Local MP and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the greenbelt, Andrew Jones, is asking Harrogate and Knaresborough’s public to help develop policy to protect greenbelt. The APPG is publishing a report in Spring 2014 and is bringing specialists in front of the group to give evidence in the New Year.
Mr Jones commented:
The setting of Harrogate and Knaresborough is one of the most important aspects of our area. It is part of that unique character residents and visitors like so much. I want to see that unique character protected and preserved, alongside greenbelt areas across the country, which is why the work being done by the All Party Parliamentary Group is so important.
The APPG will be looking at whether protection for the greenbelt can be made clearer in the planning process, how local communities can be better involved in protecting the greenbelt and whether non-greenbelt land in greenbelt areas should be better protected in law.
There are some who think we should loosen restrictions on greenbelt development to build more housing closer to our towns and cities. Indeed, a number of commentators recently have questioned the value of greenbelt land close to urban areas.
I do not believe this is the correct approach; I believe that our greenbelt prevents urban sprawl and preserves the natural heritage that means so much to so many and it is important we pass this heritage on to future generations.
But I want to know what local people think so that I can represent their views to the APPG. I want as many people as possible to participate in the survey, which will contribute to the overall report.
Residents can take part in the call for evidence by completing Andrew Jones MP’s online survey on the greenbelt. Mr Jones will present the findings to the All Party Parliamentary Group for the greenbelt as part of his contribution to the investigation.
The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/MPgreenbeltsurvey