Since our founding, in 1928, we have sought to protect the green landscape around Cambridge. Our view is that the countryside setting of the city, which flows right into the centre, is an important feature of Cambridge's historic environment and should be protected. It also provides opportunities for nature and well-being and contributes enormously to the quality of life.

During the inter-war years we began lobbying for this protection, and after many decades of campaigning we were eventually successful in helping to establish the Cambridge Green Belt in 1992 – a ring of land that surrounds the city and is designed to prevent urban sprawl and encourage redevelopment of 'brownfield' sites in the city.

In theory, the Green Belt is protected by national planning policy, however this has been weakened so that development can be permitted by local Council's in "exceptional circumstances". In recent years there has been a 'release' of land from the Cambridge Green Belt to allow the developments in Eddington/West Cambridge and in Trumpington/Biomedical Campus, as well as some other small scale releases. The latest Local Plan has proposed a further release of Green Belt land for development. The Cambridge Green Belt is under threat and is being diminished piecemeal.

The protection of the Green Belt remains one of our main objectives and areas of work. Through our planning watchdog role we find out about development plans in the Green Belt and where we feel it is necessary we object and campaign against these. We also campaign for the Green Belt to be protected through the Local Plan process.

Click here to read our responses to planning applications and Local Plans.