Last month Susan Parker wrote about “Green Belt Campaigners Care About Our Children Too”

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Click here to read full article in the Guildford Dragon 

Below are the recent responses to that letter

Photo by CJD

Chris Hartley Reply

  1. October 1, 2014 at 9:53 pmPhoto by CJD

    If there is one thing the GGG [Guildford Greenbelt Group] are good at it is scaremongering.

    Jules Cranwell is worried about no green belt being left for his children. Let’s have a reality check. Guildford Borough Council are proposing to release new sites totalling 1.5% of the 89% greenbelt and they are stating they won’t need to look at releasing any more far beyond 2031.

    Every city was once a green field, things change with time. We all need to move with it.

    Maybe Mr Cranwell should look at Australia; beautiful country, lots of space.

  2. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    October 2, 2014 at 7:08 am

    We all have to face facts. Yet the facts have not been shown let alone proven for the exceptional circumstances to move the green belt.

    Elements of the evidence base are not factual.

    I agree that the only constant in life is change. Australia is an example of a country which has real environmental issues due to economic abuse of that space and its resources. Let’s all face facts.

  3. Susan Parker Reply

    October 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

    GBC are absolutely not saying they won’t release any green belt beyond 2031 – and this isn’t scaremongering. It is a careful and precise reading of the documents.

    Look at the local plan.

    All the land that is “safeguarded” (an appallingly Orwellian term) is being reserved for the next phase of building in 16 years time. It is all being removed from the green belt, and will have a devastating impact on those communities. It will not return to green belt status even if housing needs change; and if other land is not forthcoming, it will get sucked into immediate use.

    The people of Normandy, Wyke, Fairlands and Flexford are very aware of this and that their pretty villages are being joined together in one agglomeration, losing green belt status and high quality agricultural land, just because Guildford won’t plan to build on brownfield land and says it needs to consider where the roads run before it will permit a single derelict factory site elsewhere to become housing.

    I’m sure (of course!) that this pro-development agenda could have nothing whatsoever to do with extra money for the community infrastructure levy or the New Homes Bonus, or extra council tax from large homes (much more than from smaller flats), nor the fact that the house builders who sit on our Local Enterprise Partnership are pushing for higher growth of housebuilding in the area than the government thinks we need.

    I also think that the developers have to account for their land banks of unused land, and undeveloped planning permissions; why are we even considering a single field when developers (including the University of Surrey) have not used the land that they already have?

    We need a housing policy, and a land use policy, that isn’t driven by developers, who have a vested interest.

    It isn’t “just” 1.5%” – I don’t know how Chris Hartley arrives at that statistic – it will be more, especially when you take into account the supporting roads and other infrastructure, and proposed commercial development, and it is just over the next 16 years, with more to follow. This is a deliberate assault on the green belt as a matter of policy, and it needs to be challenged.

    Susan Parker is Chair of the Guildford Greenbelt Group