Esher and Walton is vulnerable to development. In 2020, we successfully resisted higher housing targets for our area; now, government is scrapping top-down mandatory housing targets.
Over 60% of the constituency is Green Belt land. We have consistently campaigned against any proposals that put the Green Belt at risk. In 2019, the joint Liberal Democrat and Residents’ Association administrations at Elmbridge Borough Council considered an option to release Green Belt land for development in their Local Plan. The Conservative Group and I successfully pushed back against this.
In 2019, 85% of residents agreed with the Conservatives that the Council’s Local Plan must not pave over our Green Belt to make way for more houses across the Elmbridge Borough.
As part of Our Plan, we will work with local councillors to ensure that Elmbridge Borough Council do not concede our green spaces to housing developers.
Getting a Local Plan in place
Despite running the council for six of the past seven years, the Liberal Democrat-led council have failed to get a Local Plan in place. Their draft Local Plan has been beset with delays and excuses.
Local residents are paying the price for the council’s failures. Most recently, the Planning Inspectorate agreed that the lack of a Local Plan has allowed for the development of the historic Jolly Boatman site at Hampton Court to make progress, against the wishes of the local community in Molesey, citing the absence of a Local Plan being in place.
A Local Plan is our borough’s best defence from spurious development. We will continue to hold the council to account on their failure to get an appropriate Local Plan in place and grip the issue of housing in Elmbridge.