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Press release: Unprecedented threat to Buckinghamshire Green Belt

Bucks Green Belt under threat Bucks Green Belt under threat Photo: © CPRE Bucks

22 November 2016

The Buckinghamshire Green Belt is under huge threat as two councils are considering releasing significant amounts for development.

Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils have gone out for public consultation to seek views on potentially releasing over 1000 acres of Green Belt for housing and commercial development.

This single proposal is equivalent to 40% of the Green Belt released last year over the whole of the UK.

The Chairman of Campaign to Protect Rural England Buckinghamshire (CPRE Bucks), Stan Jones, said: “The Green Belt plays an essential role in containing urban sprawl and provides countless social, environmental and economic benefits. There is no need to release such vast swathes of this important protected land.”

“The councils must properly examine the potential use of alternative sites including brownfield and look at building higher density housing in already built up areas. There is currently no evidence that shows they have done this sufficiently.”

Government policies are putting these two councils under pressure to provide over 5,000 dwellings and 100 acres of commercial development that they propose to do on 15 sites.

CPRE Bucks contributed evidence to a recent report ‘Safe Under Us?’(3) by the London Green Belt Council and CPRE London. The report shows the method currently used to forecast the need for housing is related to over-optimistic projections of job creation and is putting unnecessary pressure on our green spaces, despite the Government saying that Green Belt is ‘absolutely sacrosanct’.

Once lost, the Green Belt can never be recovered so it permanently removes parts of the countryside that should be retained for future generations to enjoy.

ENDS

Notes to editors

(1) The Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan Green Belt Preferred Options consultation document can be found at http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan2014-2036.

(2) The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. CPRE Bucks is registered as a charity (No. 211266 / 116336) and company (No. 9186100) in England. For more information see www.cprebucks.org.uk.

(3) Safe Under Us? Report published September 2016 by The London Green Belt Council and CPRE London http://www.cprelondon.org.uk/resources/item/2339-safe-under-us

Media release date: 22 November 2016

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