HL Deb 29 March 2004 vol 659 c54WS
Lord Rooker

My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In 2000, the Government published figures on the area of land designated as green belt in England, based on figures in plans that had been adopted by 1997. I am pleased to announce today the publication of statistics that show changes to the amount of green belt since then. In future, such figures will be published on an annual basis, and will be used to monitor the Government's target to maintain or increase the amount of green belt in each region.

The statistics show that since 1997 there has been an increase of around 25,000 hectares in the amount of green belt identified in adopted local and unitary development plans in England. In addition, there are proposals for an additional 12,000 hectares of green belt that are currently being taken forward in plans that have not yet reached adoption. This figure does not include changes to the green belt proposed in the New Forest, where land will be redesignated from green belt to national park once the national park has been formally designated. This comprises some 46,000 hectares of land in the area covered by New Forest District Council. In view of this redesignation, the Government do not intend that these figures should be included in monitoring progress towards their target of maintaining or increasing the amount of green belt in each region.

Copies of the statistical release are available in the Libraries of the House.