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The purpose behind this book

In the heart of England lies a paradox that has long puzzled and divided people: the struggle between preserving the Green Belt and addressing an ever-intensifying housing crisis. This book delves into the history of this long-standing policy, dispels the many myths that surround it and explores the policy’s role in solving the housing crisis.

Although numerous studies on the Green Belt exist, most are academic. By contrast, this book takes a practical approach. Over the past decade, we've worked on a number of challenging sites - including many within the Green Belt - allowing us to refine our methodology for securing planning permission. For the first time ever, we're making our expertise accessible to anyone interested in building on Green Belt land.

Hands holding a book titled 'Green Light to Green Belt Developments' by Ufuk Bahar and Nicole I. Guler, focusing on development in green belt areas, with a background of lush green indoor plants.
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Meet the authors

Ufuk Bahar and Nicole I. Guler MRTPI are highly sought-after planning and design experts, renowned for securing planning permission in even the most complex circumstances. The pair have built a powerful reputation for helping clients unlock the full potential of their projects, including those on Green Belt land. Their insights have also been featured in articles by The Times, Livingetc and other journals. Ufuk and Nicole are both directors at Urbanist Architecture.

A concept drawing of a small scale residential development in the Green Belt.

Exceptional projects built in the Green Belt

While the path to planning permission in the Green Belt is undoubtedly challenging, it's not impossible. There are, in fact, a series of exceptions and special circumstances that can allow building in the Green Belt to go ahead. However, these opportunities are typically leveraged only by a select group of opportunistic and strategic developers.

In this book, we share real-life examples of successful developments in the Green Belt. By learning from our hands-on experience rather than just theory, you can apply these valuable lessons to confidently navigate the complexities of Green Belt development.

A concept drawing of a large scale housing development in the Green Belt.

Seal of approval expected for millions of homes

As you probably already know, Labour is set to give the green light to building in the Green Belt to tackle the UK’s housing crisis after the policy has remained largely unchanged since the 1950s. This shift, led by Keir Starmer, focuses on utilising low-quality Green Belt land to provide much-needed housing.

We analyse how these changes in leadership and policy will reshape Green Belt development and what it means for the future. By learning from our detailed insights into strategic land use, the implications of new housing targets, and streamlined planning processes, you can anticipate and adapt to upcoming changes in this transformative era of development initiatives.

Learn from the UK’s most sought-after experts

For too long, governments have viewed the Green Belt as sacrosanct. However, with Labour's planning reforms on the way, this is all about to change. This book offers step-by-step guidance to help you:

Icon image representing a Green Belt development plan, featuring simplified graphics of housing layouts, green spaces, and infrastructure.

Understand the urgent need to prevent the Green Belt from being used as an excuse to avoid delivering homes

Icon image depicting a simplified green belt development of a two storey house.

Learn from the experiences of successful developers and apply these lessons to your own project

Icon image showing an open book with simplified diagrams of Green Belt development plans.

Anticipate and adapt to upcoming changes in Green Belt policy during this transformative era

“ Required planning permission for a property that was in green belt, in conservation area and also next to grade II listed property and Urbanist architecture were able to get this for us on first attempt. Really enjoyed working with the team and I highly recommend ”

Ben I. — London

“ We've been overwhelmed by the amount of time and dedication Mr Ufuk Bahar has spent on our project. He has been extremely professional when dealing with the council and applying for planning permission. ”

Kate A. — London

“ Always willing to go the extra mile to ensure the project's success... They built a level of trust where we feel like we are delivering the project as partners. ”

Sandra N. — London

Who is this book for?


Who want to convert their plots of land into new homes and community spaces to maximise their assets.


Who want to learn how to make the most of Green Belt exceptions and special circumstances to build a new home on the Green Belt.

Property developers

Who want a realistic understanding of how development can go ahead on the Green Belt, and what a new government might mean for larger scale development in these areas.

Industry professionals

Who want to broaden their knowledge of this long-standing planning policy, learning more about its history and endurance over the years.

Cover of the book 'Green Light to Green Belt Developments' by Ufuk Bahar and Nicole I. Guler MRTPI, edited by Georgia King and Megane Leroux. The cover features an architectural illustration of modern housing within a lush green belt setting, emphasising sustainable development and eco-friendly planning solutions.

Contact us for any questions, comments or project enquiries.

Our team is fast earning a reputation as one of the country’s leading planning and architecture firms - particularly when it comes to Green Belt planning permission. We're a highly accomplished group who consistently produce results that meet the expectations of the council while exceeding those of our clients, and we'd love to work with you.

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