Local government minister Baroness Hanham has insisted that the government is committed to protecting England's greenbelt land.
She was questioned by peers following recent comments by the Housing Minister Nick Boles that increasing the amount of developed land by a third would address the housing shortage.
During questions on 5 December 2012, shadow local government minister Lord McKenzie of Luton claimed that "land the size of Gloucester" would be removed from the greenbelt.
But Baroness Hanham insisted that "by and large" it was government policy to support the greenbelt.
Her Conservative colleague Lord Cormack said the minister should listen to Energy Minister John Hayes' remarks that England's "green and pleasant land" should be protected.
"We don't want East and West Bank settlements all over our land," he stated.