In controversial comments, Nick Boles said people must be "realistic" about the need for more housing, which will mean building on "environmentally uninteresting" green spaces. He made the remarks in a letter to Anna Soubry, a Conservative health minister, who wrote to his department to warn that housing is being built on the Green Belt despite David Cameron's "repeated assurances" it will be protected.
Mr Boles underlined protections for the Green Belt but was unable to guarantee it will be safe in and around Mrs Soubry's constituency, while arguing it is necessary to build on some fields. "Given a two million increase in our population over the last ten years and historic under-provision of housing we have to be realistic that not all the housing that we as a country need can be on brownfield land," he said. "In some places, this may mean buliding on low quality, environmentally uninteresting fields. In exceptional circumstances, it may involve a Green Belt review."
Shaun Spiers, chief executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, criticised the planning minister's comments and accused the Government of being "in denial" about the scale of building on the countryside. "What he classes as uninteresting fields might be essential for growing food or somewhere that people absolutely love walking their dog on or just looking at," he said. Mr Spiers also called on the Prime Minister to "intervene" to stop the "huge amount of development going up on the Green Belt". Daily Telegraph
Mr Boles, how about tackling the elephant in the living room rather than telling us to be 'realistic' about the need for more housing. Why not embark on a mission to evict the millions of illegal immigrants who currently reside in Britain and then there would be no need to steal and destroy our greenbelt for housing? Tameside Citizen
Ps, and no more Hebrew lessons at tax payers expense so you can whisper sweet nothings into your Israeli boyfriends ear.