Where green belt land achieves none of its official purposes, it can be selectively re-classified, with a presumed right to development. Most green belt land should remain, however. This proposal should apply in particular to derelict or already-developed sites. Green belt land near transport hubs should be a declassification priority, including Metropolitan Green Belt land within realistic walking distance of a railway station. The amount of green belt land needed is very small: just 3.9 per cent of London’s green belt is needed for one million homes.
Every piece of Green Belt land acheives at least one Green Belt purpose as every Green Belt review and the PAS guidance acknowledges. This is actuaally far more strict than existing Green Belt review where a site might perform weakly through meeting one or two of the purposes.
The five purposes of Green Belt in the NPPF are:
• to check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas
• to prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
• to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
• to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
• to assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other
urban land. (which every site meets)
Of course it is possible for derilict or partially developed sites to strongly meet the criteria.