“Crisis for affordable housing, crisis for the Green Belt”

More than 100 local residents packed Redhill Football club yesterday evening (1 February 2018) to hear about plans which might bring thousands of homes to green spaces in the area. They were particularly concerned about the scale of development planned for Redhill aerodrome, where some 8,000 houses could be built.

Reigate and Banstead Green Councillor Jonathan Essex said: “The planning system in the UK is starting to break down. There aren’t enough affordable homes, there isn’t control of the proportion of affordable houses in developments, and there are no density targets. Once we’ve started building on the Green Belt where will it end?”

People at the meeting were unanimous in voting for protection of the Green Belt, affordable homes to be provided as needed, and a rebalancing of the economy with jobs and homes being created outside the South East.

“If it’s London houses we need, then they should be built in London. No stone should be left unturned in the quest for sites in urban areas. We want to protect what’s precious and not have urban sprawl,” said Cllr Essex.

Green Party campaigner Hal Brown, who chaired the meeting, said, “The threat of urban sprawl is very real and without concerted effort to push back, our local countryside will simply disappear by stealth.”

Cllr Essex encouraged residents to respond to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s consultation on its Development Management Plan and to lobby local MP, Crispin Blunt, who is co-chairing a new Parliamentary Group to Protect the Green Belt. Cllr Essex said, “We must press Crispin Blunt to stand up against what the Conservative Government is doing, and highlight the holes in the National Planning Policy Framework”. 

Residents have until February 23rd to comment on Reigate and Banstead’s Development Management Plan 2018-2027 www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/dmp

Read more: redhillgreens.org.uk/2018/01/last-chance-to-save-green-belt

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