Tories attack Barker's plans for green belt
The Conservatives' shadow housing and communities team has rounded on economist Kate Barker over her proposals to revamp the planning system.
Shadow local government secretary Caroline Spelman has posted an early day motion in Parliament expressing concern at proposals in Ms Barker's review of the planning regime, published in December.
The report called for planners to review the green belt, saying much of the land was low quality and could be put to better use.
It also said that developers should be allowed to make ‘goodwill payments' to people who opposed development plans (Inside Housing, 8 December).
But the motion, also signed by shadow housing minister Michael Gove, said that the plans would be a disaster for the green belt.
It called on MPs to express concern at Ms Barker's plans and said that moves to weaken the green belt would be ‘deeply unwelcome'.
The move follows signs that the Conservatives were softening their stance on building on green field land (Inside Housing, 24 November 2006).
But Ms Spelman said: ‘I am concerned that the green belt is now under a sustained assault from Gordon Brown and big business who want to cover it in concrete.
‘Abandoning national green belt protection would open the way to environmental destruction on an
unprecedented and unsustainable scale.'