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Green Belts

Green Belts in England: Key facts

A series of factsheets on England's 14 Green Belts

Facts, figures and survey answers on England's 14 Green Belts: London (Metropolitan), Avon, Burton/Swadlincote, Cambridge, Gloucester/Cheltenham, North West, Nottingham/Derby, Oxford, Hampshire/Dorset, South & West Yorkshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Tyne & Wear, West Midlands and York

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A Natural England survey into public attitudes towards the Green Belt

Data from the joint CPRE/Natural England report, 'Green Belts: A greener future'

In July and August 2009, Natural England conducted 1754 interviews including questions regarding Green Belt land in England, covering the following aspects of Green Belts: awareness and attitudes; perceived importance; usage and future use. The results were used to enhance CPRE's own surveys to provide reliable data to monitor levels of engagement with the Green Belt over time by measuring number of visits, activities undertaken, distance travelled, and the profile of visitor.

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Green Belt myths

CPRE’s guide to what you need to know

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Green Belt Under Siege 2017

Download the new report (PDF)

425,000 houses now planned for Green Belt, of which more than 70% are unaffordable. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has revealed a significant increase in houses planned for the Green Belt, and yet most of these houses will be unaffordable to those who need them.

Based on local and city-regional planning policies and new data from planning consultants Glenigan, CPRE’s annual Green Belt Under Siege report shows that more than 70% of houses proposed for development are not expected to be ‘affordable’. It also demonstrates that just 16% of houses built on Green Belt land since 2009 outside local plans were classed as ‘affordable’.

In total, 425,000 houses are now planned for Green Belt land. This is an increase of 54% on March 2016, and the biggest year-on-year increase in building proposed in the Green Belt for two decades. Green Belt in the North West, West Midlands and South East is under particular pressure.

CPRE's Green Belt Under Siege 2017 report focuses on three themes: 

- the amount of Green Belt land being lost to housing – demonstrated by both local plans and planning permissions granted outside local plans;

- the type of housing built in Green Belt; and

- the impact of the New Homes Bonus on Green Belt.

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Green Belt Under Siege: 2016

CPRE’s latest research reveals figures that show that housing development proposed for the Green Belt has increased by another 50,000 to more than a quarter of a million houses. At the same time the Government is proposing changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that are likely to open the door to further Green Belt release, while the Government-appointed ‘Local Plans Expert Group’ has encouraged Green Belt reviews. CPRE asked its county branches across England to tell us about any proposals in adopted or advanced local plans to release land from the Green Belt for housing development and other purposes. The findings are summarised in this report.

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Green Belt under siege: the NPPF three years on

A CPRE analysis

Green Belt is one of our most valued planning tools, and yet it is under a level of threat unprecedented in recent times. Over 200,000 houses are proposed to be built on Green Belt land. Recent reports by think tanks and developers have called for releases to accommodate many more. Ministers have taken action to address some of the most unnecessary proposals, but further changes in policy are needed by the next Government to direct development to suitable brownfield sites and avoid unnecessary releases of Green Belt land.

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Green Belt: Under Renewed Threat?

Green Belt land covers 12.4% of England and is mostly open land and countryside around the largest or most historic towns and cities. International comparisons suggest that without strong protection, these areas would have long since been lost to urban sprawl. The Government has stated clearly that it attaches great importance to the Green Belt and that it will seek to maintain existing levels of protection. However, this briefing details evidence gathered by CPRE showing that Green Belts are under threat across England.

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Green Belts

Great development potential
With the focus on action, this leaflet explains the huge potential that Green Belts have and why there is a need to protect them. It offers the opportunity to get involved and make a difference by telling us why Green Belt is so important. These messages will be sent to the Government in an endeavour to highlight the public’s support for Green Belts.

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Green Belts 50 Years On

If they didn't exist, we'd have to invent them

Green Belts have made a major contribution to the quality of life for us all by stimulating urban regeneration, combating sprawl and protecting the countryside. This briefing looks at the latest threats to Green Belts from new developments that should be resisted – including housing, airport runways, university expansion and sports venues. It urges a strengthening of Green Belt policy and planning controls, as Green Belt policy celebrates its 50th anniversary.

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