Reigate MP and council leader welcome adoption of borough's core strategy

Following the adoption of the Reigate and Banstead Borough Council's Core Strategy, and the endorsement by full council of the Executive's qualifying resolution committing the Council to continued protection of the Green Belt, MP for Reigate Crispin Blunt and the Leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Cllr Victor Broad, issued the following statement:

"We welcome the adoption of the Core Strategy and congratulate the officers who have worked hard and long to produce the final document.

The Council remains committed to the continued protection of the Green Belt and the last places to be developed will be green fields in our precious Green Belt.

In his report on the Core Strategy, Planning Inspector Martin Pike, verified that there is an immediate 5 year supply of land available through the Council's 'urban areas first' approach. This means that there is enough land away from green fields in the Green Belt to satisfy the borough's housing need for the next 5 years.

Following the Executive's resolution, and its endorsement by the full Council, the Council will monitor the Borough's housing land supply every year and has committed to commence a review of the Core Strategy and the Borough's housing need within 5 years. Only if there is not enough supply from other sources – in urban areas and windfall sites - to meet the Borough's housing target, will green field sites be considered for development. Windfalls have played an important role in historic patterns of delivery of housing land and the plan-making process has not allowed the Council to fully acknowledge their future significant contribution. We are confident that windfalls will help enable us to maintain a five year supply of land for housing so that we will not have to consider green field development in the identified potential "urban extensions".

The resolution and approach by the Council provides protection for the Green Belt in our Borough, which we all value. It will, of course, be for future Councils to keep to, and uphold, these principles and protections but the Council can be proud that, through the Core Strategy and these resolutions, it has laid firm foundations for safe and sustainable development in our Borough for the next 15 years."