We must loudly and repeatedly explain that the green belt is a tool for managing growth, not a kitemark of quality, writes Paul Smith
We’re not very good at collecting data about the planning system. We don’t know how many new homes we’re planning to deliver, how many we grant permission for, or how many we build. But we do know exactly how much green belt we have – which perhaps tells us something about our priorities.
The latest data from the government shows us that, despite what some would have us believe, far from being “under threat” the green belt actually increased in size last year – its second consecutive year of growth. The green belt now covers about 13% of the country, a larger area than it did 15 years ago.
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