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Bromley Council vows to protect green belt under new planning laws

Keston is part of Bromley's green belt

Keston is part of Bromley's green belt

Archant

Bromley Council says it "will not waiver one bit" over green belt development as planning laws aiming to make building projects much easier were announced.

On Tuesday, planning minister Greg Clark said the proposals, due to come in to effect next year, would make it easier for housing and office blocks to be built.

But a wildlife charity claims it could bring an “environmental fallout”.

Cllr Peter Dean, chairman of the council’s development control committee, said: “We will be looking at the proposals in detail which will allow for a more considered response. Clearly, making a process more efficient is welcome and at the same time, we need to be careful not to override local opinion.

“We are not against development as long as it is appropriate, but our views on Green Belt development remain clear.

“We will not accept it and our opposition will not waiver one bit. We know that residents share these views which are right and will ultimately protect our landscape for future generations.”

Under the plans, councils would be encouraged to say yes to all development so long as it is sustainable.

Emmalene Gottwald, senior planning advisor at wildlife charity WWF-UK, said: “This approach merely reinforces the boom and bust cycle by encouraging lots of development now to meet immediate demand, with the environmental fallout and social consequences to be dealt with at some unknown time in the future.”

Bromley is the greenest of London boroughs with 8,000 hectares of green belt land, 2,000 more than the second greenest borough Havering.

Mr Clark added national planning policy and government guidance is so bloated it contains more words than the works of Shakespeare.

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