Planning laws in England are expected to undergo a shake up later this month which could lead to an increase of development on greenbelt land.
According to the Telegraph newspaper, protecting the greenbelt will cease to be a key consideration of planners across the country.
Greenbelt land has hitherto lain beyond the grasp of developers and house builders. It is thought this move will help the Government reach its target of building 3 million new homes by 2020.
Farmers and other landowners will even be given incentives to sell land to developers and councils will be told to earmark new sites in every village and community where locals are struggling to afford homes.
But countryside protection groups have warned any significant relaxation of planning curbs is unlikely to lead to sensitive development.