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CPRE welcomes Government intervention over proposed Bradford Green Belt release

13 October 2016

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP has asked for Bradford Council to suspend the adoption of its Core Strategy on the grounds of the proposed Green Belt releases.

The minister has issued a holding direction that requires the council to provide further evidence that the plan does not needlessly eat into the Green Belt by failing to make full use of local brownfield sites. This follows an earlier, similar intervention in relation to the Birmingham Plan and its proposals for Green Belt release near Sutton Coldfield.

The Bradford Core Strategy, recently approved by a Government-appointed inspector, plans for 42,000 new homes across the District, of which 11,000 will come from the Green Belt. Of the overall target, 16,000 homes are justified on the grounds of economic growth ambitions that, in our view, are wildly unrealistic and result in a housing target than can’t be delivered. The council has also proposed Green Belt changes in isolation from its neighbours, when Green Belt should be seen as a policy to guide the planning of West Yorkshire as a whole.

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments:

“We welcome the Government’s intervention, but there is still a concerning, underlying problem. Whilst one of the purposes of Green Belt is to encourage re-use of urban brownfield sites by constraining the supply of greenfield sites, it is ineffective without genuine and sustained public sector investment in infrastructure and land preparation. Bradford has plenty of land in need of regeneration.

“The Government needs to use both of these recent interventions to send out a strong message that it will expect brownfield regeneration to be prioritised, and unnecessary losses of Green Belt to be avoided.”

 

CPRE West Yorkshire have been monitoring the situation - their statement can be read here. 

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