Response to a Garden of one’s own report

Richard Knox-Johnston, Chair of the London Green Belt Council, wrote to the London Evening Standard: “Further to the report A garden of one’s own, Tom Papworth is misguided in his thinking on the Green Belt. “First, we already have excellent high density housing of 100 homes per hectare in London which is not high rise. They are the Georgian and Edwardian squares in Kensington and Chelsea which are very popular places to live. So not all dwellings have to be skyscrapers. Second, building on Green Belt land would provide expensive homes because they are built in the Green Belt, so … Read more

London Green Belt Council Chair meets Kent MPs

Richard Knox Johnston, Chair of the LGBC and a Trustee of CPRE Kent which is also a member of LGBC, has met with MPs in Kent to discuss planning issues. The focus of discussions was landbanking – the process by which developers are holding back building homes on acquired sites to help boost profits – and the impact of unrealistic housing targets.

Green Belt sites under threat in Croydon draft Local Plan

CPRE London, a member of the London Green Belt Council, has responded to Croydon’s draft Local Plan. Despite National Planning Policy Guidance which states that “Unmet housing need (including for traveller sites) is unlikely to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and other harm to constitute the “very special circumstances” justifying inappropriate development on a site within the Green Belt”, a number of sites within Croydon’s Green Belt have been allocated for the development of Gypsy and Traveller sites. In addition, a number of other Green Belt locations have been designated for development, such as the designation of Rowden … Read more

Government consults on starter homes in the Green Belt

Chair of the London Green Belt Council, Richard Knox-Johnston has written to the Telegraph in response to the government’s consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework which suggests the building of new starter homes in the Green Belt. In his letter here – (you will need to scroll down) – Mr Knox-Johnston calls for increased action to build houses where permission has been given far more quickly. He states “If the land is released and houses built in a timely way this would reduce the pressure on greenfield areas including the highly valued Green Belt.” … Read more

Current problems addressed by the London Green Belt Council

We have written letters of objection to two applications for unjustified development in the Green Belt. One is for a development of up to 476 houses west of Cuffley in Hertfordshire.  The text of our letter is here The other proposal is for a Dementia Care Community on a site adjoining Harefield hospital in Hillingdon Borough.  The developers argue that very special circumstances exist because there would be synergies between the work done at the hospital and the work of the Hospital.  We consider that the argument is not well founded.  The text of our letter is here … Read more

Government Policy on Green Belts

On 6th October 2014 DCLG issued a Press Release announcing changes to Planning Guidance on Housing and economic land availability assessments.  In the Press Release the Secretary of State said:  This government has been very clear that when planning for new buildings, protecting our precious green belt must be paramount. Local people don’t want to lose their countryside to urban sprawl, or see the vital green lungs around their towns and cities to unnecessary development. To see the Press Release, which contains a link to the Guidance revision, click here As we considered that the revision to the Guidance should be … Read more

All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Green Belt

Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood, a constituency including part of the Bristol Green Belt, has convened an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Green Belt.   It held its first substantive meeting on 15th July 2013, when the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP, made a short statement and responded to members questions.  Mr Boles was at pains to stress that Ministers were of the view that changes to Green Belt boundaries should only take place in the course of a local plan review where they would be subject to public comment and independent examination.   He referred to a case in Castle Point … Read more

Video of Queen Mary’s Park, Carshalton

Our Vice-Chairman, Ray Liffen, has produced a video of Queen Mary’s Park in Carshalton-on-the-Hill. The park is in Green Belt and, in addition to lovely shots of the park in autumn, the video shows just how effective the Green Belt can be in bringing real countryside close in to London.  To see the video, click here … Read more