Friday, 17 November 2017

Save the Green Belt

Save the Green Belt

Dear colleague,

I hope you don't mind me asking you to take action again. But the Prime Minister and Chancellor are, right now, considering whether to release Green Belt land for housing as a measure to be included in the upcoming Autumn Budget. We know that releasing Green Belt land 
will not solve the housing crisis; will lead to unnecessary loss of countryside; and will add a minimum of 1 million new car journeys every week into London's Green Belt. Please take a few minutes to email your MP: we've made it quick and simple!
  1. Find your MP here, enter your postcode and click on the 'Send a message' button
  2. Below is an example of what you could write
Thank you as always
Alice Roberts, Green Spaces Campaigner
Suggested letter
Dear [Your MP's name],

I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the Chancellor’s proposed release of Green Belt land for housing in the upcoming Autumn Budget.

I am pleased the government is taking action on the housing crisis, but this will not alleviate the problem and needless countryside will be lost.

Please can  you raise this concern in writing, as soon as possible, with both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister who stated in Parliament that “the Green Belt must be protected.”

It is a false belief that releasing Green Belt land will tackle the housing crisis, as the crisis is one of affordability, not simply land availability. CPRE research showed that since 2009 only 16% of houses built on Green Belt outside of local plans were classed as affordable, and nearly three-quarters of the housing proposed on land to be released from the Green Belt will be unaffordable for most people living in the local area.

Yet more Green Belt is being released, with 425,000 houses planned as of July - the biggest year-on-year increase in building proposed on the Green Belt for two decades.

If the government is truly committed to tackling the affordable housing crisis, the Autumn Budget could include much more effective measures:
  • Much firmer action on developers who are failing to build what communities need. The use of viability assessments by developers to undercut their affordable housing requirements must be stopped.
  • Incentives and enforcement on slow build out rates. To ensure developers’ existing commitments are met before further land is released. 
  • The untapped possibilities of brownfield sites could be invested in. Suitable Brownfield land has the potential to deliver over a million homes and brownfield sites are proven to be developed on average six months faster than other sites. Why not build there first?
At the heart of these solutions is a firm and enforced commitment to putting community interests at the center of government policy, protecting the countryside in the process.

Please let me know the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s response.

Yours sincerely,
Alice Roberts
Head of Green Space Campaigns
CPRE London

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