The government has denied claims in a national newspaper that it is planning to relax planning controls and allow more development on green belt land.
Responding to a report in the Daily Mail, communities minister Andrew Stunell said the green belt is a vital "green lung" and a barrier against unwanted "urban sprawl".
He added: "The Coalition Agreement commits the government to safeguarding green belt and other environmental designations, which they have been in the new National Planning Policy Framework."
Those who like to go walking
in such areas on the edge of major conurbations might have been concerned after the Mail claimed a Whitehall insider told them chancellor George Osborne is keen for planning rules to be axed to encourage new developments.
It is not the first time of late a national newspaper has claimed the coalition is looking to axe rules protecting the green belt.
The Daily Telegraph ran a 'Hands off our Land' campaign ahead of the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework earlier this year.