Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Green Belt status in the West Midlands

Hanbury Green Belt Hanbury Green Belt Photo: © David Hughes/Shutterstock

Green Belt is always under threat. In the past, the growth of the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham airport have eaten deeply into the Meriden Gap- the thin wedge of Green Belt between Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry. The M6 toll was built entirely on Green Belt land.

Now there are new threats. Housing still threatens to compromise Green Belt around many of our towns despite the government’s intentions to protect Green Belt from development. Proposals for large megadepots would also be likely to be built in Green Belt because of the presence of the M6 toll, itself a major incursion into Green Belt. Plans for strategic park and ride sites also include Green Belt proposals, such as Brinsford, near Wolverhampton.

CPRE believes such proposals should be resisted and the high standard of proof needed to build on Green Belt should be maintained. We also appreciate that not all Green Belt in the West Midlands is of the same ecological or amenity value. We would like to see those areas improved for everyone’s benefit, provided it is not achieved as a quid pro quo for relaxing planning constraints in the Green Belt.

CPRE supported improvements to the Green Belt which improves its benefits for nature and make it easier for people to access the countryside provided this is not done in a way which allows inappropriate development or leads to ‘second grade’ Green Belt. We will be pressing local authorities to continue to take this forward.

CPRE WM has produced it own detailed report on Green Belt which explains the history, policy and scope of Green Belt in more detail.


Note: Green Belt is commonly confused with green field land. The latter is land which has not been previously developed, such as open fields and woodland, wherever it is. Green Belt is a specifically designated area and may itself include land which is not green field, for example, old hospital sites. On such sites, redevelopment is often restricted to the footprint of existing buildings.
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