Fringe Box



Letter: We Need More Than Vague Statements to Protect the Green Belt

Published on: 22 Dec, 2017
Updated on: 22 Dec, 2017

From Paul Kennedy

former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mole Valley and Mole Valley District Councillor

In response to: Opinion: What Will Our Descendents Make of Our Local Plan Decisions?

Great article by Colin Cross.

For the sake of future generations, we can surely do better than either:

(a) Tory-run Guildford Borough Council’s submitted Local Plan proposing 57% of new homes in the green belt, or,

(b) the proposed alternative of more high-rise, high-density Wandsworth-style tower blocks in our towns and villages.

We need more than vague ministerial (or prime ministerial) statements about protecting the green belt. We have had them many times before and Guildford’s  Local Plan is the result.

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Responses to Letter: We Need More Than Vague Statements to Protect the Green Belt

  1. Stuart Thompson Reply

    December 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    The Lib Dem manifesto for the recent election included commitments “to increase the rate of house-building to 300,000 a year – almost double the current rate” and to “require local plans to take into account at least 15 years of future housing need”.

    Please could Mr. Kennedy set out, in reasonable detail, policies which are better then (a) or (b in his letter and which, if implemented nationally, would meet these pledges which he, as a parliamentary candidate, must have endorsed.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    December 23, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Cllrs Cross and Kennedy are right about the Local Plan. So it’s a pity that Liberal Democrat councillors representing urban wards, notably their leader Caroline Reeves, continue to collude with the Tory council leadership to promote the plan and destroy our countryside. The Lib Dem group is completely divided on this, with no borough-wide policy.

    Please will Lib Dems such as Mr Kennedy and Ms Franklin also stop repeating the claim that anyone is proposing “high-density Wandsworth-style tower blocks” in the borough? This merely foments animosity between town and country residents and deepens their own party divisions.

    In reality, there is no either/or situation. Everyone can agree there should be development in the green belt in genuine “exceptional circumstances”. There should also be taller, higher-density development (definitively not skyscrapers) in the towns, as Sir Paul Beresford recommends. The two are complementary: protecting the green belt forces developers to regenerate urban centres, while the opposite leaves them to decay.

    My advice (offered for free) is that any political party should be able to unite around this principle and stop encouraging local division and confrontation. The only question is whether, apart from GGG, they want to.

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