Environment: Bellamy fury over green belt threat

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The Independent Online
A top wildlife campaigner yesterday condemned "the madness" of building millions of new homes in the green belt. Professor David Bellamy, called for a halt to the Government-backed plans that have sparked anger among environmentalists.

In a keynote speech he said new homes should be built on derelict "brown" land in urban locations. He told the Green Futures conference at Halesowen in the West Midlands: "The Government wants to provide 4 million new homes in the next 20 years, with half of them in rural locations. They could all be built on the 60,000 hectares of vacant `brown' land in towns and cities, with plenty of room available for green spaces. It is madness to destroy the green belt environment."

He added: "The brown sites are close to jobs, hospitals, shops and services. That is where most people want to live, not miles out in the countryside where cars are needed and water supplies barely sustain existing households."

The demand for homes has been created by the rising divorce rate and people living longer.