Published on 94.6 Eagle Radio
29th November 2013
(Updated 5:41pm 29th November 2013)
“Fighting for Guildford’s greenbelt, hundreds of people from Ockham, Albury, Horsley, the Hogs Back area and other villages have marched through Guildford.
They are concerned thousands of houses could be built on greenbelt land around the borough.
It is in response to the draft Local Plan – which has an option to look at removing the greenbelt status in some areas.
Susan Parker is from Shere: “Absolutely beautiful, idyllic, typical chocolate box villages, are due to have suburbia built all-round the edge.
“It’s not about being ‘NIMBY’S’, my back yard is not the issue here.
“It’s about the fact that I don’t want the greenbelt to turn into Croydon.”
Susan tells Eagle the campaigners feel betrayed by the council:
“Most of the people here are conservative voters, who have voted for this council, and this government.
“They’re angry, they feel betrayed.
“This countryside which we care enormously about, which for us represents England, and everything we care about, is just being attacked.”
Tony Edwards lives in Ockham: “Once it’s gone, it is gone. It is not going to be coming back at some later date.
“Once you have built all over it, once you have laid the concrete, that is it, it is gone.
“And furthermore, it is not ours to give away, we have it on loan from our Grandchildren.
“We are all worried about the wholesale removal of greenbelt status from so many Guildford villages, if you look at the document there is a massive removal of greenbelt status.
“If we let this sort of proposal a reality, Guildford will no longer be a nice place to live, it will be a nice place to leave.”
But Guildford Borough Council says the campaigners are misinformed and it reiterates no decisions have been made.
A spokesperson for the council said: “Local people who are suggesting that the Council are proposing to ‘concrete over the green belt’ are misinformed. We are consulting on the issues and options facing the borough until 2031.
“No decisions have been taken about the level of development, or where it will go.
“The Government requires us to consider sites across the borough for potential future development, but our priority will be to look at brownfield sites first.”
About 250 people met at the train station, marched to the council offices at Millmead, and handed in a petition to the council.
They were chanting, holding placards and singing ‘Jerusalem.'”