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Take 2 of the Publication Plan – what will it mean for the Green Belt?

28th May 2024

Too much Green Belt land still risks being lost to development in South Staffordshire, CPRE has warned.

In its response to the latest consultation on the South Staffordshire Publication Plan, which closed on 31st May, CPRE has scrutinised the evidence used to justify Green Belt release.

The Publication Plan is the last stage of consultation before the Plan goes to the Planning Inspectorate. The previous Publication Plan was paused after a consultation in late 2022 due to changes to national planning policy.

Green Belt release has been cut by 73% compared to the previous version of the Plan, and some of the more controversial development sites are now longer included. However, CPRE has cautioned that windfall numbers have been under-estimated and there are no ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify loss of Green Belt for overspill housing for the Black Country.

We also see no justification for the inclusion of Site 036C (South of Stafford), a productive arable field bordering Stafford Borough, and request its deletion from the Plan. We have not found any evidence that the Duty to Cooperate with Stafford has been met. The site has previously been refused planning permission and does not serve the needs of South Staffordshire. Stafford’s Local Plan states that the town will not be extended southwards, and the borough has already exceeded its housing targets.

Site 036C, agricultural land on the border with Stafford Borough