Green belt sites and spaces have been earmarked by Calderdale Council to build houses and industrial sites to meet the housing needs of the borough.
Calderdale Council has completed a review of the green belt across Calderdale, as part of the development of the Local Plan.
The Government requires local councils to find enough land to meet their needs for new housing and economic development.
The latest estimates are that Calderdale needs to identify land for nearly 14,000 new houses through to 2032.
If it becomes clear during the preparation of the Local Plan that Calderdale cannot meet its housing and employment needs from the land available within the urban areas, then in exceptional circumstances the Council may consider whether some of the green belt might be released to allow sustainable development.
Green belt policy was introduced by the Government in the 1950s to prevent uncontrolled urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.
The Council’s review provides an assessment of the contribution land makes to the existing green belt in Calderdale but does not change its status.
The first phase identified all the areas in Calderdale which are protected, such as the South Pennines Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation and any areas which could not be developed sustainably.
The next step was to identify areas of land, known as ‘parcels’. These are clearly defined and self-contained areas of land which do not cross a significant boundary, such as a motorway, river or protected woodlands.
The planning team identified 454 parcels in Calderdale which were then tested to measure whether they still meet the Government’s criteria for green belt.
The review found that 390 parcels were marked ‘most sensitive green belt’.
Sixty-four ‘mid sensitive green belt’ parcels were found, which are considered to make a less significant contribution to the green belt, however this does not necessarily mean that they will be released for development.
Such land may not be suitable for sustainable development, since it may not be located close to local infrastructure or at sites where people want to live.