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Annette Brooke MP Speaks In Defence Of The Green Belt

October 19, 2011 3:31 PM

Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, spoke out in defence of the green belt yesterday in a Westminster Hall debate on the Future of the Green Belt in England. As discussion on the proposed National Policy Planning Framework continues, Annette raised concerns that changes to planning laws could open the way for unwanted and unsustainable development in the green belt.

In her speech Annette acknowledged the desperate need for more affordable houses in her constituency and elsewhere, but warned that loose guidelines could jeopardise areas of great natural beauty. Annette also raised the concern that under the current proposals green belt sites could be compromised purely to provide more corporate housing and second homes.

A strong supporter of localism, Annette also highlighted the central role individual communities and local authorities should play in deciding the future of their towns and countryside.

Annette said: "I had a vision of communities working together because they know what their local housing need is. I wanted to see full involvement from the bottom up."

Annette also warned against weak government control in the initial transitional period when the planning legislation comes into force. She highlighted that without clear controls detrimental applications may slip through unchecked.

She concluded that: "the coalition has a real vision of local neighbourhood planning, but, please, we must protect our green belt, urban green spaces and valuable agricultural land."

After the debate Annette said: "Protecting the green belt is such an important issue and one which many of my constituents feel very strongly about. I accept the principles of the NPPF, but we must remove any legislative ambiguity which might facilitate the irrecoverable loss of green belt sites."

To read the debate in full visit: