Parliament & Politics: 1.1 million homes in South-east planned

GREEN BELT
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The Independent Online
THE GREEN belt would be "up for grabs" if the Government accepted proposals to build 1.1 million new homes in the South-east, the Commons was warned yesterday.

James Clappison, Tory MP for Hertsmere, opening a debate on future housing developments in the region, urged the Government to look at alternatives to the plans drawn up by a panel chaired by Professor Stephen Crow.

His comments came after an Opposition-led debate on the issue in the Commons on Tuesday evening. He warned that building on the green belt would be "inevitable" under the proposals.

Mr Clappison told the House: "Under this report, the green belt is up for grabs. That is very bad news for the quality of life for residents but also very bad news for the environment itself."

The overall amount of development would be equivalent to building five cities the size of Southampton in south-east England, he said, adding: "We in the South-east don't want to see acre after acre disappearing under concrete year after year. That is the prospect that is now held out before us."

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