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Housing developer attacks Council Green Belt policy

May 18, 2008 9:15 AM

Tree in Green BeltFairview New Homes Ltd has submitted a planning application for 299 flats and houses in the Green Belt in Stanwell. This is effectively a direct challenge to the Council's long standing policy on no development in the Green Belt and in particular to the new Local Development Framework (LDF).

The development is on the land to the west of Long Lane and south of Blackburn Trading Estate in Stanwell. The planning application is for outline permission and details can be found on the Council website at the address shown below. The actual mix of houses and flats is not defined at this stage.

The developer is well aware that this land is Green Belt and appears to have submitted the application to force the issue. Several large developers have made submissions on the LDF claiming that Spelthorne has not made adequate provision to meet central government imposed housing targets. These developers have interests in various sites throughout the Borough and are desperate to get the Green Belt rules overturned.

It is almost certain that the application will be refused by Spelthorne's Planning Committee, but the developer will then appeal the decision. Even if the Inspector refuses the application, the developer will use the case to strengthen their argument during the examination of the LDF later this year. The developer is able to regard this as a long term issue and will expect to grind down objections by persistence.

Local Liberal Democrats have made submissions on the inadequacy of the LDF and will be arguing for many changes to it during the examination process. The Council has refused to consider the possibility of including the over 600 units built in excess of targets in the last 5 years - this would have reduced the future targets and significantly weakened the developer's case.

Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader, Colin Strong said "Everyone knows that that there is significant overdevelopment throughout the Borough. This attack on Green Belt was to be expected. Developers like this have no concern for the quality of life of local residents and they see the Green Belt in terms of profit not of public amenity. This type of development must be strongly resisted."