Green belt housing under attack
Posted: 11 Aug 2006 16:04:00 GMT
A study carried out by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has claimed that councils in the south-east aren't utilising 'brownfield' sites enough.
CPRE actively campaigns for the protection of green land and suggests that due to overly ambitious new homes targets, councils are taking hasty decisions in building on green belt without considering recycling previously developed land.
Milton Keynes Council was heavily criticised with just 13 per cent of the council's new developments being built on brownfield sites. Instead green belt surrounding Milton Keynes was used to cater for the continued swell of housing and the change in demographic.
Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for Milton Keynes, stated: "This is completely unacceptable: green spaces in the south-east are vanishing before our very eyes thanks to the failure of planners - not just in Milton Keynes but across the region - to restrict development to brownfield sites and converting existing buildings.
"The government's plans to concrete over the countryside with new runways and half a million new homes in the south-east represent a severe threat to our green spaces. This study shows how poorly equipped many councils in the region are to limit the impact of development on local residents."
The government has set aside Milton Keynes and Ashford in Kent for continued development of new housing in the south-east. The worrying point for environmentalists is that both of these councils were developing more green belt than brownfield.
The government has set a national target for at least 60 per cent of new developments to be carried out on brownfield.