Will Forster

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate in Woking, Deputy Mayor of Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Council Announces Green Belt Review

by willforster on 7 July, 2014

Green Belt

Woking Borough Council finally announced the results of its Green Belt Boundary Review today – and appallingly, the review recommends building on much of the Borough’s Green Belt including in south Woking.

The Council’s Core Strategy states that around 500 homes will be built in the Borough’s Green Belt between 2022 and 2027, so the Council set up a review into what land could potentially be built on.

The review identifies that the land off Egley Road and Saunders Lane in Mayford, as well as Green Belt land around Byfleet and West Byfleet – and small sections of land in Brookwood and Pyrford are suitable for development.

Specifically, the Green Belt Review recommends several development sites around the Borough, namely from west to east:

  • A parcel of land south east of the Brookwood Crossroads
  • Land north of Saunders Lane (around the one house on the north side of Saunders Lane)
  • Land in between Hook Hill Lane, Mayford Village Hall and Saunders Lane
  • Land in between Hook Heath and the Guildford to Woking railway line railway line in Hook Heath
  • Land the other side of the railway, off Egley Road (including the garden centre)
  • A parcel of land by Coldharbour Road and Pyrford Common Road in Pyrford
  • Land to the south of the A245 in West Byfleet, land south of Murray’s Lane in Byfleet
  • Land south of High Road in Byfleet
  • And finally, land east of Byfleet off Mill Lane

Strangely, the review also states that much of the Borough’s open and recreation spaces should lose their Green Belt protection.  The report states this is not to allow for development – as the land in question is subject to other planning protections – but to tidy up the Green Belt boundary.

However, needless to say removing Green Belt protection would make development easier in the areas of land identified – which include some of Horsell Common, Goldsworth Park Rec, St John’s Lye and the large section of land north of Old Woking (the Coniston Road allotments, Hoebridge School, St John the Baptist School and Woking College).

The Conservative Executive does not plan to hold any public consultation on this review, as it is classing it as a technical consultants report.  However, this review will be used to draft the Council’s Delivery Development Plan Document (a supplementary document to the Core Strategy) that will be debated by Councillors and then subject to a public consultation between now and the end of 2014.  The Delivery Development Plan Development will then be subject to an examination by a Planning Inspector from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The report has deliberately identified ‘too many’ sites to meet the Council’s 2027 housing target – therefore the Council does not need to allow development on all of them to meet its target.  The report recommends that some of those Green Belt sites above are built on before 2027, with the rest being earmarked for development but after 2027.

Clearly our precious Green Belt is under threat, but the battle is far from lost – the next 6 months will be fundamental in deciding the future of our Borough.

Of course Woking needs more homes, but any plans must be sustainable and accompanied by the right infrastructure – and the Conservative Council’s plans seem intent on sacrificing our Green Belt.  I am hoping that when they actual allow a consultation, the ruling Conservatives listen to local residents and drop these plans.


4 Responses

  1. John Doran says:

    When I was a councillor, Ray Morgan said it was his ambition to join Woking and Guildford by building out to Worplesdon. Unsaid agenda was a much bigger unitary authority that might need a clever Chief Exec.

  2. Tony Wyatt says:

    Why is Woking B C so intent on taking green belt and why are they so secretive
    more development means more pollution especially from more traffic, and to propose a new school should be built next to a major road A320 for children to breath in all those car fumes etc.
    perhaps we should all vote UKIP, the rest of them don’t seem to care

    • willforster says:

      Thank you for your comment Tony, as you can imagine I certainty do not recommend that you vote UKIP as a result of the Conservative Council’s Green Belt plans. A divided opposition will only mean the Tories do indeed build on our Green Belt, everyone that wants to protect our precious Green Belt should be voting for the Lib Dems – we are the only opposition group on Woking Borough Council after all. Across Surrey, it is us Lib Dems that are fighting against plans to build on the Green Belt.

  3. Elaine Evans says:

    Who will the houses built in Mayford be for, there is no infrastructure, no shops, no schools, no doctors, dentists and a poor bus service? Therefore no use for either elderly or young families! There is a lack of property for older people who might like to downsize and free up their homes for families but building them in Mayford is not the answer, they would just be prisoners in their own home. Young families would like reasonable size family homes with access to shops, schools, doctors and dentists etc, no point in building for them in Mayford.

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