A GROUP of MPs including York’s Julian Sturdy have published a report calling on the Government to hand control of the green belt from councils to local communities.

Mr Sturdy is a vice chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the greenbelt, which has published the report “Greenbelts: A Local Way Forward for the Twenty First Century”.

The document asks the Government to enhance the protection of greenbelt land and give power and decision making on development in protected areas to community groups and parish councils.

Mr Sturdy said that although Green Belt protection, he believes more needs to be done to safeguard it from unsustainable and inappropriate development.

He added: “Community-led planning is already on the rise, with over 1,000 Neighbourhood Plans currently being drawn up in the UK, including in villages like Copmanthorpe and the Poppletons.

"However, I want a more robust and meaningful system of Neighbourhood Planning, where the hard work put in by the community pays off with real power to decide where, when and how much development should take place in their area.

"I really hope our report puts pressure on the Government to strengthen and extend localism in the planning system and provides a basis for discussion about potential further planning reforms as all parties continue to work on their manifestos.

“I must kindly thank all those constituents and York residents who submitted their views to our call for evidence. We found them all incredibly helpful in drafting the report.”