Green belt 'to get 300,000 homes'

Reports that more than '5,000 houses a month are being planned for the green belt' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

Local authorities "are proposing almost 300,000 homes on the 14 rings of land around English cities where development is meant to be strictly limited", the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that an analysis carried out for it by countryside campaign group the Campaign to Protect Rural England found that, since June, "councils have proposed an additional 22,000 homes for the green belt in their draft local plans".

Prime Minister Theresa May has been warned by her own ministers that she will be "making a huge mistake" if she backs expansion of Heathrow Airport, the Telegraph reports. The newspaper says that senior ministers warned that any attempt to allow a new runway at the west London airport will be "bogged down in legal challenges for decades".

The "swell of voices demanding an urgent decision on Heathrow’s third runway has been intensified by the Labour party, a cross-party group of politicians and Britain’s biggest trade union, as the pressure grows on Theresa May to approve the airport’s expansion", the Guardian reports. The newspaper says that "Labour sources said the party would back a third runway, despite the reluctance of Jeremy Corbyn and the opposition of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, whose constituency borders the airport."

An energy firm has unveiled plans to harness the power of the River Severn, the Times (subscription required) reports. The newspaper says that the latest plan to harness the power of the river "is a 12-mile tidal fence" that would stretch from Minehead in Somerset to Aberthaw in south Wales.

"Planning paralysis is the product of a timid state", Matt Ridley writes in the Times (subscription required). "Our cowardly Lion of a bureaucracy throws issue after issue into the long grass when confronted by the mice that roar", he says.

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