COUNCIL bosses have this week outlined to the government how they intend to hit housing targets over the next two decades - with a review of green belt land set to take place to help them meet them.

Parts of the green belt could be used for redevelopment to ensure Chiltern District Council can meet targets for the number of houses that need to be built by 2036.

Councillors have said previously the proposals, which form part of the authority's Delivery Development Plan Document, are only being put forward reluctantly.

But members unanimously agreed on Tuesday to submit the proposals to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in Public, which will establish if they are legally sound.

Large parts of the Chiltern district is green belt land and the authority is looking to develop sites which may no longer fit the special criteria.

No sites that could potentially be taken out of the green belt have so far been formally identified by councillors however, with a public consultation on the proposals planned.

Council Leader Isobel Darby said failing to get approval for the housing plans would put the authority "in an extremely vulnerable position, with our ability to control development in the district severely weakened".

She said: "We know there is a shortage of suitable land for housing nationally and we are required, along with other local authorities, to prepare a new plan to cover our housing requirement up to 2036. As part of this plan we are required to consider whether parts of the green belt should be released for future development plans.

"We need to protect our district from developers being able to build anywhere they like - a careful and sensible review of the green belt now, which involves our residents, will enable us to do this.

"Whilst protection of the green belt remains a priority for this council, we accept the need for a review which we believe must be undertaken on our terms. If we do not undertake this review now we run the risk of unwelcome changes being enforced upon us."