Peter Murray


On 10 April the Society’s ‘Planning for 10 Million Londoners’ series touched on one of the most constantly controversial issues in London’s planning – the preservation or otherwise of the Green Belt. Colin Wilson of the GLA stuck his head over the parapet; Ben Taylor of Hawkins Brown reports.

Let’s release 3% of the Green Belt. Not the nice parts that people enjoy, just areas already inside the GLA boundary that are unused or cut off by infrastructure and London. Then pockets of virtually abandoned, often contaminated land can be put to better use for housing or industry and London can undo its top button and expand without anyone getting too upset. This is what Colin Wilson argued for in his talk, Rationalising Land Use Allocation in the Green Belt – the latest in the London Society’s Planning for 10 Million series. In a presentation he first gave to the deputy Mayor of London’s office a year ago, Wilson made a pragmatic and insightful case for re-examining parts of the Green Belt that fall short of the green and pleasant land held within the public imagination and which could offer a more beneficial purpose. This was backed up by an account from Ismail Mulla of Enfield Borough Council on how the local authority was preparing for the growing population challenges ahead.

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