The principles of the Greenbelt won this month. Government minister Lee Rowley has upheld the rejection of plans to build England’s largest data centre in Iver, Buckinghamshire, between the M25 and an industrial estate, citing the need to protect the green belt.
Another article on the topic notes:
The availability of alternative, non Green Belt, sites was therefore a critical issue. The SoS unsurprisingly agreed that development would harm the Green Belt purposes of checking unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas and safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
(…) the Inspector and the SoS accepted the Council’s line that while there is locational demand, the ‘need’ (i.e. at a London and UK level) could be met on sites in Availability Zones with land outside the Green Belt. The developer had not carried out such a wide-ranging assessment of alternative sites.
Now that sounds familiar. Definitely a strong warning to Dido Property Limited for their film studio application. This ruling should give Buckinghamshire Council’s Strategic Sites Committee confidence that if they refuse the Marlow Film Studio application, that there is a good chance that the Secretary of State will uphold their decision.