Outdated planning policies for Green Belts stemming post-pandemic economic recovery.

Local Government plays a key role in supporting residents and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the pandemic local councils have found it difficult to facilitate planning committees and undertaking planning practice especially considering the social distancing measures in place. This has an impact on the rate and scale of supporting delivery of homes and supporting infrastructure needed to create sustainable, resilient places especially as we move towards recovery post-pandemic. Even though reforms are being considered to streamline the planning process to aid recovery, an area that is overlooked and contentious is the potential to use Green belt to solve the national housing crisis. To put this discussion in context the size of Green belt land in England is estimated to be around 16,150 km², more than 12% of England. The Metropolitan Green Belt around London is 3 times bigger than greater London itself.

The pandemic has made us realise that dense population clusters worsens the impact of infection spread. If the density was more spread out evenly this would have made a difference to level of infection and deaths.




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