Javid to Signal Development of Green Belt Around Rail Stations – Mail

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Hundreds of thousands of affordable homes could be built on protected green belt land.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is considering the proposal as part of a £5billion plan to build more than 250,000 new properties.

He will tell the Conservative Party conference today that he wants to create them on brownfield sites such as abandoned shopping centres and run-down town centres.

However, the Mail can also reveal that Mr Javid is drawing up proposals to build hundreds of thousands on green belt land close to railway stations around London and other major cities. 

Land elsewhere would be designated as green belt to compensate.

Any attempt to build on the green belt, which is subject to strict planning restrictions, is certain to anger countryside campaigners and residents who live by green belt sites facing development.

But ministers believe such land releases around stations could create room for at least 100,000 homes a year within easy reach of London and other growing cities around the country.

A housing White Paper including details of the proposals could be published within weeks.

At the conference in Birmingham, Mr Javid will set out plans to spend £5billion to speed up house-building.

A total of £2billion will be spent on creating roads and other infrastructure so new building can go ahead.

Another £1billion will go towards loans to small building companies to help kick-start construction.

Any attempt to build on the green belt, which is subject to strict planning restrictions, is certain to anger countryside campaigners and residents who live by green belt sites

Separately, £2billion will be spent on using surplus land owned by the state for fast-track building projects.

In his speech, Mr Javid is expected to say: ‘Tackling the housing shortfall isn’t about political expediency.

‘It’s a moral duty – one that falls on all of us, not just in Parliament, but in business, in local government and in our communities. So my message today is clear: It’s time to get building.’

He wants to see enhanced planning powers to allow the construction of houses and blocks of flats on land – much of it derelict around railway stations in the South East – even when they extend into the green belt. 

It has been estimated that acquiring just 4 per cent of the land adjacent to stations could create space for the construction of 100,000 homes every year.

 Mr Javid will tell the Conservative Party conference that he wants to create them on brownfield sites such as abandoned shopping centres and run-down town centres

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