Are green belt ‘swaps’ a step in the right direction?

Are green belt ‘swaps’ a step in the right direction?

Land agent, Aston Mead, has thrown its support behind green belt ‘swaps’ - a government initiative to remove protections on one part of the UK’s green belt in return for creating a new area of protected land elsewhere.

The move is expected to be publicly backed by ministers in a White Paper next month, and is seen as a significant change in planning policy, as the government struggles to meet its target to build a million homes by 2020.

Charles Hesse, Aston Mead Land & Planning Director, had this to say: “This latest move is certainly a step in the right direction. Crucially, it consigns to history the idea that all green belt is of equal value. Instead, it recognises that whilst some of it is highly desirable and should be protected at all costs, much of it could be built upon without any real loss to the environment.

If this means another important but currently unprotected piece of land receives a level of protection it didn’t previously have, that can only be a good thing. Ultimately, it’s a sensitive way of protecting rural land, while giving councils the powers to reach their ambitious planning targets.”


Communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid is said to be ready to encourage councils to allow more housing developments of green belt land, provided that the local plans are “sensible” and “robust”, and that the total amount of protected land does not fall.

Charles explained: “The demand for housing has grown so severe in parts of the country that it should count as an ‘exceptional circumstance’, giving local councils more freedom to carry out what they want to do. In fact, there are already rules that allow local authorities to do this, but they are rarely used because of disagreements over how green belt land is defined.”

The first green belts were introduced in the 1950s to protect undeveloped land from urban sprawl. There are 14 such areas around towns and cities in England, covering about 13% of the country.

Charles added: “Of course, we need to ensure that these ‘swaps’ are not carried out in a token manner. Any new area of land which is designated green belt needs genuinely to be of environmental, historic or ecological importance. If it’s not carefully selected and is something which could in fact be perfectly good building land, then we will simply be back where we started.

Nevertheless, outright opposition to all building on green belt land is no longer tenable - and it’s good to see that ministers are at long last waking up to this fact.”

Join our mailing list:


Comments

  1. Spencer FortagSpencer Fortag30 November 2016 13:58:08

    I am glad that someone listened to me!

    Reply to this comment
  2. milessgabrielmilessgabriel05 December 2016 13:37:40

    Useful article

    Reply to this comment
  3. OJoyceOJoyce30 December 2016 14:37:41

    We can only hope this will bring the results we all want and strive for.

    Reply to this comment
  4. James PowellJames Powell27 February 2017 16:16:03

    This is a very good news.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a comment



Our Next Event

Commercial Finance Roadshow May 2017

Commercial Finance Roadshow May 2017

Exeter - 23/05/2017

Southampton - 24/05/2017

Rainham - 25/05/2017

Milton Keynes - 26/05/2017

Register now

Latest Comments

warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

view article
Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

view article
Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

view article
MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

view article
bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

view article
Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

view article
jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

view article
SecomTech
SecomTech 04 Apr 2017

...and not one mention of the rules on PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT!!! Unless you have studied the plans you will not know...It's probable a high proportion would not need planning permission...BUILDING Control...

view article
Jonathan
Jonathan 03 Apr 2017

That's a very interesting study indeed. There is no doubt that new services and web apps such as Wonego.com in the UK or Roomster in the US will change the way people look for a flatmate, and that tenants...

view article
MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

view article
ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

view article
NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Property