Grant is claiming that the government are planning to simply build on Green Belt land and allocate other local fields as new Green Belt. By doing this the government can build on land close to towns (that they promised to protect) and still claim to be expanding Green Belt. Of course what the are doing is using slight of hand to destroy existing Green Belt. I think this would count as one very big "Brownie"
From Hansard June 24th:
And this is how Grant Shapps expressed his anger to the Welwyn and Hatfield Times:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 544W, on the green belt: East of England, how many hectares of green belt land, in gross terms, will be developed as a consequence of the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy.
Pamjit Dhanda: "The East of England Plan requires the review of Green Belt boundaries at Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead, Harlow and Welwyn Hatfield to help accommodate the housing requirements identified for this part of the region."The actual amount of Green Belt involved will depend on the outcome of these strategic reviews and the new boundaries will be established through the joint or co-ordinated local development frameworks developed by the local authorities involved."
"It's as clear cut as anything. "A year ago this week we had Gordon Brown giving a cast iron assurance about the future of the Green Belt. "Now just 12 months later the Government is admitting in answer to parliamentary questions the Welwyn Hatfield Green Belt is not safe in their hands and they will now require a number of the 10,000 houses to be built on top of it. "Now not only will we be losing our hospital, post offices, and potentially some GP surgeries, but lose our Green Belt too. "He also insisted the Government was involved in a "con trick" over the Green Belt. "They keep insisting in Parliament they will protect and enlarge it. "But actually what they mean is they are deleting sections of the Green Belt and reassigning other areas which are simply green fields. "It's a con."Labour, don't you just love them? The sooner they are gone, the better.