Local Liberal Democrats have been inundated with emails from local people concerned about plans proposed by the Tory Deputy Mayor to build up to 70,000 homes in Chessington and create a new London ‘suburb’.
The plans were drawn up by London First, a London pressure group made up of big businesses, including large property firms like Westfield & Berkley Homes.
The plans would see the end of large swathes of Chessington Green Belt and necessitate a whole new infrastructure of shops, supermarkets and transport that could swamp the Borough with more traffic.
Council Leader, Cllr Liz Green said:
“These plans would more than double the number of homes in Kingston at a stroke. They’ve not been thought through and for the Deputy Mayor to give them his full backing is frankly terrifying for local residents, who will face years of disruption and see Kingston transformed beyond recognition.
“Local councillors are calling for an urgent meeting with the Mayor to discuss these plans and what powers he is going to use to push this development through and we’re launching a petition to ensure local people can have their say.”
Local councillor for Chessington South and Housing Lead member Tricia Bamford said:
“When the Surrey Comet first told me about these proposals they just seemed daft but I had no idea just how many homes could end up landed on our Green belt. If we’re lucky 70,000 might be the top end figure but what’s the bottom end? 15,000? 20,000? We should be told.
“We know both Labour and Conservative Mayors have failed to deliver enough housing in London but these housing plans by press release are divisive and frightening for Kingston residents. We can’t accommodate this number of homes in Kingston and protect our Green Belt. The Mayor should think again.”
Sarbjit Athwal, Chessington said:
“Where are all the schools going to come from for all these new people? What about new roads, shops and supermarkets? Even if the development is smaller a big chunk of our green belt will still be taken up with new supermarkets and roads.”
Matt Broadbent, Malden Rushett said:
“Caving in to developers isn’t the answer to our housing crisis in London. Of course Berkley Homes or Westfield want a chunk of our green belt but that doesn’t mean we should give it to them.”
Stewart Hall, Devon Way said:
“Our roads are already congested, another 70,000 or more cars will cause gridlock in Chessington! Only local Lib Dems are backing residents to stop these Conservative plans that would choke our area.”