CIWEM criticises greenbelt plan

Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) executive director Nick Reeves has hit out at Natural England chair Sir Martin Doughty's plan to review greenbelt land.

Doughty said it was time to consider releasing some land for development to protect sites of greater scientific interest from the threat of house building. But Reeves said: "Proposals for development on the greenbelt should be halted in order to carry out a more thorough review of land ownership in this country.

"With around one per cent of people in Britain owning over 70 percent of all land, it is vital we have a better understanding of where this land is, its purpose and condition, and if any of it can be released for housing in a way that is fair for all and protects the greenbelt.

"It is time to recognise that we cannot continue to pick away at the landscape to meet the housing needs of a growing population without realising that this will further breach environmental limits. A large population may have economic benefits but eventually it will have disastrous ecological consequences," Reeves said.

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