England's amazing disappearing Green Belt

Entirely bloodcurdling stories of how we’re entirely destroying England:

New statistics show the nation’s Green Belt has shrunk by more than 10,000 hectares in a decade with campaigners warning land which is supposed to be off limits is increasingly being targeted for development.

Ten thousand’s a big number, horrifying. Over a decade too!

The extent of the designated Green Belt in England as at 31 March 2017 was estimated at 1,634,700 hectares, around 13% of the land area of England.  Overall there was a decrease of 790 hectares (less than 0.05%) in the area of Green Belt between 31 March 2016 and 31 March 2017. In 2016/17, eight local planning authorities adopted new plans which resulted in a decrease in the overall area of Green Belt compared to 31 March 2016.

Ah, so we can do this for the next century then and we’ll not even have eaten 5% of that Green Belt. And who really did have a feel for these numbers, this idea that an entire 13% of the country should be walled off, no one allowed to do anything with it, to prevent that sprawl so hated by those who would tell us how and where to live? Note that 13% is more than the entire built environment, some 3 to 4 times the amount used for housing.

Sounds to us like there’s plenty of that which can be used. There is also this:

The decision by councils to remove protections on large swathes of land has been blamed on a “perfect storm” of hard-to-hit housing targets and developers failing to build the homes they have permission for as they instead eye development on lucrative “shovel ready” Green Belt.

If a particular, or type of, development is more lucrative then that’s the same statement as developing it adds more value. More value added is, by definition, us all getting richer. Developing the Green Belt is more lucrative, adds more value, let’s do more of it, all get richer.

After all, building houses people would like to live in, where they’d like to live, sounds like a useful description of a reasonable housing policy, doesn’t it?