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Defend green belt, survey claims

Green Belt land should remain open and undeveloped and building

should not be allowed on it, according to 84 per cent of people questioned in a MORI poll.

The survey - interviews with 931 people in England between June 30

and July 4 2005 for the Campaign to Protect Rural England - were

unveiled today exactly 50 years since the publication of the original

Government circular instructing councils to look at setting up Green

Belts.

The poll found wide public awareness of Green Belts.

People fear the biggest threats facing them are housebuilding, road

building and other kinds of development including airport expansion.

Unveiling the findings, CPRE's head of planning Henry Oliver said:

'Today we' re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Green Belts in

England. This poll shows they have very wide public recognition and

strong support.'

The CPRE said that Green Belts are today under threat as never

before due to Government plans for massive housing growth in the wider South East and proposed new roads and airport runways.

Mr Oliver added: 'Green Belts need to be resolutely defended

from these threats, yet even professional planners, who should be

their strongest defenders, sometimes scoff at Green Belt as too

simple and too restrictive to be a proper planning tool.'

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