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Is it time to loosen the Green Belt?

Written by Sam Snart

With demand for housing continuing at an unprecedented rate, despite the possible implications of Brexit, some people are asking: Is it time to review the Green Belt and its role and current size?

However, Sajid Javid, the newly appointed Secretary of State at the Department
of Communities & Local Government, described the Green Belt as ‘sacrosanct’ when he spoke recently in the House of Commons.

He added: “Unless there are very exceptional circumstances, we should not be carrying out any development on it.”

According to KCC’s Growth & Infrastructure Framework, the scale
of the pressure for new homes and commercial development is considerable. Between 2011 and 2031, it’s estimated that Kent will require 158,500 new homes to accommodate a rise in population of 293,300 people and 135,800 new jobs.

Sam Snart, Managing Director at Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, said: “Large swathes of Kent, notably in and around Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks, as well as parts of north Kent, are classified as Green Belt.

“With this land continuing to be
beyond consideration for housing, the announcement may put pressure on councils to consider proposals on land outside the Green Belt in order to meet their housing land supply targets.”

  • This article was first published in the Autumn 2016 edition of our quarterly newsletter Outlook