Skip to navigation

Green belts

Threats to the Metropolitan Green Belt Threats to the Metropolitan Green Belt Photo credit: London Green Belt Council, CPRE London

Much of South Buckinghamshire falls within the Metropolitan Green Belt which is facing an unprecedented level of threat from development. CPRE is working hard to curtail this trend.

Green Belts exists to prevent urban sprawl, provide open space and protect the special character of towns. They are a cherished asset and provide countless benefits for people from food production, flood prevention to health benefits and areas for sport and recreation. Green Belt land also provides important habitats for a wide variety of wildlife.

From its foundation in 1926, CPRE has campaigned to protect countryside from urban sprawl, but it took nearly 30 years to achieve the establishment of Green Belts as we know them today. CPRE continues to campaign for the protection of Green Belt land.

CPRE campaigns for:

  • An immediate halt to the wide scale release of land within the Metropolitan Green Belt.
  • Stronger protections for Green Belt land. The need for economic growth should not in itself be considered an ‘exceptional circumstance’.
  • Suitable brownfield sites to be prioritised for development before greenfield.
  • The Government to prioritise investment in Green Belts in the forthcoming 25-year plan for the environment and make sure Green Belt protection is enforced. 

CPRE achievements:

  • In 2016, we published 'Our Green Belt: worth investing in', a study on the nature conservation and recreational opportunities of the Green Belt. This built upon a study conducted in 2010 called 'Green Belts: A Greener Future'.
  • In 2016, the London Green Belt Council in partnership with CPRE branches including CPRE Bucks, published a London Green Belt Threats Map and published a report - “Safe Under Us?”. Find out more here.
  • In 2015, our 60th-anniversary poll showed clear support for Green Belt.
  • In 2015, CPRE published the 'Green Belt Under Siege' report which calls on the Government to initiate a national land use strategy that includes better protection and management of the Green Belts.
  • We successfully campaigned against proposals by the Government to weaken Green Belt policy in both 1994 and 2011.
  • Our influence led to controls over new development in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 and the creation of national Green Belt policy in 1955, both instrumental in bringing about policy still in place today.
  • We devised and led a campaign for the creation of the first Green Belt around London in the 1930s.
Back to top

woodland glade