§ Mr. Geraint Howells
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many acres of green belt land have been built on in the last two years; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Tracey
I regret that this information is not available centrally. Green belt land should not normally be built on because the long-standing policy is that inside a green belt approval should not be given, except in very special circumstances for purposes other than agriculture, sport, cemeteries, institutions standing in extensive grounds, or other uses appropriate to a rural area.
§ Mr. Murphy
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received regarding the preservation of the green belt between Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield in the light of the Haven Green leisure park and housing plan submitted to him by Welwyn Hatfield district council.
§ Mr. Tracey
Welwyn Hatfield district council has forwarded to the Department over 60 individual representations, together with two petitions, concerning a proposal for a leisure park at Haven Green and an application for residential development on an adjoining site. Many of these representations refer to the green belt between Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield. Two letters6W have been sent direct to the Department requesting that these two applications be called in for my right hon. Friend's decision. The proposed leisure park at Haven Green was not referred formally to the Department, and I understand that Welwyn Hatfield district council has now deemed itself planning permission for this development. The proposed residential development has been referred to my right hon. Friend as a substantial departure from the development plan. He is considering whether it should be called in for decision.