New London Architecture

Tighten or loosen? The future of the Green Belt


Thursday 12 January 2023
18:30 - 20:30

This event is an NLA Debate on the topic of London’s Green Belt. We will hear key responses for and against the crucial question, “Does the Green Belt need a re-think?” 
The Green Belt was first introduced in 1938 to curb the growing and unruly growth of London. 84 years on and the Green Belt is still a major governing factor in planning permission across London today. An area that offers the largest urban green space for the city and spans a collective green mass of more than one million acres (405,700 hectares) it is hard to dispute that many would like to protect this space.
However, with urbanisation growing since the Green Belt was first proposed, there is a need to offer the necessary provisions for a growing city from housing to hospitals to retail and hospitality amenities. London is set to only grow further and with cities being destination priorities over rural areas, green belts often are seen as an outdated constraint that doesn’t meet the cities' needs today. Yet how do we move forward? With NetZero and Wellbeing being high on all agendas, is the Green Belt a vital resource of nature that our city should be protecting?
One of the most contested topics in London’s development strategy and with changes in decisions affecting all of London, it is apparent why the Green Belt needs further scrutiny and review. Do we need to reassess the building on the Green Belt to meet the needs of growing Londoners? How can we protect best practice developments when land value is high, and the rewards of Green Belt builds would be high? How can we prioritise different sector needs to divide the Green Belt equitably? Finally, what are the environmental implications of building on the Green Belt? Do we want to lose one of the largest green spaces London has to offer?

About NLA Debates
NLA Debates use a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: aye or nay? 
We pose a motion to a set of speakers with contradicting views on a burning issue. Speakers then present a case for either, with the audience ultimately voting to reject or approve the motion.


18:30    Arrivals and refreshments

19:00    Welcome from Chair
            David Scane, Director, SEC Newgate

19:05    Slido: question for the audience
19:07    For Green Belt Development
            Fiona Sibley, Director of Town Planning, BDP
19:12    Against Green Belt Development
            Rachel Owens, Head of sustainability, Buckley Gray Yeoman
19:17    For Green Belt Development
            Ben Derbyshire, Chair, HTA Design
19:22    Against Green Belt Development
            Alice Roberts, Head of Campaigns, CPRE London

19:27    Slido: question for the audience

19:30    Audience comments and Q&A
20:00    Networking 
20:30    End 

Speaker biographies

Ben Derbyshire

Chair, HTA Design LLP

David Scane

Director, SEC Newgate UK

Fiona Sibley

Director, Town Planning, BDP

Alice Roberts

Head of Green Space Campaigns, CPRE London

Rachel Owens

Head of Sustainability, Buckley Gray Yeoman

Conservation & Heritage



SEC Newgate
Greville Street

CPD Accreditation

CPD Accreditation Logo


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