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Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that any development which requires land to be taken out of greenbelt proposed in local plans (a) is necessary to meet local housing need and (b) has the support of local communities.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified, through the preparation or updating of plans. Before concluding that exceptional circumstances exist to justify changes to Green Belt boundaries, the relevant authority should be able to demonstrate that it has examined fully all other reasonable options for meeting its identified need for development. Local plans should be shaped by early, proportionate and effective engagement between plan makers and communities.

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