Conservative campaigner Claudia Riley-Hards is distributing a letter in Long Ditton warning residents that their green belt is under threat.
Elmbridge Council is consulting on its Local Plan which contains five options of how the borough could meet future housing need. Options 2 and 3 of the plan involve the release of three large areas of green belt – at Long Ditton, Cobham and Oxshott/Stoke D’Abernon.
Claudia says: "This would be a disaster for our local environment at a time when tackling climate change is meant to be high on the Council’s agenda."
Conservatives are urging residents to support Option 4: ‘Optimise Urban Area’. This pushes back on government housing targets while still providing for 5,300 new homes of 3-bedrooms or fewer in existing built areas including brownfield sites, and crucially has NO BUILDING ON OUR GREEN BELT.
In 2017, Elmbridge Council, being run by the Liberal Democrats and their coalition partners, consulted on building on our green belt. There were thousands of objections. Claudia ran in the May 2018 local elections on a promise to save the Long Ditton green belt and came within eight votes of unseating a longstanding Lib Dem councillor. At that time, Local Conservatives succeeded in taking control of Elmbridge Council for one year. We kept our promise. We instructed the officers to go back to the drawing board on the Local Plan and come up with Option 4.
Some cabinet members in the Liberal Democrat/Residents Association coalition, which has been running Elmbridge Council since May, are on record encouraging development on our green belt. The following quote appears in a letter to residents by the Lib Dem’s coalition partner, The Walton Society: "We suggest you describe your favoured option as "Providing 5,300 homes, with the release of 3 areas of Green Belt. The Green Belt land will provide 1,400 hundred homes and the remaining 3,900 homes can be built in the Urban Area".
In both the 2018 and 2019 elections, we warned that our green belt is not safe with the Liberal Democrats and their allies. Only the Conservatives have a consistent policy on this vital issue.
You can act by going to http://consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/consult.ti/LPOC/consultationHome to have your say by 30 September.
Would you be interested in finding out more about helping Long Ditton Conservatives protect our Green Belt by:
• Delivering a few leaflets locally now and again
• Hearing about social events and ways to be involved
• Joining the Long Ditton Conservatives as a friend or a member
• Potentially standing to be a Local Conservative Councillor
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org