Beyond the Green Belt  

Planning guidance asserts protection for Green Belt and encourages local authorities to improve it. However, current debate focuses on development pressure to sacrifice Green Belt land and raises awareness that Green Belt may not be that green in the first place.

Can we square these pressures… can development needs help fund enhancement of Green Belt rather than chip away at it?

Who will give us a refreshed vision for Green Belt — or its successor — that we want in decades to come?

Can Green Belt both help meet housing and other development pressures and yet become a richer, more cherished, green space that is a model for innovative actions in sustainability and biodiversity?

Since Green Belt was first designated, there have been great advances in the understanding of urban growth, infrastructure needs and — not least — questions of sustainability and biodiversity. These and other factors need to figure in our planning.

Some organisations are starting to look for an evolution of Green Belt to give it a new life and enhanced role. The Landscape Institute wants to reframe the debate with these questions:

  • The pattern of Green Belt designation is incomplete. Should we designate more Green Belt to ensure a consistent approach to planning for development?
  • Some Green Belt land is despoiled. Should we be restoring the landscape with a special emphasis on the distinctive variations in landscape type?
  • Modern agriculture has had a significant effect on wildlife. Should we be transforming the biological quality of Green Belt land?
  • By its nature the Green Belt is close to where people live. Should we seek to improve access to the Green Belt for the health and wellbeing of local people?
  • Some development is planned to occur in the Green Belt. Should the Government set up a Green Belt Levy to pay for the transformation of the landscape?
  • The ongoing management of Green Belt land is important for its future. Should we press for the Government to legislate for statutory Management Plans for the Green Belt in the same way as other protected landscapes, such as National Parks?

On the right we highlight innovative projects that are in Green Belt or may suggest ideas that could apply to Green Belt development.


Part of 'Beyond the Green Belt'