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PRESS RELEASE: RTPI gives qualified welcome to Barker proposals on use of green belt land PR2006/60

15 December 2006

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) welcomes the Barker report's recommendations that green belt land should be regularly reviewed and used to support sustainable development. However RTPI feels the report fails to offer sufficient detail on a test for sustainability.

Robert Upton, Secretary General of the RTPI said: \"Barker is right that the primary purpose of green belts is to prevent urban sprawl, and that the boundaries do need to be reviewed periodically. But what she should have offered is a set of clear sustainability criteria against which any proposed changes should be tested to show how those changes encourage more sustainable development while still preventing sprawl.\"

Kelvin MacDonald, RTPI Director of Policy and Research said: \"Green belt policy is as much a political issue as it is a planning issue. RTPI has been campaigning and lobbying Government to change the blunt tool that is green belt since our seminal: 'Green Belt Policy – a discussion paper' in 2000 and follow-up paper in 2002 calling for the 'modernisation of green belt to address the new planning agenda of sustainable development'.\"

Tuesday 05 December 2006