Saturday, 12 November 2011

Councillors 'desperate' to protect green fields

PROTECTING the greenbelt around Cheltenham remains a priority for borough councillors – but some fear they may be fighting a losing battle.

Councillor Colin Hay (LD, Oakley) said: "All of us are desperate to protect the green fields around Cheltenham."

But Councillor Klara Sudbury (LD, Charlton Park) said: "In all honesty, the choice we're being given is either we plan for urban sprawl on our green spaces or we get it anyway."

My comment: There is another way but not one that greedy councils would ever propose. Over the years councils have been increasing their demands via section 106 agreements (essentially nothing more than legalised bungs to allow planning permission). 

As a result in order to cover the cost of the bung developers have had to look for cost savings elsewhere. Paying less for land is one option - this is where Greenfield land comes into it's own, it's often a lot cheaper to buy and develop than Brownfield, so even after the cost of meeting the council's section 106 demands they can still make a profit. 

If councils want developers to develop Brownfield sites they are going to have to reduce their section 106 demands thus once again making them viable.

Read the full story from the source This is Gloucestershire

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