Opposition to green-belt development continues to grow.

Conservative MP Cheryl Gillian has slammed proposals by the deputy prime minister John Prescott to strengthen the powers of the South East England Regional Assembly, fearing it could force councils to release more and more land to developers, leading to a “concrete scar” across Buckinghamshire.

Gillian fears that the greenfields around her constituency, Amersham and Chesham, will fall victim to urban sprawl if approval to build on green-belt land keeps being given. Whilst agreeing that there was a need for more affordable housing, the MP argued that the environmental cost could outweigh the advantages of such developments.

“Creating housing at the expense of the environment for everyone is not the answer,” she said.