THURROCK MP Andrew Mackinlay has challenged the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Shahid Malik what his policy is on protecting the green belt within the Thames Gateway.
Speaking from the floor of the House of Commons, Mr Malik has replied.
He said: “The Government have a continuing commitment to the protection of green belt and its crucial characteristics of openness and permanence. Among the policies to guide decision-makers is a presumption against allowing inappropriate development on green belt land. These policies are applied as vigorously in the Thames Gateway as they are everywhere else.
“Only in exceptional circumstances may green belt boundaries be altered.
Any proposal for significant change in green belt area has to be made during the preparation of regional strategy. Any essential adjustment of the boundary of a green belt is for the local planning authority to propose as part of the local plan process. The Secretary of State monitors emerging regional strategies and local plans to ensure they are consistent with national policy.”