Much depends on the Government's proposed new method for assessing housing need. Some of the things we don't like are:
Planning for the right homes in the right places
- Green Belt and otehr protective policies should not come up for review every 5 years. The White Paper does not prvide the same clarity on this point as in the former policy (See PPG2 in the early 2000s)
Maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt
- The proposed 'exceptional circumstances' tests (para 1.39) are not comprehensive enough and as they stand could make it easier to permit harmful development in the Green Belt.
- Favouring the release of Green Belt land around 'transport hubs' could led to the loss of land that is particularly important in terms of Green Belt purposes, and/or for public access to the countryside;
- The existing requirement for Green Belts to be permanent, lasting beyond the life of a Local Plan, could be seriously undermined by proposals elsewhere in the White Paper to require plans to be prepared and then reviewed every five years. It needs to be made clearer that Green Belt boundaries should last for more than 15 years and generally not be reviewed every time a Local Plan is being reviewed.