"A 'Green Belt Commission' should be established to decide where development could be allowed on currently protected land around London, according to engineering consultancy AECOM.
"The firm made the call in a report setting out its vision for maintaining London’s global competitiveness over the next 50 years.
"Big, Bold, Global, Connected – London 2065 [loads PDF file] calls for the formal creation of a London City Region, which would include anywhere within 90km of the heart of the capital.
"The report says a Green Belt Commission should be created to carry out a major review of possible sites for housing development. It says:
"Although the green belt policy is still valid, today it is failing to meet the scale and needs of the 21st century London City Region. Much of it provides significant ecological, environmental, visual and amenity function, but there are areas that should be subject to review and may assist in achieving sustainable urban growth.It also says that certain sites should be used to develop 'Garden Villages' on the edge of the capital. It report says:
This is a true regional challenge. The Metropolitan Green Belt has to be seen in its entirety and any review lifted from local consideration – with the establishment of a commission looking at its overall value to the capital and not solely the local value."
"Green belt land without landscape, recreational or environmental protection, yet highly connected within a 15-20 minute walk of existing Tube and rail lines would be a focus.
"As new settlements or extensions to existing communities, these Garden Villages would be built with particular attention to their setting and the opportunities to open up access to the green belt for recreation."