§ 37. Mr. Idris Owen
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to complete his review of the green belt; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Graham Page
The review of the progress that can be made in the approval of proposed green belts is proceeding but my right hon. Friend is not ready to make a statement yet. Meanwhile, the green belts already approved will be safeguarded.
§ Mr. Owen
Is my hon. Friend aware that that reply is rather disappointing because of the slow progress being made? Is he aware that for years and years green belts have merely appeared on town planning maps and proposed green belts have attracted many appeals against planning decisions? Does he realise that the sooner he positively determines green belt proposals the sooner he will reduce the amount of appeals on planning decisions?
§ Mr. Page
This has to be considered in the context of the regional planning studies. We hope to make a fairly early announcement on the green belts in the South-East, and we have the matter under consideration particularly in connection with the North-West planning study, in which I am sure my hon. Friend is interested.