Crispin Blunt welcomes commitment to protect Green Belt in Budget

As Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for London’s Green Belt, Crispin Blunt MP has responded to the Chancellor’s announcements on housing in today’s Budget Statement.

The Chancellor committed a total of at least £44 billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees to support the housing market over the next five years. The Government plans to “create the financial incentives necessary to deliver 300,000 net additional homes a year on average by the mid-2020s”.

Crispin Blunt said: “I agree that we must meet our housing needs by making the best use of our urban land, whilst maintaining strong protection of the green belt. This is especially the case for London’s Green Belt, which is under unprecedented pressure. Just this week, the Campaign for Rural England has reported an 82% increase in new housing units given planning permission in England’s 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty over the last five years.

“The Chancellor highlighted that there are 270,000 residential planning permissions unbuilt in London and promised to intervene to change incentives to expedite development.

“The All Party Parliamentary Group for London’s Green Belt will contribute to the review that Oliver Letwin MP will chair to investigate the gap between planning permissions granted and the number of homes built. We will also wish to look at the remit, powers and operation of the new ‘Homes England’ agency.”

“There are estimates of brownfield capacity for 423,000 homes in London over a decade (2015-25). Planning reform and powers must focus on new high quality, high density housing on brownfield sites, especially in cities, and strengthen protection of the Green Belt.”