The green belt is an emotive subject - for some it prevents the development of new homes, for others it protects the countryside.
Michele Dix, MD of Crossrail 2, says that regulations should be loosened for "less attractive sites".
Perhaps the definition of the green belt should be reconsidered. However it is important to remember that appearances are deceptive and the countryside is not just there to look pretty. It provides an essential resource of land to grow crops and raise animals and, increasingly, to provide solar and wind energy. It is the green belt that feeds, waters and lights the rest of the country and reducing the green belt inevitably means increasing our reliance on imports.
Developers are increasingly using land in smarter and more efficient ways and this should be applauded and encouraged.
I quite agree that the rules on development might need some updating - and that more development is absolutely needed, some of which will have to be on green belt land - but we must be careful to protect the finite natural resources we have.
“Forty per cent of Enfield is green belt,” Pierce said. “We need a strategic look at the green belt, not just in Enfield but right the way up to Cambridgeshire.” Dix agreed. “There’s green belt, and there’s green belt,” she said. “It’s worth getting out a map of that green belt and showing people what some of it actually looks like.”