Why is Green Belt being 'Sacrificed' for housing?

The green belt is being "sacrificed" to make way for new homes as councils face pressure to help the Government hit a target of 200,000 new properties a year, countryside campaigners are warning. This comes as a report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England has revealed 275,000 homes are currently planned for the green belt - up 25% on last year.

Did you know close to half of those are in the area around London, including Central Bedfordshire where residents are concerned about the rate at which protected land is being earmarked for development?

Part of the problem, according to the CPRE, is that councils are using certain clauses in the Government's National Planning Policy Framework to change green belt boundaries at the fastest rate for two decades.

But the Government says it has made it clear demand for housing alone is not enough to justify altering a green belt boundary and that the strongest of protections are in place. While the decision to build on such land is rarely popular, there are those who believe it is necessary as first time buyers struggle to find a way onto the housing ladder.