§ Mr. Wilkinson
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he has taken to address the concerns about the protection of green belt land from speculative development expressed in Early Day Motion 1236 in the previous Session of Parliament. 
§ Mr. McNulty
Government policy on the green belt is set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) 2, which states that protecting the countryside from encroachment is one of the main purposes of including land in the green belt. In addition to the usual strict controls on development in the countryside, in green456W belts there is a "general presumption against inappropriate development", which is by definition harmful to the green belt and conflicts with the purposes of including land in it.
The Government reaffirmed their commitment to the protection and enhancement of the green belt in my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister statement on sustainable communities, housing and planning in the House of Commons on 18 July 2002.