The Earl of Selkirk
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What developments are permitted in areas which for planning purposes are declared to he "green- and whether the nature of these developments can be further restricted or enlarged by district or county councils without reference to the Department of the Environment.
The Earl of Caithness
The Government's policy on Green Belts is in the Department of the Environment's Planning Policy Guidance Note No. 2, a copy of which is in the Library. It states that "inside a Green Belt. approval should not be given, except in very special circumstances, for the construction of new buildings or for the change of use of existing buildings for purposes other than agriculture and forestry, outdoor sport, cemeteries, institutions standing in extensive grounds or other uses appropriate to a rural area". Local planning authorities should have regard to this guidance when considering proposals for development. They are required to notify the Secretary of State of any proposal which they are minded to allow which would, in their view, constitute a material departure from the provisions of the development plan for the area. This provides opportunity for the Secretary of State to consider whether to call in the application for his own determination.