Tories sacrifice Green Belt

by MV
3 Feb 2024
Green Belt

Mole Valley’s Local Plan is now set to go ahead, with 99.3% of our Green Belt saved by the Liberal Democrats, and benefits for affordable homes and biodiversity. Your Lib Dem-led Council wanted to remove all Green Belt land from the emerging Local Plan. But the Conservative Government has let our residents down - it did not deliver on its promise (last year) to let local Councils decide what is best for their area.

After a year’s dithering and delay, the Conservatives now say that Mole Valley Council must stick with out-of-date planning rules. Unfortunately, this means some Green Belt land will be included in the Plan. A further delay will threaten more sites. “We now need to get the Plan approved as quickly as possible, to avoid a developers’ free-for-all”, said Liberal Democrat Council Leader, Stephen Cooksey.

Until Mole Valley has the protection of an approved Local Plan, all of our Green Belt is at risk. Developers can and will apply for permission to build anywhere across our District. And they may well get permission from central government Inspectors, even if our local Council denies planning consent.

Cllr. Cooksey continued, “The sites required to secure Government final approval of our draft Plan are less than 1% of our Green Belt, but I understand that this will be unwelcome news for many people living near affected sites.”

“We listened to residents and their priority is for affordable, high quality, energy efficient homes. It’s clear that the Conservative Government has ignored local views on the Green Belt.”

Lib Dem campaigner Chris Coghlan concluded, “The Conservatives are deaf to local communities and their housing needs. It’s time for them to go.”


Chris Stephen
Council Leader Stephen Cooksey with Parliamentary Candidate Chris Coghlan

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