CPRE Surrey has given a “cautious welcome” to comments by the Planning Minister on the role and importance of the Green Belt. In a letter to Sir Michael Pitt, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate, the Minister for Planning, Nick Boles, emphasises that under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Green Belt boundaries may only be altered “in exceptional circumstances” and reminds the Inspectorate that reviews of Green Belt boundaries should only be undertaken where a local council “has chosen that path” and should not be imposed on a district by Inspectors. The letter expresses concern at the wording of the recent Inspector’s report on the Reigate and Banstead Local Plan which, the Minister says, “invited misinterpretation of government policy and misunderstanding about the local authority’s role”.
Mole Valley District Council needs to make more long-term provision for brownfield sites and for ‘windfall’ development opportunities than it has allowed for in its draft Housing and Traveller Sites Plan. That is the view of the Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. CPRE Surrey has been studying the sites plan issued by MVDC and has concluded that many of the sites put forward as options for housing development are “inappropriate” and should be removed entirely from the Plan. It adds that it believes the Council has been “misleading” and “unbalanced” in its interpretation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) especially with regard to allowing for windfall sites in its housing supply figures. Whilst accepting that MVDC is required by Government to conduct a Green Belt review as part of the formulation of its Housing Sites Plan, CPRE argues that the Council – together with other local authorities throughout Surrey – should be more robust in opposing “excessively high, unrealistic and unsustainable housing figures”. CPRE believes that “Surrey is full” and that district councils such as Mole Valley should be concentrating on meeting “genuine local housing need” and not seeking to accommodate thousands of incomers from outside Surrey. There should be no question of “sacrificing Green Belt to meet market demand”, says CPRE.
Get the latest news on threats to the Green Belt across Surrey – and find out how you can help CPRE fight to safeguard our precious countryside and green spaces. Support our campaign to SAVE SURREY’S COUNTRYSIDE! The February 2014 issue of CPRE’s newsletter SURREY VOICE is available now from the branch office at The Institute, 67 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8AH; email email@example.com or telephone 01372 362720 to request your free copy. It is also available to download as a low-res PDF from the Publications section of this website.
It was standing-room only at a public meeting in Dorking on Friday evening (25 Oct) organised by the local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). The title for the meeting was “The Green Belt: Negotiable or not?” and the answer to that question from the overwhelming majority of those taking part in the debate was a resounding “No”! In his keynote speech, CPRE chief executive Shaun Spiers said that development pressures in Surrey are now so big that what Surrey needs is “sheer bloody-minded defence” of the Green Belt. “Once it is gone, it is gone forever.”
CPRE Chief Executive Shaun Spiers visited the Leatherhead Downs to meet local countryside campaigners and to see for himself the damage that has been done by developers to the beautiful wildflower meadows of the Cherkley estate. CPRE is fighting to save Surrey’s countryside from inappropriate development such as this, which will suburbanise an unspoilt rural area. Cherkley is in the Green Belt and is an Area of Great Landscape Value. Part of the estate is in the Surrey Hills AONB. It deserves to be preserved from the ravages of development!
Read all the latest news on the Cherkley Court judicial review, the Leith Hill legal challenge, the activities of our local action groups around Surrey, and other aspects of CPRE’s campaign to save our countryside!
The October issue of CPRE’s newsletter SURREY VOICE is available now from the branch office at The Institute, 67 High Street, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8AH; email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01372 362720 to request your free copy. It is also available to download from the Publications section of this website.
Also go to Publications for a downloadable version of the High Court judgment on Cherkley.
Surrey countryside campaigners have won their legal action against Mole Valley District Council over the decision to permit the development of a luxury golf and leisure complex at historic Cherkley Court near Leatherhead. In the High Court today (August 22) Mr Justice Haddon-Cave quashed Mole Valley’s decision to grant permission for the development at Leatherhead Downs. The case was brought by the Cherkley Campaign, a local action group, supported by the Surrey Branch of CPRE.