There's a general principle at stake here - what is the point of designating an area 'Green Belt' if as soon as a likely-looking development comes along, it gets overturned in a 'core strategy review' by the council?
How much building?
The stadium consultation document did not give an indication as to how the project was being funded. At the consultation presentations however, it was revealed that 'enabling development' was the key.
What's enabling development?
'Enabling development' means that by removing the Green Belt designation, the land can be built upon, therefore its value increases. The land can then be sold off to developers for housing, raising money to build the stadium and surrounding facilities.
If the full sports village proposal was to go ahead, virtually all the ground in either Booker Air Park or Abbey Barn would be built upon.
How much countryside would be lost?
Working on the basis that Booker Air Park is the declared 'preferred option' (the so-called 'done-deal'). At the moment the majority of the site is green grasslands, hedges and scrub. Were this stadium proposal to go ahead, around 200 acres (equivalent to 100 football pitches) of countryside would be lost under concrete.
Isn't Booker Air Park in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?
It is just outside the AONB, but only because of a historical MOD directive. According to the Chilterns Conservation Board, the site satisfies all the requirements for AONB status.