'These new housebuilding targets will mean the West Country's greenfields
will be covered with concrete equivalent to five towns the size of Slough.
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.'
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
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