THOUSANDS of new homes are set to be built on the Green Belt in the biggest relaxation to planning protections for 30 years reports The Daily Telegraph.
A new Government consultation proposes to change strict rules that only allow building on the ribbon of greenfield land around towns and cities which prevents urban sprawl in exceptional circumstances.
Instead councils will be allowed “to allocate appropriate small-scale sites in the Green Belt specifically for starter homes”, which are designed for young families, the Government said.
The reforms are the first changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, which brought in a new bias in favour of development when it was introduced against the wishes of rural campaigners in 2012.
A requirement that land in the Green Belt which is lost to builders has to be replaced is not contained in the new changes. Instead this will be optional for local communities.
It will be interesting to keep an eye on planning applications in Thurrock in 2016.