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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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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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Waverley Council’s draft Local Plan ‘not fit for purpose’

Waverley Council’s draft Local Plan ‘not fit for purpose’

Waverley Borough Council’s draft Local Plan is “not fit for purpose”, according to CPRE Surrey, which has submitted its reasoned objections to the Draft Local Plan. CPRE Waverley Group Chairman Anthony Isaacs MBE said: “We have examined the Draft Local Plan thoroughly and have come to the conclusion that it is not fit for purpose.” The group gives six reasons for its damning indictment of the Draft Plan. Firstly, the Plan is based on out of date information which greatly exaggerates the Objectively Assessed Need for housing (OAN). CPRE thinks it should be around 400 new dwellings a year, not 519.

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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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