Currently Browsing: Hands off the Green Belt

Guildford Council ‘failing in its duty to defend the Green Belt’

Guildford Council ‘failing in its duty to defend the Green Belt’

CPRE Surrey Branch opposes Guildford Borough Council’s plans for large-scale housing development in the countryside around Guildford and has expressed its dismay at the council’s proposals for “inappropriate urban extensions, large housing estates and widespread ‘insetting’ in Green Belt villages”. In its response to the consultation on GBC’s revised draft Local Plan, CPRE Surrey criticizes the council for its failure to give proper consideration to “the widespread and serious constraints on development within the borough” and says that councillors should be doing more to “protect and enhance the Green Belt” rather than undermining it.

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Have your say on Mole Valley Local Plan

Have your say on Mole Valley Local Plan

Mole Valley District Council is consulting on its draft Local Plan and is holding a series of public meetings and exhibitions around the district. CPRE is urging residents to take part by completing the Future Mole Valley online survey, and hopes that public opinion will steer the Council towards options that focus on regeneration of urban and brownfield sites rather than allowing housebuilding and other development to sprawl out into the countryside, the Green Belt and AONB.

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Local campaign group welcomes Housing White Paper

Local campaign group welcomes Housing White Paper

The Surrey Branch of CPRE has welcomed the Government’s Housing White Paper, in particular its focus on addressing market failure in the housebuilding industry. Andy Smith, CPRE Surrey Branch Director, said: “The White Paper sets out policies that aim to give England the right houses in the right places, rather than just more urban sprawl into the countryside which is what the developers have been agitating for. It is a great relief that instead of giving in to the developers and opening up the Green Belt for development, which we had feared, the Government have opted to defend the planning system and push for more urban regeneration and brownfield development instead.

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High Court victory for residents in Green Belt ‘sports hub’ case

High Court victory for residents in Green Belt ‘sports hub’ case

The High Court has ruled that Elmbridge Borough Council’s scheme to develop a ‘sports hub’ at Waterside Drive, by the Thames in Walton, was unlawful. The site is a large area (14 Ha) of Green Belt land which used to consist of a small playing field for Walton Casuals FC, a large grassed area, and scrub, overlying an old landfill site. CPRE Surrey branch director Andy Smith said: said “CPRE has supported the local campaign against this development since 2015, so we are delighted with today’s judgment. It is vital that we oppose unwanted, unnecessary and inappropriate developments like this, especially when they threaten the openness of the Green Belt and destroy local tranquillity. The fact that Elmbridge Council gave itself permission for this Sports Hub development, disregarding Green Belt planning constraints, was a major concern for CPRE and we are pleased that the High Court judgment reflects this.”

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New report uncovers proposals for 123,000 new houses on London Green Belt

New report uncovers proposals for 123,000 new houses on London Green Belt

A joint report by CPRE and the London Green Belt Council entitled “Safe Under Us?: An investigation into widespread threats from housebuilding in the London Metropolitan Green Belt” highlights how Government policies and sanctions appear to be forcing councils to release Green Belt land for development. Drawing on local evidence provided by CPRE branches in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, London and Surrey, the report demonstrates that the London Green Belt is likely to be under greater threat than ever. There are now plans for 203 sites within the London Green Belt including proposals for 123,528 homes.

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