Time to stop the green belt be­ing plun­dered

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION -

✒ SHOCK­ING fig­ures re­leased by the Cam­paign to Pro­tect Ru­ral Eng­land (CPRE) show that land is be­ing re­moved from the green­belt at a rapidly in­creas­ing rate, so that it can be built on.

Plan­ning laws dic­tate that land should only be re­moved from the green belt in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances, but whether the right tests are be­ing ap­plied is be­ing called into ques­tion.

In 2012, 81,000 homes were planned on land which had for­merly been clas­si­fied as green belt. That num­ber has in­creased ev­ery year since.

In 2018, it had risen to an alarm­ing fig­ure of 460,000.

Not only is this level of house build­ing de­stroy­ing our coun­try­side, but it is sin­gu­larly fail­ing to solve the af­ford­able hous­ing cri­sis.

Ac­cord­ing to the Govern­ment’s own mea­sure, 78% of the hous­ing that will be built on this land will not be af­ford­able.

The CPRE has iden­ti­fied brown­field sites which could de­liver 720,000 homes in lo­cal author­ity ar­eas where the green belt is be­ing de­vel­oped.

UKIP would of­fer grants to bring this

land into use.

In ad­di­tion, home­less­ness char­ity Shel­ter has iden­ti­fied over 200,000 long term empty homes that could be brought back into use.

To ease the im­me­di­ate prob­lem UKIP would en­cour­age the build­ing of mod­u­lar hous­ing made by British com­pa­nies, which is in­ex­pen­sive to build and highly en­ergy ef­fi­cient

UKIP be­lieves that these re­sources should be used in­stead of al­low­ing the green belt to be plun­dered for profit by greedy landown­ers and de­vel­op­ers. Coun­cil­lor Richard Lep­ping­ton UKIP, Bream

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