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Green Belt Gives Way to Housing Demand

The ever increasing pressure for construction of more new homes in the Green Belt was evident as the High Court gave its blessing to strategic plans for the expansion of residential development into the rural surroundings of Nottingham.

Three local authorities had formulated a joint core strategy to meet housing demand in their areas up to 2028. The majority of more than 30,000 new homes would be constructed in the built-up area of Nottingham, but substantial numbers would be permitted in country villages set within the city’s Green Belt.

The parish council of one such settlement challenged the strategy on the basis that there had been a failure to consider whether housing numbers should be reduced so that Green Belt land would not have to be released. It was also said that the councils had failed to have proper regard to rural protection policies and the environmental impact of such substantial incursions into the countryside.

However, in dismissing the parish council’s case, the Court found no error of law in the councils’ approach. They had weighed up the alternatives and properly exercised their collective planning judgment before concluding that some development of the Green Belt would be necessary to meet housing needs.