Fringe Box



Letter: The Blue Wall is Beginning to Crumble

Published on: 19 Jun, 2021
Updated on: 19 Jun, 2021

Lib Dems celebrating their Chesham & Amersham by-election victory. Image BBC

From Jules Cranwell

The result in Chesham & Amersham should be sending shock waves through the ranks of Surrey’s Tories. HS2 apart, the main reason for the enormous swing away from them, was ongoing disquiet over planning, and the proposed further relaxation of planning rules.

They are very similar to parts of Surrey, particularly, in that they are being overrun with unneeded and unwanted development of huge housing estates. Right across the South East, residents are completely fed up with having to take a massively unfair share of new developments. This is completely at odds with their policy of “levelling up”.

We have already seen the large Tory losses at borough and county level over the discredited Tory local plan, and the unhealthy closeness of the former Tory leadership at GBC to developers, for example in relation to Wisley.

Unless something is done about a serious review of the Local Plan, the removal of “strategic” sites, and the scrapping of the new planning proposals, I have no doubt that our part of Surrey will follow Chesham, and hand any local Tory MPs their P45.

The blue wall is starting to crumble.

Tories at local and national level should finally start listening to residents, admit their failures over planning, and make real and binding promises to do better.

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