The great Green Belt sell off

29 March 2018

The great Green Belt sell off – developers and landowners set to pocket millions: Green MEP Keith Taylor visits Redhill housing sites.

Plans proposed by local councils in Surrey which earmark Green Belt areas around Redhill for a massive increase in housing will put millions of pounds profit into the pockets of developers.

Green MEP for the South East, Keith Taylor, will be visiting Redhill aerodrome and sites in the town centre next Thursday (April 5) with Green local councillors, Jonathan Essex and Steve McKenna.

Keith Taylor last visited Redhill Aerodrome over four years ago to support local people campaigning against a new hard runway. Now the site and surrounding area are being targeted for up to 8,000 homes with an average market price of £650,000. Meanwhile sites for affordable homes, near to public transport in the town centre, are not being developed.

Cllr Jonathan Essex said: “Developers and landowners stand to gain more than £1 billion in profit if these plans are successful [1] and local people will lose out with expensive homes being built instead of affordable ones. What we need is affordable homes for local people – and so much more could be achieved with the right density targets. For example Reading Council has a minimum density policy – this means you can secure more affordable homes near to public transport and come up with creative solutions which will improve the town centre overall.”

Cllr Steve McKenna said: “We need affordable homes for local people – and the urban areas can cater for much of this growth in future years without losing valued green spaces and much loved countryside. We are calling for a Community Land Trust to be set up to ensure that social rents are secured for these properties over the long term.”

Keith Taylor MEP said: "Spaces like this are vital green lungs for developed areas; it is imperative we fight to keep them out of the hands of profit-at-any-cost developers. These plans, if successful, would hand developers a billion pounds in profit for delivering homes that are anything but affordable. Not only that, the development would also deliver a huge increase in traffic and air pollution on already congested roads.”

Keith Taylor and the local councillors will be meeting at the Pilot’s Hub café at 11am on Thursday 5 April and will then view the proposed development area from Whitebushes.

Notes to editors:

  1. Redhill Aerodrome has been identified by Tandridge and Reigate and Banstead Councils as the potential location for 8,000 homes. The developer’s brochure cites a level of council tax income which indicates an average selling price of £650,000. With developer’s profit set at 20%, this equates to £1 billion profit. Landowners would also pocket a substantial sum.
  2. Redhill Greens have put forward their own proposals which avoid building on the Green Belt, and instead consolidate affordable housing in the town centre, nearer to public transport. More information here.

Please contact Vicki Elcoate if you plan to attend the briefing and/or photo. Phone on the day: 07982 242453

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