§ Mr. Mills
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce additional planning controls to protect the green belt in the centre of England in the areas affected by the expansion of the national exhibition centre, the expansion of the airport runway, the widening of the M42 and the development of housing under the unitary development plan; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir Paul Beresford
Stringent controls already exist to protect green belts from inappropriate development. Such development is only allowed in very special circumstances, while green belt boundaries can be altered only in exceptional circumstances. The revised version of planning policy guidance note 2 will maintain our commitment to green belts when it is published.
In the recently published draft regional planning guidance for the west midlands we confirm that there is no case for fundamental review of the green belts, which have served their purpose well and which will continue to do so.