Campaigners call for better protection for East Lancashire's green belt (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Campaigners call for better protection for East Lancashire's green belt
1:00pm Monday 26th August 2013 in News
CAMPAIGNERS have called for green belt land across East Lancashire to be better protected from development.
It comes as new figures published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) showed more than 150,000 houses were planned for green belt sites in the UK.
It said that amounted to an increase of 84 per cent in one year, despite Government assurances that planning reforms would ‘maintain the protection of the green belt’.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said the area had become a target for developers on green spaces throughout the borough.
He said: “The Government needs to be far more protective of green belt land.
“We have seen an awful lot of plans to build on green fields in the Ribble Valley.
“Although that is different to the green belt, I still consider the green fields in the Ribble Valley as the gateway to our ‘areas of outstanding natural beauty’.
“I have the Government minister coming up at the end of September and we can show him the impact of these developments on our green spaces and the strong feeling of our local residents against such developments.”
The leader of Pendle Council, Coun Joe Cooney, said although the rural areas of the borough had not yet been targeted by developers, he was prepared for it to happen in future.
He said: “I think we do have to protect our greenbelt land, but we have to make sure there is enough developable land as and when it is needed.”
Nationally, the CPRE has raised serious concerns about whether the Government’s pledge to prevent building on the green belt other than in ‘exceptional circumstances’ was being implemented effectively.
Its new evidence showed that, across the country, 150,464 houses were planned for green belt sites.
A previous evaluation in August 2012 found more than 81,000 dwellings were planned.
Paul Miner, senior planning campaigner for CPRE, said: “Green belts prevent urban sprawl and are the green lungs of many of our largest or most historic towns and cities.”
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