CPRE – Green Belt policy should be strategic

In a letter to the Observer, Matt Thomson of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England says that planning policy allows for the review of the green belt boundaries in appropriate circumstances. However, the CPRE would prefer to see this done strategically rather than through the current piecemeal erosion. He suggests that any review would have to take into account the needs of the whole of the relevant green belt area and consider the reasons for designating land in the first place.

The Observer covered this story.

Now despite my being a little uncertain about CPRE (previous postings refer about their Sefton Branch) this is an important point. Environmental campaigners are not trying to defend every single piece of Greenbelt and in some exceptional circumstances there are plots of land within it that can be sensibly developed. The Ashworth South site in Maghull being a clear example of this. BUT in the vast majority of circumstances Green Belt should remain just that. Not only that but where Green Belt is also high grade agricultural land the answer always should be no, no, no to development. And it is this latter point that groups like CPRE need to fight for in my view.

With thanks to LGiU for the lead to this story.

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