18 OCT 2019

Green Belt Statistics 2018/19

English local planning authority Green Belt statistics for England in 2018/19 have been released today by the Office for National Statistics.

In the year to April 2019, 13 local planning authorities adopted new local plans, this has resulted in a decrease in the amount of Green Belt land on the previous year. This was a decrease of 3,290 hectares or 0.2% of Green Belt land.

However, the amount of Green Belt in England remains vast. It was estimated that England's Green Belt is 1,621,150 hectares, which is 12.4% of the land area of England.

Green Belt land is often incorrectly perceived as being simply a mechanism to protect greenfield land from being developed and confused with protections afforded to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a common misunderstanding; for clarity, the official purpose of the Green Belt is to do the following:

  • to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas;
  • to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  • to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  • to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  • to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

Click here to read the statistical release in full.

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