Stop Surrey’s urbanisation – by protecting our Green Belt

Locally we are facing a potential deluge of new large-scale housing proposals over the next few years as a requirement of the Government’s drive for greater housing numbers in the South East,  inevitably in London’s Green Belt.

These could include the proposals for a Garden Village at Redhill Aerodrome or another large site currently being considered in the emerging Tandridge Local Plan.

It is important to remember that in future years, planning applications will be submitted for these developments and once the Green Belt is removed from a Local Plan then it may be virtually impossible to resist them.

We are at a crossroads. The success of the South East economically is driving this “housing crisis” – but the real problem is the national imbalance of the economy (worse over the last few decades) and the current political power of housing developers.

If we continue with the current approach, the result will be continued urbanisation of much loved countryside but no end to the housing shortage, since few of the new homes built will be affordable for young people, key workers and their families.

More roads and social infrastructure will be required so the pattern will be repeated over and over. The Redhill Aerodrome scheme alone plans to build on 2.5 square kilometres of Green Belt each decade, and the proposed M23 access road would open up the potential for much more of our countryside to be built on in future.

It is not in the national interest, economically, socially or strategically, that a quarter or even a larger proportion of the population of Great Britain should be concentrated within 20-30 minutes or so of Central London.”

So reported the Barlow Commission – in 1940! If anything the position is worse today as London’s dominance has continued.  So it is vital people respond now to the consultation on the Tandridge Local Plan, which will affect not just Tandridge but land around Redhill and Earlswood, and the integrity of Green Belt as a whole.

Find out more about the proposal and have your say

The deadline for responses is 9 October.

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