Green belt is actually growing

By Michael Hardware Director of Planning & Property

Despite the claims of environmental groups that developers are ‘raping and pillaging’ the land, concreting over our green fields and desecrating our landscape, the amount of land designated as green belt in England actually rose last year.

According to latest government statistics the green belt has grown by 24,150 hectares, or 1.5 per cent of the total. The figures show the green belt is now at 1,638,150ha, its highest level since 2013-14, accounting for 12.6 per cent of England’s entire land area of 13,046,240ha.

Although 10 local authorities removed green belt, with Central Bedfordshire the highest with 1,290ha, the majority of the growth, an additional 26,790ha, was Northumberland. Three councils moved green belt boundaries with no overall change in green belt designation.

A total of around 11 per cent of England’s land area is classed as ‘built up’.