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The METROPOLITAN GREEN BELT is a statutory green belt around London, England. It includes designated parts of Greater London
Greater London
and the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
, Berkshire
Berkshire
, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
, Essex
Essex
, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
, Kent
Kent
and Surrey
Surrey
in the South East and East of England regions.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Release for housing * 3 Designated area * 4 References

HISTORY

The term emerged from continental Europe where buffer zones and broad boulevards were increasingly used to separate new development from the centre of historic towns; most notably the Ringstraße
Ringstraße
in Vienna. Various proposals were put forward from 1890 onwards but the first to garner widespread support was put forward by the London Society
London Society
in its "Development Plan of Greater London" 1919. Alongside the CPRE they lobbied for a continuous belt (of up to two miles wide) to prevent urban sprawl, beyond which new development could occur.

Implementation of the notion dated from Herbert Morrison 's 1934 leadership of the London County Council . It was first formally proposed by the Greater London
Greater London
Regional Planning Committee in 1935, "to provide a reserve supply of public open spaces and of recreational areas and to establish a green belt or girdle of open space". It was again included in an advisory Greater London
Greater London
Plan prepared by Patrick Abercrombie in 1944 (which sought a belt of up to six miles wide). However, it was some 14 years before the elected local authorities responsible for the area around London had all defined the area on scaled maps with some precision (encouraged by Duncan Sandys to designate a belt of some 7–10 miles wide).

New provisions for compensation in the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 allowed local authorities around the country to incorporate green belt proposals in their first development plans . The codification of Green Belt policy and its extension to areas other than London came with the historic Circular 42/55 inviting local planning authorities to consider the establishment of Green Belts. This decision was made in tandem with the 1946 New Towns Act, which sought to depopulate urban centres in the South East of England
East of England
and accommodate people in new settlements elsewhere. Green belt could therefore be designated by local authorities without worry that it would come into conflict with pressure from population growth.

As the outward growth of London was seen to be firmly repressed, residents owning properties further from the built-up area also campaigned for this policy of urban restraint, partly to safeguard their own investments but often invoking an idealised scenic/rustic argument which laid the blame for most social ills upon urban influences. In mid-1971, for example, the government decided to extend the Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
northwards to include almost all of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
. The Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt
now covers parts of 68 different Districts or Boroughs.

RELEASE FOR HOUSING

Since 1955 London's green belt has extended significantly, stretching some 35 miles out in places. London's green belt now covers an area of 516,000 hectares, an area broadly three times larger than that of London itself. With London's population set to increase by 2,000,000 over the period 2015–2030 it is therefore under increasing pressure for limited land release. The London Society
London Society
began debate about the city's green belt in 2014 with publication of a report entitled "Green Sprawl". Other organisations, including the Planning Officers Society, have since responded with specific calls for a review and proposals to balance land release with environmental protection.

In January 2016, the Adam Smith Institute released a paper showing that there was enough space in the green belt around London to build a million homes within ten minutes walk of existing train stations. The report estimated that in the Metropolitan Green Belt, there was around 20,000 hectares of land which was within 800m of a railway station, and a further 10,000 hectares of golf course land.

DESIGNATED AREA

The table lists the areas designated as the Metropolitan Green Belt in 2014. Between 2009 and 2014 there was a reduction of 435 hectares. In 2009, 19 of the 32 London boroughs had green belt land, however by 2014 Greenwich was recorded with zero green belt land. At least some part of every district in Surrey
Surrey
and Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
is included.

DISTRICT (PLANNING AUTHORITY) REGION OF ENGLAND CEREMONIAL COUNTY AREA (HECTARES)

Aylesbury Vale South East Buckinghamshire 4,800

Barking and Dagenham London Greater London 530

Barnet London Greater London 2,380

Basildon East Essex 6,950

Bexley London Greater London 1,120

Bracknell Forest South East Berkshire 3,840

Brentwood East Essex 13,700

Bromley London Greater London 7,730

Broxbourne East Hertfordshire 3,310

Castle Point East Essex 2,750

Central Bedfordshire East Bedfordshire 28,220

Chelmsford East Essex 12,850

Chiltern South East Buckinghamshire 17,380

Croydon London Greater London 2,310

Dacorum East Hertfordshire 10,690

Dartford South East Kent 4,110

Ealing London Greater London 310

East Hertfordshire East Hertfordshire 17,530

Elmbridge South East Surrey 5,620

Enfield London Greater London 3,060

Epping Forest East Essex 31,680

Epsom and Ewell South East Surrey 1,560

Gravesham South East Kent 7,670

Guildford South East Surrey 24,040

Haringey London Greater London 60

Harlow East Essex 640

Harrow London Greater London 1,090

Havering London Greater London 6,010

Hertsmere East Hertfordshire 8,040

Hillingdon London Greater London 4,970