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What you said

Here are some comments taken from the hundreds of letters written to the Inspector.

"There will be no going back once this area is built on and our children and their children will suffer as they will never get to see and enjoy this beautiful piece of land."

"I see no reason for the arbitrary destruction of these Green Belt sites and their replacement by a total of 650 new houses, a number which far exceeds the target of 125 new homes to be provided by Tandridge annually. No one wants this density of housing, it will change the character of the town and push the infrastructure into tail spin"

"If we all sit back and allow these fields to be built upon, what is one or two fields in a district this year will become more and more until sadly we become surrounded by concrete and tarmac. Once the natural beauty and wildlife is destroyed and covered in houses and roads we will not be able to get it back"!


"We do believe that there is a need for more low cost family homes (not flats or huge houses) and we would like to see these being provided, gradually and thoughtfully, in the future on sites that are suitable for development. Such sites have already been identified in the Core Strategy and we therefore support its premise. The basis of any 'development' should be driven by the need and desire to improve a site. Building 650 houses on Green Belt land is an idea driven by greed. It is not development, it is destruction."

"The sites being targeted are part of the very thing which gives Oxted its character. Those fields are part of our heritage. Stoneyfield is not 'unused land' as claimed by Village Developments and it is not infertile; it is and has been continuously used for agricultural production for hundreds of years and has always appeared to produce good crops."

"Do these developers only think of the money it will put in their pockets, not of the damage they will cause to our rural areas? Do they not want to grow old, their children and grandchildren being able to appreciate the natural surrounding beauty that we are lucky to have?"

"As a relatively new resident of Oxted, I read the developers scoping report with total disbelief. It was clearly written by those with no actual knowledge of this area. The infrastructure in Oxted is totally insufficient to support development on this scale. Although I now live and work in Oxted my two primary age children cannot go to school here as there were no spare places for them."

"The Green Belt fields of our town are what gives it its own unique character and need protecting from developers whose only motivation in planning their demise is to line their own pockets."

"Ramblers, dog walkers, horse riders, nature study groups and cross country runners make full benefit of all this wonderful site has to offer."

"We are appealing to your good nature, stand by what is right, protect our Green Belt, for our families and their families to enjoy."

"In today's climate, we should be preserving such public amenities, and protecting the land, not facilitating its destruction. At a time when food prices are soaring and the UK is becoming more dependent on food from abroad we should be doing more to save agricultural land and encouraging the sale of local food products."

"My husband and I are at such dismay at the possibility of building on the green belt areas which are much needed and used for walking, cycling, running and all the pleasant things that we are encouraged to do."

"If left unchecked, we will end up with an urban sprawl, spreading like a cancer, in the name of greed not need."

"Affording wonderful views of the North Downs, an intrinsic part of Oxted's charm and character, it is much loved and well used by young and old alike."

"The obvious place to build is on the site of the obsolete gasholder, which is an eyesore and would be highly appropriate for development, given its position."

"Preserving the Green Belt and the character of the area is every bit as socially important as providing affordable housing and both can be done. Building on Green Belt is a conclusion only for lazy minds and avaricious property developers."

"It is not necessary to build on the Green Belt. The Council is more than meeting Government housing targets, including those for affordable housing, and it has shown that it will continue to do so in the future without touching the Green Belt."

"Developers succeed by seeking land to build upon. It is entirely right that they should do that, and it is entirely right that they should be refused when that land is outside a settlement and within a Green Belt. You are the defense of our settlement. Please do not let us down."

"I believe we have to make a huge effort to preserve the Green Belt Land which gives enormous pleasure to visitors from our overcrowded towns in the South East and will continue to be treasured by future generations."

"Farmers who use the field have always said it is very productive land. It seems amazing to me that removing these fields from the protection of the Green Belt could even be considered. The price of wheat has doubled in the past year or so and farmers are being urged to grow more cereals."

"Village Developments' proposals are a purely opportunistic attempt to appropriate Green Belt for housing on a scale that would severely and permanently damage the character and environment of Oxted, putting excessive strain on local services and infrastructure. They should be rejected comprehensively."

"Some of us want to preserve the countryside we live in. We have taken a conscious decision to live here because it is quiet & rural. The fields around our villages and towns provide recreation for many of us with horses, dogs or just walkers. In plain we want to have our environment as it is ' not developed into a sprawl that links one village to the next."

"You may have a government requirement but Oxted cannot handle development on this scale and the use of land just for profit should not be permitted. I always understood that Green Belt was sacrosanct to prevent this kind of urban sprawl."

"How on earth would Surrey County Council deal with the sudden arrival of several hundred more children expecting to go to Oxted School when it can't afford one new building, let alone the new school that residents in the south of the district have been asking for, for years?"

"I moved from Orpington in Kent where new housing on this scale shrank secondary school catchment areas to less than a mile, forcing local children to travel long distances to find available school places."

"It certainly seems to me that there is an imbalance in the process with which you are involved where important local opinion is not given the prominence afforded to potential developers, who suddenly seem to be in the driving seat of an unseemly attempt to enrich themselves."

"We are informed that there will be starter homes ' in the recent past these have been built in and around the area but have sadly been too expensive for local, lower paid people to afford."

"The gasholder site has stood unemployed for many years. There is a cost attached to its development but its location provides an opportunity to provide social affordable housing. Land restoration costs may make it less profitable for developers but that shouldn't be uppermost in our thoughts when seeking provision of affordable housing balanced against the other costs burdening the community as a whole."

"High-density residential use on these sites would manifestly constitute urban sprawl and seriously damage the physical integrity and character of Oxted as an urban settlement ' one of the town's attractive and highly valued features is the proximity of accessible Green Belt countryside to the town centre."

"The Green Belt provides an essential recreational area which is even more important, now that open spaces such as that which existed at Barnetts Shaw and Oxted Hospital have been developed with residential property. Also the extent of backland development now taking place reduces recreational areas in gardens and necessitates further the provision of more recreational space elsewhere."

"Every day throughout the year numerous walkers can be seen using the bridle path which runs across the centre of the field. Of course the path is also used regularly by riders from the nearby stables, and groups of hikers who have come down to Oxted by train to enjoy the surrouding countryside."

"Finally, I don't think we should be afraid of nymbyism. I am not. I don't want this development in my back yard because it is unsustainable and inappropriate."

"Green Belt areas were so designated to preserve areas of natural beauty, protect natural habitats and to maintain the essential integrity of the landscape. Today, protection of these areas is no less important, rather it is more so, as the drive to build new homes ramps up our carbon footprint and increases the likelihood of flood damage."

"The local residents do not want it! At the end of the day the council (and the Government) are elected to serve our interests not those of developers who are simply looking to make a quick "buck" and then leave the infrastructure issues they have created for others to try to resolve.'

"'..the people of Oxted have made their views known to you and therefore you have both been entrusted to protect the Green Belt and the sustainable future of the Oxted area, for its future generations."