Fringe Box



Letter: Tories Fighting for the Green Belt? Show us the Proof

Published on: 24 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 24 Mar, 2021

From: Adam Aaronson

We are hearing a lot from Julie Iles and Sir Paul Beresford and other Tories about how much they opposed the Guildford Local Plan. Yet when Paul Spooner addressed West Horsley Parish Council after the Plan was voted through, he claimed it wasn’t his fault.

He said the reason so much land needed to be removed from the green belt, including The Horsleys, was because the government forced him to do it. Easy to blame someone else, but maybe there is some substance to his argument. Funny that he mentioned it only after the event.

As a result, we are now seeing planning applications in West Horsley for huge housing estates from developers who just happen to be contributors of substantial funds to the Conservative Party.

So it does seem as if the process works like this: donate to the Tories, influence planning policy, and get your planning permission through.

I assume Julie Iles and Sir Paul are aware this is how the system works and I’m sure they find it unacceptable and have been fighting to change it because, apart from anything else, it does cast their party in a poor light.

If that is the case, perhaps they could make public their letters and representations to the Tory leadership and to the government in which they demanded that the government change the National Planning Policy Framework and withdraw the government pressure on Mr Spooner and his colleagues to take so much land in Guildford out of the green belt.

They must have been working really hard on this at the time and it seems reasonable to assume they were meeting regularly with the government to protect the green belt. So maybe now is the time to let the voters see the proof.

Indeed, from their recent remarks outlining how passionate they felt about the Local Plan and the green belt, I imagine they must have told their party chairman that if nothing was done, they would resign from the party.

Or didn’t they think the Local Plan they claim they knew would be a disaster, was important enough to resign over?

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Responses to Letter: Tories Fighting for the Green Belt? Show us the Proof

  1. John Perkins Reply

    March 24, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Sir Paul appears to be saying he was only obeying orders.

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