A designation for land around certain cities and large built-up areas, which aims to keep this land permanently open or largely undeveloped. The purposes of the green belt is to:
- check the unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas
prevent neighbouring towns from merging
safeguard the countryside from encroachment
preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
- assist urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land
Green Belts are defined in a local planning authority's development plan.