A new map of the London Green Belt, which covers a large part of west Kent, has been launched.
The Green Belt covers 93% of Sevenoaks, 77% of Gravesham, 71% of Tonbridge and Malling, 56% of Dartford and 22% of Tunbridge Wells. This is the first full and detailed account of the London Green Belt, and it is hoped the map will highlight the Green Belt’s importance to residents, at a time when it is under considerable threat from development.
The Green Belt is designated nationally with the purpose of maintaining openness between settlements to prevent urban sprawl out of London. The boundaries are set locally.
CPRE Kent Senior Planner Brian Lloyd said: “The Green Belt is under attack from developers with local authorities facing pressure to review the boundaries, but it is important to recognise how important it is to maintain a clear distinction between town and country and preserve the individual identity of villages and towns like Sevenoaks.”
The map was launched on November 5th by the London Green Belt Council and includes Green Belt boundaries, important historical sites, AONBs and constituency boundaries.
With the London Green Belt affecting the constituencies of approximately 70 MPs, the Council is seeking support from all political parties for its preservation, and so launched the map in the House of Commons.
Richard Knox-Johnston, of the London Green Belt Council and Vice President of CPRE Kent said: “We hope this new map will raise awareness of the importance of the Green Belt for safeguarding open spaces, as well as providing facilities for leisure and personal wellbeing.
“The London Green Belt is an essential part of our history, covering sites such as Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed, Charles Darwin’s House at Down, and the unique Saxon log church at Greensted near Ongar.
“Planning authorities must ensure that housing targets are not allowed to override the Green Belt. We urge politicians of all parties and the public alike to work to protect our Green Belt, and make sure that such protection is included in party manifestos.”
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:
“I welcome the hard work of the London Green Belt Council to help increase public awareness of the Green Belt.
“The Green Belt plays a valuable role in protecting against urban sprawl and providing a green lung around our towns and cities. The Government recently published revised planning guidance re-affirming the importance of Green Belt safeguards.”