Javid made his comments in the home of Commons proper days subsequent the International Garden Cities Institute (IGCI) published a paper stating that a national review of the green belt was “drawnout overdue”.

The communities secretary was asked by Conservative MP Theresa Villiers: “Will [Javid] guarantee to the home that while his tenure as [communities secretary] there will be no dilution whatever to the vital protections of the green belt?”

Javid answered: “The green belt is absolutely sacrosanct. We possess made that clear: it was in the Conservative party manifesto and that will not vary. The green belt remains special. Unless there are very exceptional circumstances, we should not be carrying out any development on it.”

The communities secretary’s commitment to retain every existing protections appeared to contradict proposals locate forward by the government persist December. A government consultation included plans to vary the National Planning Policy Framework to reduce restrictions on the redevelopment of brownfield land in the green belt where starter homes possess been proposed and to enable neighbourhood plans to allocate small green belt sites for the development of starter homes.

A few days infrontof Javid made his comments, the IGCI released a paper (13-leaf / 4 MB PDF) considering the obstacles that possess prevented “any real garden cities” being built since the early 20th century. Among its conclusions was that “the future of the green belt … should be considered strategically at a national level”.

“Through a national review of the purpose and current extent of the green belt we could assist to create a rational basis for locational decisions about fresh development including garden cities, garden towns and garden villages,” said the paper.

The government has previously committed to promoting the development of fresh garden settlements of several thousand houses. It published a prospectus (18-leaf / 521 KB PDF) persist year inviting proposals for the delivery of fresh “garden villages” of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes or “garden towns” of more than 10,000 homes.

Northumberland County Council decided this month to submit an expression of interest in delivering a garden village infrontof the government’s 31 July deadline. The Council is seeking government support to develop a proposal for a garden village of around 1,800 homes on land to the north-west of Newcastle.

Planning expert Elizabeth Wiseman of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: “The defiant comment made by Sajid Javid that the green belt will remain protected repeats the Conservative party manifesto. However, the fact remains that our nation is currently facing critical housing provide shortages which has led numerous organisations, including the IGCI, to question exactly what the green belt encompasses and what we desire from it in the future.” “A number of reflect tanks, including the Adam Smith Institute, possess locate forward views that it would be possible to build upon some parts of the green belt without undermining its overall purpose,” said Wiseman. “Indeed the green belt is already being actively reassessed by numerous local authorities as a direct response to the desire to adopt a fresh local plan. It is inevitable that, as the pressure on cities to mature within their existing boundaries increases, the government will not be competent to maintain its stance that green belts must, at every costs, never vary.”

“The IGCI paper is clear that undertaking a rational assessment of the green belt is not the only barrier to delivery garden cities. Therefore even if a national green belt review was undertaken other issues, which relate to not proper planning but money, technology and place design, would possess to be addressed to ensure more garden cities are developed,” she said.