HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 c126W
29. Mrs. Spelman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the protection of the Green Belt in the West Midlands with particular reference to the Meriden gap between Coventry and Birmingham. [4692]

Angela Eagle

Policy on Green Belts is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2. There is a general presumption against inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Inappropriate development can only be justified if there are very special circumstances whereby the harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

Regional Planning Guidance for the West Midlands, published in September 1995, reaffirmed this national policy and made clear that the Meriden Gap should remain in the Green Belt.

Within the Meriden Gap between Birmingham and Coventry, detailed Green Belt boundaries have been confirmed in the recently adopted Solihull Unitary Development Plan.