Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Angela Rayner thinks the Tories are "selling off" the green belt

We know Richard Burgon is a laughing stock, but Angela Rayner has been getting good notices - at least from her colleagues.

So how to explain this tweet she sent today?

The government, of course, cannot sell off the green belt because it does not own it. The debate is about whether local authorities should be allowed or compelled to grant developers permission to build on it.

I think we are entitled to expect a member of the shadow cabinet to have grasped that.

But then I am puzzled by all the talk in the media about local authorities being forced to sell their land.

Are local authorities really sitting on large land holding? Maybe large authorities are, but when I was a councillor in a rural district 30 years ago we owned very little land even then.

I suspect a lot of journalists don't understand this debate either


Epictetus said...

She is simply using the rhetorical device of metonymy. It's perfectly obvious what she means.

Phil Beesley said...

Let's have a look at the most clueless reference site, Wikipedia:
"The fundamental aim of green belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, and consequently the most important attribute of green belts is their openness."

It's not a bad definition; it is really bad. It fails to say that green belts were established explicitly to prevent towns and cities from encroaching on villages. Green belts are barriers between town and country. The countryside and green belt is not required to be pretty.

At some time, the definition of green belt was presumed to have changed. All of a sudden, green belts were like national parks without a statutory order. Build a barn in green belt; necessary infrastructure. Build a house for farm workers; that's urban development.