HC Deb 16 February 1977 vol 926 cc493-4
21. Mr. John H. Osborn

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what discussions he has had with metropolitan city councils and metropolitan district councils about his and their respective responsibilities for designating the green belt round major cities; and whether he will set up an inquiry concerning the proposal to build on the High Storrs Rough in the Hallam constituency, some of which is used for allotment gardening and was assumed to be green belt.

Mr. Guy Barnett

My right hon. Friend has had no such discussions with metropolitan county councils or district councils. On the information at present available to him, he is not convinced that he should set up an inquiry into the proposal to build on this land.

Mr. Osborn

Although strategic planning is the responsibility of the county council, is the Minister aware that the designation of the green belt around Sheffield has always been vague? What steps will he take to prevent further erosion of the green belt and countryside around Sheffield?

Mr Barnett

My information is that the land to which the hon. Gentleman refers is within the area of the draft green belt proposal drawn up by the old Sheffield City Council in 1937 and never submitted to the Department. In such circumstances, our general view would be that such planning decisions are more properly taken locally, where, indeed, most planning decisions of that kind are taken.