Getting planning permission to build on the Green Belt may be tricky – but it’s certainly not impossible!...
Green Belt Map
Here is our new interactive Green Belt map, a crucial tool for anyone thinking of seeking planning permission in the areas surrounding English cities and towns. Even if your property lies just inside a Green Belt, planning permission becomes much more difficult to obtain.
But there are very few England-wide maps of the Green Belt, and most of those are a few years out of date. Our Green Belt map below uses the latest available government data.
So if you want to know if the property you own or are considering buying is in the Green Belt, just type in the postcode and see whether it is in one of the green-shaded zones. It’s as simple as that.
Brought to you by Urbanist Architecture, specialist green belt architects and planning consultants. Data source: MHCLG
According to The National Planning Policy Framework, the “fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open”. The policy began in the 1930s as increasing car ownership meant cities – particularly London – were expanding rapidly outwards.
The original Green Belt was only meant to be two miles wide around London – in some places it is now over 30 miles wide. As you can see on our map there are also Green Belts around Oxford, Cambridge, Cheltenham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent and York. There is effectively a huge north-west/north-central Green Belt covering Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and Sheffield, and a north-eastern one for Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham. Large towns that sit within the London Green Belt include Watford and Guildford.
Although the original idea of the Green Belt was that is should be public open spaces. But that’s not what has happened as they have grown. A total of 35% of all Green Belt land across England is used for ecologically damaging intensive farming. Within the boundaries of Greater London, 22% of all land is Green Belt, but only 22% of that is public land while 7.1% of it is golf courses.
While getting planning permission in a Green Belt is difficult, it also happens all the time. Tactics for Green Belt planning permission include looking for councils that are missing their housing targets or areas on the edge of existing settlements, the replacement of existing structures, and outstanding and innovative housing. You can read about all this in much more detail here.
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Urbanist Architecture is a London-based RIBA chartered architecture and planning practice with offices in Greenwich and Belgravia. We are on a mission to unlock the hidden potential of your site and deliver you a successful transformational change.