You may remember, in early July, we reported on the proceedings of the last Spelthorne Overview & Scrutiny Committee, where the man from A2Dominion inadvertently let the Kempton Park cat out of the bag. Well, we have obtained a recording of those exchanges, which, it turns out, went on for a lot longer than we thought.
To hear the video/audio file, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJw0sjirWok , or just search for Keep Kempton Green on youtube.com. Attached (Document 67) is the transcript of the recording. For best results, listen to the audio with the transcript at your side.
Now, you might think that more than ten minutes of discussion, particularly on a subject of such contentiousness (as is very evident from the recording), would be recorded in the Minutes. There is nothing in them at all, however. Nor is there any mention of the Action Point, discussed at the end of the audio, in the Agenda for the next meeting of the Committee on 9 September. According to the official record, the heated discussion may as well never have taken place. One wonders why.
And then there is a document they really don’t want you to see. (Document 68, attached). It was discussed last evening at the Local Plan Working Party, from which members of the public are excluded. The Working Party voted to recommend to the Cabinet and full Council that they start a total review of the Spelthorne Local Plan, which contains all the planning rules and targets and land designations in the Borough.
We would draw your attention to paragraph 2.24 on page 5, and paragraph 2.31, point 1 on page 6.
The current housing target is 166 dwellings per year. The Council propose to raise this to a minimum of 400 dwellings per year – an increase of 240%.
Over 20 years, that would result in 8000 houses being constructed. Currently, there are 39 500 dwellings in Spelthorne. So what they are preparing is an increase in the population of the Borough of more than 20%. By comparison, over the ten years to 2011, the number of households only rose by 1100, or 2.9%.
There are three ways of achieving this kind of growth:
- building on Green Belt;
- building on Protected Urban Open Spaces, and;
- increasing the density of development on Green Belt, PUOS, and brownfield sites.
That is what is being referred to in paragraph 2.31, point 1 on page 6:
“A judgement will need to be made about densities of development and the acceptability/sustainability of higher densities against alternative ways of providing sufficient housing land.”
The last seven words are the euphemism for selling-off our open spaces.
This confirms – in writing – what we have been saying, and the Council have been denying, for months. And it is a Borough-wide assault they are launching. Let’s say they get their way and build 1500 houses on Green Belt at Kempton Park. Where are they going to build the other 6500?
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for Keep Kempton Green