37 councils across the country are set to benefit from a £2m cash boost to crack down on illegal green-belt developments, Housing Minister Esther McVey has announced.
As outlined in proposals, local authorities will be able to use the money to hire enforcement officers, use new technology, and help meet the legal costs of bringing rogue developers to task for their illegal developments.
Speaking at the annual RESI Convention in Newport today (12th September), McVey announced that 37 councils, including areas covering South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, will receive a total of up to £50,000 each to help with the clampdown.
During reforms to the national planning rulebook last year, it was ruled that only in exceptional circumstances can land in the green belt be built on.
Alongside the cash boost for councils, MHCLG is teaming up with the Royal Town Planning Institute to overhaul the national enforcement handbook – providing expertise on shutting down illegal building and preventing it from happening.
Commenting on today’s announcement, McVey said: “Once the green belt is built on, it’s often gone for good – that’s why we are determined to protect it.
“The public have told us loud and clear they want it kept for future generations to enjoy.
“The funding announced today will help councils clamp down on rogue developers, giving the areas with the highest levels of green belt the funds needed to punish those who build illegally.”
The full list of councils to receive the funding are as follows:
- Cheshire West and Chester
- South Staffordshire
- Epping Forest
- Central Bedfordshire
- Bath and North East Somerset
- South Cambridgeshire
- South Gloucestershire
- Mole Valley
- East Hertfordshire
- Staffordshire Moorlands
- North Warwickshire
- Tonbridge and Malling
- Windsor and Maidenhead
- North Somerset
- Cheshire East
- Dorset Council