§ Sir Jim Lester
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to protect the Nottinghamshire green belt from development proposals in the local plan. 
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
Following a public local inquiry last year into objections to the Nottingham local plan, I understand that the inspector has recommended acceptance of the city council's proposals to release some green belt land for development. It is now for the council to decide whether to accept the inspector's recommendations, and publish any proposed modifications prior to adoption of the local plan.
In making this decision, the council will need to take account of national planning policies. In this regard, the Government remain committed to the protection of green belts, and to ensuring that opportunities for reuse of urban land for developments are maximised. I shall therefore need to be fully satisfied that loss of green belt land is unavoidable in order to meet the future development needs of Nottingham, when I come to consider the council's proposed modifications to its draft plan.