Green Belt group predicts 30,000 extra homes around St Albans under new National Planning Policy Framework

Green belt land around Redbourn. Picture: Danny Loo.

Green belt land around Redbourn. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has said the government’s new planning policy will mean 30,000 extra homes will be built on Green Belt around St Albans.

The government recently published its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), setting out how developers must create planning applications and how councils must consider them, including with regards to building on Green Belt land.

The campaign group (CPRE) argued the NPPF will lead to more and more Green Belt being swallowed up for housing, with honorary director for Herts Kevin FitzGerald saying: “We are very disappointed, after all our efforts to ensure solving the housing shortage will be compatible with protection for our precious Green Belt, that we now feel betrayed by a string of planning ministers, who have insisted for six years that national policy meant housing demand would not justify changes to Green Belt boundaries.”

CPRE say 30,000 extra homes will be built on Green Belt in St Albans, Hertsmere, Dacorum and Three Rivers districts thanks to the NPPF.

This is because the framework allows councils to build on Green Belt if they cannot find any suitable non-Green Belt land and for Green Belt boundaries to be altered.

In its response to the NPPF, St Albans council said: “St Albans council welcomes the ability for Neighbourhood Plans to make detailed amendments to Green Belt boundaries in order to facilitate local decision-making in meeting identified needs.”