The National Trust has spent £1m to buy of 470 acres of Green Belt land under threat of development. Daily Telegraph

It has bought the land on Divis and Black Mountain, the upland backdrop to Belfast, using money from the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment and Ulster Garden Villages.

The move comes after Sir William Proby, the trust’s chairman, vowed last week that the body would consider buying Green Belt, rural and open space land to prevent it being used for housing.

But the Charity Commission is investigating claims that the trust is abusing its charitable position by entering the Green Belt debate.