Campaign to Protect Rural England criticises LibDem plans to build on Kingston green spaces

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has criticised the LibDem-run Kingston Council for not protecting green spaces and putting much of our local Green Belt at risk. 

The CPRE is a specialist organisation tasked with the protection of the countryside, Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and the protection and enhancement of London’s green spaces. 

The unfavourable response to the Local Plan development consultation from July 2019 states that many of Kingston’s green areas are being put at risk by Kingston Council, through designation as areas for potentially dense development.

The response by the CPRE highlights how important our green spaces are for the local biodiversity, wildlife, air quality and flood prevention. The written response states:  

‘We strongly object to any Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) sites being allocated for development. Green Belt and MOL are meant to have the strongest protection…’

‘Moreover, even giving the slightest indication that protected land might be released gives rise to speculation and opportunism…’

Zac Goldsmith MP said; “CPRE are absolutely right to highlight this. Our green spaces are priceless and should only ever be developed as an absolute last resort. The default position should be strong protection of community assets that once lost can never be returned. The Lib Dems are a threat to our valuable green spaces, and they need to rethink their approach.”

Cllr Roy Arora, Conservative Spokesman for Planning Policy said: “The consultation response from the Campaign to Protect Rural England confirms that the LibDem proposals are putting our local green spaces at risk of unsuitable development. It’s important that local green spaces are given suitable protection in order to save the local ecosystem and wildlife. Local residents need places to relax where the air is clean, and developers should not be encouraged to build over our parks and green spaces.”

To have your say on Kingston Council’s new Local Plan Development, please visit: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/newlocalplan