Green Belt in the UK dates back to the 1930s when the Greater London Regional Planning Committee proposed the Metropolitan Green Belt around London. However, it was not until 1947 when the Town and Country Planning Act allowed local authorities to include Green Belts in their town plans, and the first Green Belts were not designated until the 1950s.
In England today, more than 1.6 million hectares are designated as Green Belt land which means that Green Belts in England cover about 13 % of the total land area. Scotland has 6 Green Belts covering about 156 hectares or 2 % of its total area, while Wales has only 1 Green Belt. Green Belt land covers 16 % of the total area in Northern Ireland.
The main purpose of the Green Belt policy is to protect the land around our towns and villages from urban sprawl, to maintain the designated area for forestry and agriculture, and to provide and protect the habitat of wildlife.
The purposes of Green Belt can be viewed here in: National Planning Policy Framework