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Green Belt (UK)

From Academic Kids

In city planning, the Green Belt is a concept for controlling metropolitan growth introduced around London, England by minister of housing Duncan Sandys via a Government Circular.

The idea is a ring of countryside where urbanisation will be resisted for the foreseeable future, maintaining an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can be expected to prevail. The notion dated from Herbert Morrison's 1934 leadership of the London County Council and was included in an advisory Greater London Plan prepared by Patrick Abercrombie in 1944. However, it was some 14 years before the elected local authorities responsible for the area recommended had all defined the area on scaled maps with some precision.

As the outward growth of London was seen to be firmly repressed, residents owning properties further from the built-up area also campaigned for this policy of urban restraint, partly to safeguard their own investments but often invoking an idealised scenic/rustic argument which laid the blame for most social ills upon urban influences. In mid-1971, for example, the government decided to extend the London Green Belt northwards to include almost all of Hertfordshire. The London Green Belt now covers parts of 68 different Districts or Boroughs.

The document to be found using the following link sets out the present approach of the UK government towards the green belts defined by local authorities in England or Wales. Local Councils are strongly urged to follow this detailed advice (PPG2) when considering whether to permit additional buildings in the Green Belt or assent to new uses being made of existing premises.

By 2003, fourteen distinct Green Belts collectively safeguarded about 13 percent of England. In order of decreasing size these are as follows:

 Area (km²)
5,133 London 2,578 North West 2,556 South and West Yorkshire 2,315 West Midlands 825 South west Hampshire and South east Dorset 688 Avon 663 Tyne and Wear 618 Nottingham and Derby 441 Stoke-on-Trent 350 Oxford 267 Cambridge 262 York 70 Gloucester and Cheltenham 0.7 Burton and Swadlincote 16,766 Total

See also: London commuter belt and Smart Growth

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