Fringe Box



Letter: What Do the Election Candidates Think About Guildford’s Green Belt?

Published on: 6 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 6 Jun, 2017

From Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

Why have all the parties fought shy of the green belt issue?

It is a major issue which affects all our lives whether we live in town or country.

I would like to hear what the candidates’ views are.

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Responses to Letter: What Do the Election Candidates Think About Guildford’s Green Belt?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Given their coyness on the subject, we can only judge them on their records.

    Tories: Promised to protect the green belt, at both local and national level. The NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework] is a developer’s charter, GBC has reneged on its firm pledge with its Local Plan and was dishonest over the so-called consultation. They have also hidden behind a veil of “confidentiality” to keep secret the formulae used to calculate housing need.

    Lib Dems: Vince Cable confirmed it is Lib Dem policy to use the green belt to solve the mythical “housing crisis”.

    Labour: Prescott dumped the unnecessary M25 petrol station in Cobham, as his leaving shot, just because he hates the South and everyone in it. Corbyn is most unlikely to have any sympathy for the countryside and would despoil it for massive home developments.

    None of them has any policies to stop the overcrowding in the South-East or to invest in job creation elsewhere in the country.

    I say: a curse on all their houses!

  2. Susan Parker Reply

    June 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I too would like to hear what the candidates have to say. I also agree that track records should be taken into account.

    Will they tell us?

    Susan Parker is the leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    June 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I think I can simplify it even further:

    Conservatives see it as their financial resource;

    Labour see it as a rich man’s playground.

    Liberal Democrats don’t understand the clean air they demand comes from it.

    In reality, it is everyone’s duty to protect it for the next generation.

  4. Tony Edwards Reply

    June 7, 2017 at 11:02 am

    John Prescott summed it up for all of them when he was “Deputy Prime Minster” under Blair. He declared grandly: “Our pledge is to protect the green belt and we intend to build on it.”

    It was, of course, one of the legendary Prescottisms but it was pretty close to the truth for all colours in the political spectrum – not least Tory Blue.

    They all seem to think green belt is merely a supplementary land bank from which you can withdraw large swathes in the name of progress and expansion and to meet a so-called “housing need”.

  5. Mary Bedforth Reply

    July 3, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Readers might be interested in a report in today’s Times, for which I have the heading and the first paragraphs.

    Anger as councils approve plans for thousands of homes in green belt
    Ben Webster, Environment Editor
    July 3 2017

    Green belt boundaries will be reviewed and possibly changed every five years in the future under a proposal in the government’s recent housing white paper

    The green belt in England is being sacrificed to build new housing at the fastest rate for two decades, according to environmental campaigners.

    The number of homes planned for the rings of protected land around towns and cities has risen by 150,000 in a little over a year. Almost 425,000 are now due to be built in the green belt, up by 54% since March last year, according to analysis of local authority plans by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

    That includes 98,000 homes in the North-West, 73,000 in the West Midlands and 71,000 in London and the South-East. Only about a quarter of the homes will be set aside for people whose incomes are too low to afford housing at market prices.

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