The following Press Release from the Council has been received by LOSRA and we reproduce it here:
Spelthorne Borough Council has announced that it will be setting aside a special defence fund of £900,000 to enable it to challenge applications from developers wanting to build in the Green Belt.
The Council has always been fiercely protective of the Borough’s Green Belt and is known for taking a stance against aggressive developers looking to build on green spaces. As the planning process currently stands, whilst Spelthorne rules on Planning applications and can refuse those which affect the Green Belt, developers can appeal to the Planning Inspector. Fighting these appeals is not only lengthy, they can also be very expensive.
Thanks to the success of the Council’s investment strategy over the last four years, Spelthorne Borough Council is now in a stronger financial position and has generated a significant budget surplus which has enabled this defence fund to be established.
Leader of the Council, for the past four years, Cllr Ian Harvey said; “Pressing demands on our local authority budgets could lead to the question, where should parks and green spaces stand in the pecking order of priorities for this authority? We recognise how much green spaces contribute to the health and wellbeing of our community and the Council is determined to do everything it can to preserve parks and highly performing green belt areas open for future generations. Whilst we can’t stop developers from submitting applications, this fund will enable us to obtain the necessary advice and expertise to fight our case and give us the best chance of protecting our Green Belt for the future generations”.
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PR & Communications Officer