One of the many benefits, often overlooked, of having land designated as part of a “green belt” is the improvement in air quality in urban areas. If urban sprawl was allowed to run amok, one town would merge into another, and there would be nowhere for pollutants to dissipate to.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, wants to relax the rules about building on green belt land. It may be that he only wants his friends in the building industry to make huge profits, thereby guaranteeing himself a lucrative directorship or two when he’s kicked out of office, but it’s long been rumoured that the Conservatives would “tax the bloody air we breathe if they could.” *
These rumours will only be strengthened if building on green belt land is permitted, when there is plenty of brownfield (abandoned or underused industrial and commercial) land which could be used instead, albeit for less profit.
(*I’m not being entirely serious about this bit!)