Woking’s Greenbelt – should we save it or shave it? 

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Controversial proposals to build on Woking’s Greenbelt are coming to a head as a public consultation launches this week

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As part of the Love Tour, those for and against are setting out their stall.

The council is proposing to build on three per cent of the land which is currently protected from development.

Chief Exec Ray Morgan says it is to meet demand for housing: “Where are our children and grandchildren going to live if we don’t build homes and don’t build places to work?

“What is going to happen to that generation?

“Hopefully people will just take a deep breath and think OK that is in the interests of the future.

“Over 60 per cent of the borough would still be Greenbelt and I would just like it if people were less selfish.

“I’d like to see people thinking less about how they want to keep it as it is for them, and more thinking about future generations.”

But not everyone agrees that building on the Greenbelt is the answer.

Few have argued that we do not need more housing, but some think the planners should be looking further afield.

Martin Doyle, Chair of the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The Greenbelt is irreplaceable.

“If you encroach into any part of it and build on it, that has become developed land and it’ll never go back to being green.

“It’s a one-way street and that is a worry.

“Why aren’t we actually thinking of more new towns?

“Not the whole of green England is Greenbelt, it is just those designated areas where there should be a limit to urban sprawl.

“We should look at building new towns beyond the Greenbelt.”

There is clearly some opposition to the plans but nothing like what has been seen in Guildford.

When the borough council looked at removing land from the Greenbelt a political party was formed, taking seats at the last local election.

It is yet to be seen if the same level of opposition will rise in Woking.

In the meantime, a consultation starts on Thursday 18th June.

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