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PLAN TO SAVE GREEN BELT IN WEST MIDLANDS

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The government's revised planning guidance for the West Midlands, which is published today, demands a drive to make...
The government's revised planning guidance for the West Midlands, which is published today, demands a drive to make the best possible use of brownfield sites, to avoid excessive development in the countryside, reports The Birmingham Post (p1).

The guidance also calls for the West Midlands Local Government Association to produce a regional target for brownfield housing which maintains (and, if possible, beats) the 61% achieved between 1991 and 1995.

The guidance also gives councils the power to phase greenfield developments and to reject planning applictions if they are not in line with targets for brownfield project figures.

Planning minister Richard Caborn said the revised guidelines underlined the government's determination that more housing should be provided on previously developed land.

'Some greenfield housing development will continue to be required but it will need to be carefully controlled. Local authorities will be able to phase development on greenfield sites to ensure those sites are not developed,' he said.

The guidelines also urge councils to consider higher densities for new housing schemes and to think of setting targets for bringing empty homes back into use.

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