Green belt land


According to Green Belt statistics published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Lancashire 12-authority area contained around 69,670 hectares (ha) or 696.7 km2 designated as 'Green Belt' in 2022/23, or approximately 24% of the land area. A substantial proportion of the Green Belt land in the Lancashire-12 area is designated in West Lancashire (44.5%), where it covers 90% of the district, owing to the large amount of top grade farmland.

At a national level, there have been changes in ten authorities in England as a result of adoption of, or changes to, development, allocation or local plans or core strategies. The net result is an increase of 860 hectares in the total Green Belt land figure for England compared to 2021/22; in 2022/23, the Green Belt covered 1,638,420 hectares (16,384 km2) or 12.6% of England's total land area. This was the second successive annual increase. Two of the authorities increased their extent of green belt, in North Hertfordshire the increase was 3,350 hectares and elsewhere the total reduction was -2,490 hectares. The national increase was offset by revisions totalling -590 hectares, mostly due to changes in methodology.

The only authority in Lancashire to have changed its Green Belt land area was Blackpool, where just 10.3 hectares was removed from the local plan. This was one of a handful of very small changes nationally. There was an increase of 10 hectares in Ribble Valley, but no explanation was given for this. The effect of this was to reverse the reduction of -10 hectares the previous year, which was due to a digital boundary update. Most of the Lancashire authorities had minor revisions for technical reasons, resulting in a fall of -50 hectares compared to the published 2021/22 total for the Lancashire-12 area.

Further analysis

Green Belt land, 2022/23 (PDF 953 KB) 

Page updated October 2023