Tories promise to give all towns a green belt

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THE NEXT Tory government will create "local green belts" around every town in a shake-up of planning rules, William Hague will pledge tomorrow.

Local councils would be given powers by a Conservative government to earmark permanent belts of greenfield land around built-up areas. Mr Hague will tell the Green Alliance Conference in London the move would save the countryside from the "out of touch" Government.

Billed as the next stage of the Tory "common- sense revolution", the strategy puts empowering local people at its heart. "Labour's housing diktats are out of touch with the people of Britain in both town and country. We must protect our greenfield land," Mr Hague will declare at the conference.

"We will empower communities to create `local green belts'. Only common-sense will halt Labour's bulldozers and save the countryside."