Fringe Box



Communities Secretary’s Green Belt Decision Expected To Have Local Impact

Published on: 24 Apr, 2016
Updated on: 26 Apr, 2016

The view from Newlands Corner. The Guildford Greenbelt Group is A Telegraph report warns that a recent ruling by the Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, could open the door to tens of thousands of new homes across the country, including thousands in the Borough of Guildford.

Three of the eight sites the article lists are in the borough: Normandy and Flexford (1,100 homes); Gosden Hill and Blackwell Farm (3,940) [the article counts these as one site] and; Wisley (2,068).

Within the last fortnight the Communities Secretary gave the go-ahead for 1,500 new homes to be built near Gloucester. It will be one of the biggest developments on green belt in a decade.

But the importance of the ruling is that Mr Clark ruled that green belt could be built on if there is a significant local need for housing. This reverses the position previously taken by ministers.

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is quoted as saying: “It is telling developers that green belt protections can be overridden, and this is a route likely to be taken by local authorities that are already hard-pressed by aggressive developers and struggling to meet unrealistic housing targets.”

Mr Clark admitted the Gloucester plans would be “harmful” to the green belt and lead to the “loss of the essential characteristic of openness”. But he said there would be a “substantial benefit” from the new homes.

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Responses to Communities Secretary’s Green Belt Decision Expected To Have Local Impact

  1. Neville Bryan Reply

    April 25, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Interesting isn’t it.

    The green credentials of this government are rapidly being seen for what they. A facade.

    However I don’t think we will have heard the last of this Gloucester decision. I am no expert, but on the face of it, this decision appears to run contrary to case law, where housing need does not provide exceptional circumstances for over riding green belt boundary protection.

    I am wondering if this decision can and will be called to account in the courts?

  2. Stuart Barnes Reply

    April 25, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Almost all the promises from the “Not the Conservative (Cameron) Party” are being broken.

    The only party left which, at least, appears to stand for what used to be Conservative policies is UKIP. But, because of our big money and first past the post voting system – allied to the corruption in the postal voting – there seems to be little chance that they could win enough to hold the balance of power.

    No wonder many people think that there is little point in voting at all in general elections.

  3. Tony Edwards Reply

    April 25, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    David Cameron’s manifesto pledges appear to be about as solid as an over-ripe brie and with a similar aroma. The Tories can no longer be trusted in either national or local government and the sooner life-long Conservatives realise this, the better it will be for the country.

    Just look at the almighty con he’s recently inflicted on the EU Referendum process – with big-budget propaganda in favour of staying IN campaign, funded by the government. And anyone running a company in 2016 knows only too well just how he has clobbered corporate enterprise while allegedly encouraging small business start-ups.

    But the Tory mantra trickles down through local government with Guildford Borough Council unanimously rejecting a planning application to build on the green belt at ‘Three Farms Meadows’ – the former Wisley airfield – but then placing a copy-cat scheme in the Local Plan. I’ve asked for an explanation of the logic but answer came there none.

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