HC Deb 26 April 1955 vol 540 cc44-5W
34. Mr. Robert Jenkins

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what provision is being made by local planning authorities for green belts; and whether he will state his policy on this matter.

Mr. Sandys:

I am convinced that, for the well-being of our people and for the preservation of the countryside, we have a clear duty to do all we can to prevent the further unrestricted sprawl of the great cities.

The development plans submitted by the local planning authorities for the Home Counties provide for a Green Belt, some 7 to 10 miles deep, all around the built-up area of Greater London. Apart from some limited rounding-off of existing small towns and villages, no further urban expansion is to be allowed within this belt. These proposals, if strictly adhered to, should prove most effective. For this the authorities in the Home Counties deserve much credit.

In other parts of the country, certain planning authorities are endeavouring, by administrative action, to restrict further building development around the large urban areas. But I regret that nowhere has any formal green belt as yet been proposed. I am accordingly asking all planning authorities concerned to give this matter further consideration, with a view to submitting to me proposals for the creation of clearly defined green belts, wherever this is appropriate.

However, I do not intend on this account to hold up my approval of development plans already before me. Additional provisions for green belts can be incorporated later.