HC Deb 19 April 2004 vol 420 c349W
Bob Spink

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to allow planning applications for replacement on a one-for-one basis in the green belt where the previous buildings have been removed for safety reasons; and if he will make a statement. [165376]

Keith Hill

National policy on development in green belts is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note (PPG) 2. This states that save for a few specific exceptions the construction of new buildings inside the green belt is inappropriate development. One exception is made for the replacement of an existing dwelling, which need not be inappropriate, providing the new dwelling is not materially larger than the dwelling it replaces.

In other cases where a new building. including a replacement building, is proposed, and the building is not covered by one of the exceptions in PPG2, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that very special circumstances exist to justify inappropriate development. It will have to be shown that these clearly outweigh the harm by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, that the development will cause to the green belt.

Mr. Swayne

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his written statement of 29 March 2004,Official Report, column 73WS, on green belt statistics, when he decided to proceed with the designation of the New Forest as a national park. [165898]

Keith Hill

No decision has be en made. I am advised that the Inquiry Inspector's report is currently with Defra Ministers who alone mast decide whether to confirm, modify, or reject the Designation Order that the Countryside Agency made in 2002.