Green Belt campaigners challenge Birmingham City Council over NPPF amendments
Photo courtesy of the excellent Birmingham Mail
9th March 2014
Sutton Coldfield Rural Campaign and Beacon Street Area Residents' Association (BSARA), a member of the Lichfield Alliance have, in light of the written ministerial statement and the associated practice guidance, requested the Council issue a statement of clarification covering the following matters:
The request was submitted following the announcement last week by Planning Minister and Conservative MP, Nick Boles, along with new associated practice guidance.
In a statement, Nick Boles said “We have carefully considered representations made on the draft practice guidance and feedback from hon. members and noble peers in recent Parliamentary debates.
I would particularly note that we are re-affirming green belt protection, noting that unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the green belt and other harm to constitute very special circumstances justifying inappropriate development.”
Nick Boles also provided Local Authorities support during the most challenging period of the local plan. He said “Local plans can pass the test of soundness where authorities have not been able to identify land for growth in years 11 to 15 of their local plan.”
He also stressed the importance of bringing brownfield land into use and has also made clear that authorities do not have to allocate sites on the basis of providing the maximum possible return for landowners and developers.
This was one of the arguments submitted in Sutton Coldfield Rural’s Green Belt Assessment Appendix 4 consultation report and also raised by Walsall Council during the Options consultation.
The mechanism of the duty to cooperate has also been amended to provide protection to the green belt. The Planning Minister said “We encourage joint working between local authorities, but clarifying that the duty to co-operate is not a duty to accept; we have considered and rejected the proposals of HM opposition to allow councils to undermine green belt protection and dump development on their neighbours’ doorstep.”
You can read the full statement at GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/local-planning
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