Despite a widespread view amongst the property world that green belt policy could benefit from a major review that is not a view that is apparently shared by the public. Therefore its a brave politician who is prepared to stand up and suggest the system should be reformed. And as we all know, there aren't that many brave politicians.
The result seems to some sort of 'policy creep' as far as green belt is concerned. The headline policy in the NPPF is that authorities should alter green belt boundaries only where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified. The need for exceptional circumstances isn't new but the advice on how this can be justified is, basically providing a route map on how to demonstrate exceptional circumstances and secure the release of land from the green belt.
Other changes to the NPPF in 2018 included advice that plan making bodies should set out ways in which the impact of removing land from the green belt could be offset through compensatory improvements to the environmental quality and accessibility of remaining green belt land.
The latest changes to the associated PPG, described in this article in Planning Magazine, gives examples of the types of measures that could be considered as legitimate compensatory improvements.
So, of course, green belt remains sacrosanct and inviolable. But if you want to think about removing land from it just comply with these easy to follow steps......
How the government is advising councils to compensate for green belt land release