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Role of Green Belt Needs to be Assessed in a Wide Perspective

Date: 29/1/2010

The Planning Officers Society (POS) is supporting the assertion made by Natural England (NE) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) that the role of the Green Belt needs to be assessed in a wide perspective, not just according to its statutory purposes. The Society suggests this should be undertaken by local authorities alongside their green infrastructure planning and character assessments.

On 28th January NE and CPRE launched their study report Green Belts - a greener future; one of the key conclusions of the study is that apart from the purposes established in PPG2 the Green Belt also has a role in adapting to climate change.

The Society indicated that as the extent of the Green Belt in England is twice the extent of its national Parks it warrants careful consideration as to its future role and management. John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, said at the launch our Green Belt has had an important role to play in the past, as it does now and in the future; today's report helps clarify that future role.

The ongoing work of the society in investigating how local planning authorities are responding to climate change reinforces the NE and CPRE stance that it is time for a refresh of Green Belt policy to see if and how it might evolve to fit 21st century circumstances and deliver more positive benefits for the natural environment and people's enjoyment if it.

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