Cheshire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Branch Chair speaks on the importance of Green Belt land

Friday, 02 September 2016 13:54

Our Chairman Andrew Needham spoke to journalist Helen Mark for Open Country on Radio 4 broadcast 1st September.

His interview with Radio 4’s ‘’Open Country’’ about Green Belt release in the Wirral was broadcast on 1 Sept 2016.

A golf course in Green Belt could be permitted – and the big issue is the proposed hotel and housing. Wirral Council could allocate this in their emerging local plan, claiming ‘exceptional circumstances’. They would need to do this if they really want to attract a serious developer.

The alternative would be for a developer to make a planning application: in this case there would need to be ‘very special circumstances’ and Radio 4  was interested in these ‘circumstances’.

Andrew explained that Green Belt serves five purposes:

  1. to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
  2. to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  3. to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  4. to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns;
  5. to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

He explained the guidelines for evaluating ‘circumstances’ - and said that in the majority of cases the decision is that local councillors are best placed to assess whether very special circumstances can be demonstrated. 

The broadcast can be heard on Radio 4 Open Country Programme : Holylake: Green Belt and Greens. 

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Trent and Mersey Canal, Middlewich