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WEST COUNTRY GREENFIELDS UNDER THREAT - TORIES

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Commenting on new housebuilding targets for the South West, shadow environment secretary Archie Norman said: ...
Commenting on new housebuilding targets for the South West, shadow environment secretary Archie Norman said:

'These new housebuilding targets will mean the West Country's greenfields

will be covered with concrete equivalent to five towns the size of Slough.

This will include two new towns on some of the most picturesque parts of

Devon. Green belt will be lost for current and future generations,

irrespective of local wishes.

'Conservatives believe that communities should decide the appropriate level

of development in their area, not regional or Whitehall bureaucrats. This

government must learn to listen to the people.'

Notes

Regional Planning Guidance for the South West (RPG 10) was published on 12

September 2001 (see LGCnet). It imposes a series of housebuilding targets

across the West Country over 20 years:

1996-2016 (20 yrs) Government's Targets

Avon 74,000

Cornwall 41,000

Devon 86,000

Dorset 53,000

Gloucestershire 48,000

Somerset 42,000

Wiltshire 60,000

South West Total 404,000

The guidance requires that 50 per cent of all new developments should take

place on greenfield land - meaning that 202,000 buildings will be built on

greenfields over twenty years, equivalent to five towns the size of Slough.

Green belt land is also under threat. The guidance states, 'development

plans should: critically review the green belt to examine whether boundary

alterations are needed to allow for long term sustainable development needs,

remove land from the green belt for development if, on balance, this would

provide the most sustainable solution' (p24). In Bristol, Bournemouth &

Poole, Exeter, Plymouth, Swindon, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Taunton, the

guidance advocates 'urban extension studies' involving 'reviews of any green

belt' (p25).

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