Building on Greenbelt land - Do Councils allow building on Green Belt land?

Building on Green Belt may be popular with developers but is not usually popular with voters.

To hear most councils one would think that councils never consider building on the Green Belt. The housing crisis in the South East is such that councils are now prepared to build on the Green Belt.

Green Belt Development

Taking the Dacorum Borough in the Hemel Hempstead area, as an average location in the South East I viewed at their local internet site ( to look at a summary of their local housing plan (a 1,750 page document outlining an independent government planning inspector's - Mr Peter Burley, MA (Oxon), BPhil, DipTP, MLI - conclusions and recommendations).

Points of interest were:

The Local Plan identifies land deemed suitable for residential development to guide the location of new homes and minimise their impact. More than 60 per cent will be built in existing urban areas and approximately one third on green field sites. Just over 20 per cent of the total will be built as extensions of urban areas into the Green Belt.

In his report, the inspector has designated 900 dwellings for Green Belt areas.


The Manor Estate (Geen belt Land) was considered a 'sustainable' location for housing

The inspector said development at Marchmont Farm (Geen belt Land) would relate well to the facilities and services at Grovehill and said the site could accommodate 285 homes.

50 homes should be built on the football ground in Pancake Lane in Leverstock Green (Geen belt Land) rather than on land adjacent to it and recommended the pitch be moved either next to the housing development or to Bunkers Field.

He also designated 80 homes in Buncefield Lane (Geen belt Land), 11 at land at the rear of Ninian Road (Geen belt Land) and 30 dwellings at land south of Redbourn Road.


New Lodge, Bank Mill Lane (Geen belt Land) was thought suitable for a 50-capacity housing development.

The inspector recommended that land adjacent to Egerton-Rothesay School at Durrants Lane and Shootersway (Geen belt Land) be designated for 100 homes.


Land at the rear of Watford Road (Geen belt Land), where five new homes have recently been built, could be developed to accommodate 22 homes.


The inspector recommended a significant number of new policies be included in the plan including major developed sites in the Green Belt such as Ashlyns School, Berkhamsted Hill, Bourne End Mills, Bovingdon Brickworks, The Mount Prison and Kings Langley Secondary School.

As can be seen the housing crisis is such that, Mr Peter Burley, a highly experienced planning inspector, is looking at allowing building on a sizeable amount of Green Belt land.

I would not consider the Hemel Hempstead area to be a housing hot spot in the South East – so you can appreciate the pressure planning inspectors are under to make available Green Belt land for housing.

January 2004

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