Planning Minister clarifies Government Policy on the Green Belt

29th July 2013

Last week the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP addressed the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Green Belt at their second meeting to discuss the importance of protecting Green Belt land.

Andrew Mitchell MP - a founding member of the group - has consistently argued, along with Sutton’s Councillors, that the proposal to build 10,000 homes on Sutton’s Green Belt is unnecessary and that all other options to solve Birmingham’s housing problems must be explored with an open mind before building on any Green Belt land.

Following the meeting Andrew Mitchell MP, said “The meeting with the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP was very positive as he set out a recent, landmark planning decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which sent out a clear signal to a developer in Castle Point, Essex who wanted to build 165 homes on Green Belt land.

“This is important to our case in Sutton Coldfield as it clearly sets out the Government’s view on protecting Green Belt land in order to preserve the character of an area. I was also encouraged to learn that the Planning Minister is actively encouraging local authorities to have conversations with their neighbours about how housing need can be satisfied elsewhere in the region when Green Belt land provides a vital split between urban areas as it does in Sutton. There are many other options and alternatives around the West Midlands.”

Sutton’s Coldfield MP is currently in talks with the Planning Minister about him visiting Sutton Coldfield to discuss this important matter.

Birmingham City Council is expected to consult again on the final version of the Birmingham Development Plan in 2013, before submitting it to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for a formal examination, probably in 2014.

Photo: Andrew Mitchell MP with his Welsh Springer Spaniel, Scarlet during a walk on the Green Belt with members of Sutton Coldfield Civic Society.',