The Green Belt is the most popular planning policy in England and the envy of the world. It helps regenerate our cities and stops them sprawling into rural areas. As a result, no one is ever too far from true, green English countryside.
Although Green Belts often contain areas of real beauty, the quality of the landscape is not relevant to the inclusion of land within a Green Belt or to its continued protection.
The Green Belt has five purposes:
- to prevent urban sprawl;
- to stop neighbouring towns and cities from joining-up;
- to protect the countryside;
- to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns, such as Bath, York and Oxford; and
- to assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
Once Green Belts have been defined, land within them has many positive roles to play: providing access to the countryside and nature for people in towns and ci