CPRE Blueprint to protect Green Belts
Sheffield’s Green Belt has never been more valuable.
As the charity responsible for mapping and advocating a green belt for Sheffield in 1937, we have now published a radical vision, aimed at ensuring Sheffield gets the right developments in the right places and thus protecting the countryside assets which Sheffield, the Outdoor City, depends on. Three critical tests are highlighted.
- Firstly Sheffield should only grow outwards if it is already making the best use of urban opportunities, including denser development and use of brownfield sites.
- Second, any proposed changes to the Green Belt must deliver truly special and sustainable development that meets real housing need, especially in respect of affordable and social housing.
- And lastly, great care must be taken when re-developing brownfield sites in the Green Belt, such as the Hepworth’s site in the Loxley Valley.
“Sheffield’s Green Belt has never been more valuable to us, nor has it been under greater threat since we first fought for its protection in the 1930s” commented planning officer and co-author of the report, Andrew Wood, “A crazy numbers game, imposed by central Government, and uninspiring ‘Lego-land’ developments by big house-builders risk losing all that is special about our local countryside. Something has to change and change quickly and we look to the City Council and its planners to take up the challenge. We hope this report will spur everyone to understand there are win-win solutions possible”.
CPRE recognise that new homes are vital but both this report and national research shows that current house-building plans will do very little to address the affordable housing crisis faced by many families and young people. The only people set to benefit from future release of Green Belt land will be landowners and the large house-builders, not communities in need of decent, affordable housing.