Bim Afolami: To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what (a) quantum and (b) proportion of greenbelt land in England has been built on in each year since 2010.
Kit Malthouse: a) The amounts of Green Belt land within England changing to developed use in each year from 2013-14 to 2017-18 are published in Live Table P381 within the ‘2017 to 2018 land use based change tables’ at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-land-use-change-statistics. Figures for previous years exist only for 2011 and earlier years and are not on the same basis as those included within Table P381
b) Corresponding figures for the proportion of Green Belt land that has been developed in each year from 2013-14 to 2017-18 can be obtained by expressing the figures within Live Table P381 as a percentage of the total area of Green Belt land for the relevant year as shown in the ‘Area since 1997 – England’ table within the Accompanying tables at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-green-belt-statistics-for-england-2017-to-2018
The Government remains committed to protecting the Green Belt. Most types of new building are inappropriate there, and should be refused permission unless in very special circumstances. Only in exceptional circumstances may a Green Belt boundary be altered, using the Local Plan process of consultation of consultation, followed by rigorous examination of the revised Plan. By clarifying the exceptional circumstances test and increasing support for higher density and re-use of brownfield land, our revised National Planning Policy Framework gives local authorities more power to protect their Green Belts and manage the allocation of land for development.