CAMPAIGNERS have criticised the major parties continued support of building a new garden village in South Godstone.
The Tandridge Lane Action Group (TLAG) says the local election results a fortnight ago proved the electorate was strongly against the Local Plan.
The Oxted and Limpsfield Residents’ Group and Independents Alliance (OLRG) gained three seats, bringing their total to 13 while the Conservatives lost six seats and overall control of the council for the first time in almost two decades.
On results night, Conservative leader Martin Fisher, who the Oxted North and Tandridge Ward seat to OLRG candidate David Stamp by 578 votes to 1,584, said: “The Local Plan is a key issue. I believe we need to build houses for the next generation. But we need clear clarity from Government about how we build that in particularly with the green belt.”
The Liberal Democrats, who gained two seats bringing their total to 11, published an open letter this week calling for Tandridge District Council to build the 4,000 dwelling South Godstone garden village “at a faster rate.”
The letter, signed by Lib Dem leader Cllr Chris Botten, set out the grounds on which the party was willing to support other groups.
David Hughes, TLAG’s chairman, said: “This is a fundamental democratic issue. The people of Tandridge overwhelmingly rejected the Local Plan and garden village last week, as they did at last year’s Reg 19 consultation stage (feedback the council has ignored), but now the LibDems are preparing to shore up the Conservatives in pushing through a scheme that was the main reason they have been unceremoniously bundled out of office.
“In our opinion, both parties should instead respect the clearly expressed will of the public and abandon this ridiculous proposal that nobody wants”.
Cllr Botten highlighted the success the Liberal Democrats had in the north of district, saying it provided them a strong mandate to deliver the garden village.
He added: “We believe that overriding issue is the need for affordable housing and that there needs to be a plan to deliver a a reasonable number in Tandridge.”