Announcement

Response to an inaccurate article in the Times about the government's forthcoming planning reforms

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Dear Sir The Coalition Government has no intention of weakening its commitment to the Green Belt (“Planning rules pave the way for Green Belt…

Dear Sir

The Coalition Government has no intention of weakening its commitment to the Green Belt (“Planning rules pave the way for Green Belt housing bonanza”, 1 July 2011).

The Coalition Agreement explicitly states that we will maintain Green Belt protection. The Green Belt has a valuable role in stopping urban sprawl and providing a green lung around towns and cities.

Indeed, our planned abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies will stop the top-down removal of the Green Belt in thirty areas across England.

What we are doing is consolidating and condensing the thousand pages of Whitehall planning policy guidance into one clear, short document.

This clearer framework will allow for the creation of the new homes, jobs, and businesses people want, while at the same time safeguarding the protection of our green spaces for current and future generations.

Reform of the planning system is essential, but it won’t be at the expense of the environment.

Yours faithfully

Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark