Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Green Belt protection "rigid and old-fashioned", says minister

During the House of Commons debate on the massive housing developments proposed for South Gloucestershire, Communities Minister Iain Wright described the principle that brown field (previously used) land should be built on before green belt as "rigid and old-fashioned", and said that what was needed was flexibility.

Speaking to the BBC outside Downing Street, Steve Webb MP said:

“Every MP who was at the debate was shocked by what the Minister said. He said that the green belt was fair game.

“We cannot tell developers to go to the brown field and developed areas first. They can go to the prime sites on day one. It was a disgrace.”

The debate was arranged by Steve Webb after the government raised the number of proposed houses by 50% despite already overburdened roads, inadequate bus services and minimal train services.

Steve describes the debate here.

Following the debate Steve delivered a protest petition to Downing Street.

Whether you signed the petition or not, it's still important to put in your comments to the government. The more voices they hear, the more likely they are to tone down their plans. You only have until 24 October - just over a fortnight including any time in the post. Just to repeat what we said the other day:

If you would like to object to the Government's proposals on housing, but don't know what to say, you can click here to download some suggestions: Word version

(Note - we've had occasional problems with this link - if it doesn't work for you, please email for a copy)


  1. Get the blank Government form online here
    - you can fill it in electronically or fill in a paper copy
  2. Use our 'specimen' as a guide – but put it in your own words, because people take more notice of personalised objections
  3. Send completed forms to the email or postal addresses on the form to reach the Government Office for the South West not later than 5.00pm on Friday 24th October (the deadline has been extended by a week)
This is important. Please do it NOW.

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