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Shrinking green space in England's expanding grey cities

May 20, 2004 1:30 PM

Statistics uncovered by the Liberal Democrats show the extent to which England is becoming an increasingly urbanised country.

Between 1981 and 2001 the proportion of England classified as urban has increased by 12% reaching the shocking level of 1.2 million hectares. The figures suggest that the claims of successive governments to protect rural England and green spaces have amounted to very little.

The areas which had the highest percentage of their land urbanised between 1981 and 2001 all cover large cities suggesting diminishing green spaces in England's grey cities.

The top 4 urbanised areas are:

Commenting on the figures, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"The relentless loss of countryside and green spaces is making England a poorer country.

"Since the Liberal Democrats took control of Liverpool council they have saved 1000 acres of green open space from future sales. Central Government must do more to encourage this responsible approach.

"We need greater protection for our rural areas, rather than the laissez-faire hand wringing of the Deputy Prime Minister's approach to planning."