Michael Gove says York site is not green belt despite being earmarked in emerging local plan

Barratt Homes has received approval from the Government to build a 300-home development on land that the local council had designated as green belt in its emerging local plan.

Following its inquiry into the appeal, the Government has ruled that the land is not green belt and approved planning permission.


The Secretary of State has approved a planning application following a dispute over the site’s green belt status

York council’s assessment was that the planning application should be refused, and the land should be designated as green belt to prevent urban sprawl, encroachment into the countryside and preserve the setting and special character of the historic city.

See also >> Surrey council proposes removing green belt sites from its draft plan

See also >> Berkeley faces judicial review over major green belt permission

The decision letter states that the site is located in the “urban fringe” and that there will still be space between the development and the open countryside.

Barratt referred the case to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) after waiting on a decision from City of York Council for just under a year.

The developer submitted an outline planning application to York Council, to build 300 homes off New Lane, in Huntington, York in February 2021.

In January 2022, a Government-appointed inspector opened a public local inquiry into the appeal.

The Government was due to give a decision on the planning appeal in September 2022, which was pushed back twice, to April and then September 2023, before a decision letter was issued by Lee Rowley MP, on behalf of Michael Gove, on 17 October.