“Minister confirms Green Belt can be protected!
The Government Planning Minister Brandon Lewis protectedMP confirmed once and for all that under this government the Borough Council does have the power to protect Green Belt in it’s local plan.
In a meeting in the House of Commons with senior local councillors and planning officers arranged by local MP Rebecca Harris, the Minister confirmed that Green Belt is a legitimate constraint on the level of housing that the council has to plan for and that they do not have to alter the borough’s Green Belt boundaries to accommodate more housing.
Castle Point Council has been constructing a New Local Plan since 2012 and is considering how much new housing the borough will need over the next fifteen years and where they should be built.
Council Leader Colin Riley said:
“This is exactly the reassurance we were looking for. As a Council we have to take into account all relevant planning law and policy when we make our local plan, but we can now explore the policies designed to protect Green Belt with confidence.
“As a council we are determined to construct a sound local plan that provides for our borough’s future whilst also listening to the concerns of the residents we are elected to serve.”
Local MP Rebecca, who arranged for the Minister to meet local Green Belt groups before the general election, said:
“Brandon repeated exactly what he said to local Green Belt campaigners a few months ago. Councillors and officers can now be in absolutely no doubt that they have the power to protect our borough’s precious undeveloped Green Belt in their local plan. They will need to alter the draft plan and argue their case well, but I am confident they can do it and I will give them every support.”“
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