Friday, 1 April 2011

Threat to green field sites from Conservatives

There will be more people standing in front of bulldozers under the Coalition

The Green Party today highlighted new threats to our greenbelt and greenfield land announced in the Budget
We have significant threats to the green spaces around our villages due to housing targets being proposed by Kirklees Local Development Framework.  Kirklees Planners have made clear that Greenbelt and Greenfield land could be designated for development but recent announcements by the Government have made this situation much worse.
Kirklees Green Party Leader Councillor Andrew Cooper said,
“The targets that have been indicated by Kirklees Planning are already proving to be unachievable due to the downturn in the housing market. The market may pick up again but it is more helpful to developers and communities if there is certainty over a priority being given for development on previously developed brownfield land. The Government has now removed quotas for building on brownfield land."
The announcement in the budget from the Government has made matters much worse. In the recent budget the Conservatives announced a liberalisation of the Planning System to make it easier for developers to get around the planning process. CPRE – the Campaign to Protect Rural England said of the Conservatives Governments proposals, “The triple whammy of scrapping national brownfield targets, introducing a default yes to development, and pursuing half-baked proposals for land auctions could be devastating to treasured countryside”
 Neil Sinden CPRE’s Director of Policy said,
"The planning measures present a potentially devastating threat to the countryside and are unlikely to boost long-term economic growth. To suggest, as successive Governments have done, that planning is a key impediment to growth is just wrong.  It is disappointing that George Osborne is repeating the mistaken assertions made by Gordon Brown". 
“The planning system exists to prevent unsustainable, unwanted and environmentally damaging development.  Today’s Budget is likely to undermine its ability to do this.”

Councillor Andrew Cooper, " How can the Conservatives locally speak with any legitimacy about wanting to preserve green space from development when their government is doing everything it can to do the opposite of that."


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