Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



  The London Green Belt Council was created in 1954 when the Government of the day was preparing to issue the first ever circular on green belts (Department of Housing and Local Government Circular 42/55). Some of the principal environmental organisations of the time, including the Open Spaces Society and the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, realising that green belt was going to be an important and permanent feature of the planning scene, decided that there needed to be a voluntary organisation specialising in the subject, rather than that it should become just another item on the agendas of organisations which were already busy with other matters.

  The LGBC is still a voluntary organisation employing no staff. Its membership consists of organisations, not individuals, and includes national bodies like the ones mentioned above; regional bodies like Sane Planning in the South-East; local amenity and residents' associations from all round an area bounded roughly by Leighton Buzzard, Chelmsford, Tunbridge Wells and Reading, including many organisations within greater London; county branches and federations of such organisations; and parish councils. A few planning authorities pay to receive papers without becoming formal members.

  The Council meets approximately quarterly in Central London; is on Departmental consultation lists for policy matters involving green belt considerations; issues advice Notes to members several times a year relating to policy developments, planning appeals; legal rulings and precedents, etc; and sends deputations to Ministers when necessary.

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Prepared 14 November 2002