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Letter: Mole Valley Tories Wish to Join Forces to Instigate a Local Plan Review

Published on: 21 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 21 Mar, 2021

From Sir Paul Beresford

Conservative MP for Mole Valley

In response to: Who Can believe This Desperate Tory Pre-Election Ploy?

Julie Iles’ letter is a welcome addition to the shots fired by Mole Valley Conservatives in their long-running campaign against, first the draft and then the actual Guildford Borough Council Local Plan.

From the early drafting of the Plan, right the way through to it being ratified in an extraordinary council meeting, days before the last local elections we resisted the loss from the green belt of sites in the Guildford wards within the Mole Valley constituency.

At the borough council elections, our Mole Valley Conservative candidates in the Guildford wards fought on a pledge to, wherever possible, reverse this damage to our villages and Wisley [the former airfield] in the Plan. Nearly all our Conservative candidates in those wards lost to GGG and R4GV, who campaigned on a similar pledge.

Very shortly after the election, I wrote to the Liberal Democrat leader of Guildford Council asking that the Local Plan be reviewed, commencing immediately. It is a legal requirement that the Local Plan has to be reviewed within five years of initiation. That review, particularly under the new Guildford Council could have commenced immediately. My request was refused.

Julie Iles is correct that a number of Conservative MPs, including several from Surrey, have put pressure upon the Secretary of State to reconsider the latest housing numbers downwards. We have been assured, as Julie Iles has already stated, that this will happen.

It is interesting that Liberal Democrat Mole Valley Council has apparently asked for help in their housing numbers. The Mole Valley Local Plan includes invasion of the green belt and insufficient use of brownfield sites, similar to Guildford. It has been roundly rejected in Mole Valley.

In the meantime, the parish councils and residents in the Guildford wards within the Mole Valley constituency are, along with Julie Iles and me, watching the character of the area being destroyed by building on areas, as permitted by the awful Guildford Local Plan. Action is needed in the form of an urgent and positive review.

Rather than picking a fight with R4GV’s chair Fiona Davidson, or GGG, what Julie and I wish, is that GGG and R4GV join with us to persuade Guildford Borough Council to commence that review now, in line with their pledge.

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Responses to Letter: Mole Valley Tories Wish to Join Forces to Instigate a Local Plan Review

  1. Linda Parker Picken Reply

    March 21, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Does Sir Paul Beresford realise how few remaining Conservative members of GBC there are?

    At the election, following the disgraceful rush to push through the Local Plan, voters chose to topple many Tories in disgust at their trampling of the local green belt.

    As a result, R4GV and the GGG far outnumber the Conservatives. So if there’s any “joining” to be done, it’s Sir Paul’s move.

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