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Green Belt: Hertfordshire

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 170744, tabled on 17 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's housing standard methodology on the greenbelt in Hertfordshire.

Answered on

25 March 2021

To help enable England to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, in December we changed the formula for assessing local housing need to increase need in our 20 most populated urban areas following consultation. There were no changes to the approach in Hertfordshire and so local housing need will continue to be calculated in the same way they had been previously. The uplift aims to maximise use of existing infrastructure and to support development that reduces the need for high-carbon travel. It also supported our wider objectives of regenerating brownfield sites, renewal and levelling up.

The standard method is only the starting point in the process of planning for new homes. Councils decide their own housing target once they have taken account of local constraints (such as Green Belt) that prevent it from allocating enough sites to meet need. As we set out in our manifesto, we will continue to protect and enhance the Green Belt. Our revised National Planning Policy Framework is still clear that most new building is inappropriate in Green Belt, and should be refused planning permission unless there are very special circumstances. Policy on the Green Belt will remain a local decision for local authorities.

Answered by

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government