by Roger Abbott on 15 November, 2017
I have asked Councillor Margaret Cooksey, our Mole Valley planning spokesperson, to post this entry to our website:
The somewhat flawed but very important first consultation process for the new Local Plan has now concluded and the results are being analysed. The consultation, based on the disputed requirement to build nearly 6,000 additional new houses, has, as expected, raised significant and controversial proposals and suggestions and the conclusions are awaited with great anticipation and concern.
The Mole Valley Liberal Democrat Group has deliberately not sought to lead opinion on the proposals because of the importance of ensuring that the public have the opportunity of freely expressing their views.
However, our position as a Council Group remains clear with regard to our policies of protecting our green environment from developers who would happily concrete over as large an area as possible to meet perceived housing need.
We maintain our opposition to developments in the Green Belt on land that continues to perform the function of Green Belt and which do not have the support of the local community.
We are deeply concerned about the possibility of any large scale development either in the Green Belt or beyond the Green Belt because of the potential loss of countryside and because our infrastructure of road and transport facilities is unable to cope with current demands let alone further significant development.
Our main town centres have significant protected conservation areas which would restrict or prevent major high rise development if our heritage environment is to be preserved.
We need housing development but also need a planning system that would allow the provision of affordable and small scale development where brownfield land is available for such development rather than the current restrictions which often militate against such developments.
Liberal Democrats will be looking very carefully at the outcome of the consultation and will take account of what comes forward. Given my experience of local opinion over the past 20 years I would, however, be very surprised if the outcome didn’t support the principles that underpin our policies.