Green Belt

The “Green Belt” is the name given to specially-protected areas of land on the outskirts of major conurbations to which unusually restrictive planning regulations apply.

Green belts exist in many developed nations including Britain, Germany, Canada and New Zealand. The goals of green belt creation include to prevent towns from merging in to one another, to prevent the urban area from creeping inexorably outwards into the countryside, to preserve the rural way of life, to provide countryside recreation opportunities for city dwellers and to help maintain air quality in nearby cities. Green belt areas are designated by the local planning authority, usually a council and are revised every so often. If a company or person wishes to build something within the green belt area, they must apply for permission first and will encounter an unusual set of obstacles. Essentially, they are required to demonstrate the public benefit of the construction outweighs any negative impact. This is not easy to do and most such applications are refused.

Some have criticised green belts for contributing to high property prices in certain countries such as Britain because the restrictive regulations prevent developers from building enough homes to meet the demand for new housing.

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