Tory Government refuses to protect Green Belt
The Housing Minister has refused to better protect Green Belt following requests by Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper, who represents parts of Three Rivers and St Albans Councils, and the leaders of the two Lib Dem-run Councils.
The Conservative Housing Minster confirmed they will continue to use outdated 2014 population data, even though recent data would result in a lower housing target. The Minister also refused to stop including a Council's progress towards the housing target when considering planning appeals - including on Green Belt or even on sites in land protected as an Area of Outstanding of Natural Beauty (AONB).
There have been two examples in Herts recently where the Government gave permission for development in Green Belt, despite acknowledging the harm caused, explicitly because the Councils could not show they had allocated enough land to meet the Government's housing target. The Government recently allowed development in AONB on appeal after it was refused by the local authority.
Conservative Councillors at Three Rivers also refused to support the Lib Dem motion calling on Government to provide more protections for Green Belt in the planning appeals process. Read more about that here.
Cllr Sarah Nelmes said, ''This Government continues to ignore resident concerns over Green Belt development, approving developments via the backdoor using an unelected quango. The recent Chesham & Amersham by-election loss and the wider collapse of the ''Blue Wall'' to the Lib Dems is forcing change, with plans to limit local controls now dropped. We will keep fighting the Government's development targets for Three Rivers''.
You can sign the petition calling for the Government to give local communities more control over developments that threaten Green Belt here.