The long public enquiry into Spelthorne's new development plan (also known as the Local Development Framework or LDF for short) has come to its end following three weeks of hearings. Lib Dems have challenged the plan as being a developers' charter.
The Government appointed Inspector hopes to give her decision by Christmas on whether the plan is good enough to be given the go-ahead.
During the hearings, five Liberal Democrat councillors gave evidence on a wide range of issues from housing and the Green Belt to commercial planning and air pollution. Not a single Conservative gave evidence and on the few occasions they turned up to watch, none stayed for a more than a couple of hours, let alone for a complete topic session.
During the enquiry Spelthorne Lib Dems sought to:
Councillor Ian Beardsmore led the Lib Dem team at the enquiry. He said "The Tories LDF is a developers' charter. Conservatives have continually tried to block the carry-over of previous over-build which would greatly reduce the pressure on Green belt. They have constantly refused to charge a tariff on new development. They go out of their way to say we have no infrastructure problems with such things as Health Services, Road Congestion and Flash Flooding."
He went on "The Council has spend a fortune on this plan with a team of six headed by a barrister (paid for by you) working on this for months. We cannot begin to match those resources but we have done what we can to show where and how the plan must be improved".