Tories to fight building on local green field land

Contributed by editor on May 01, 2004 - 11:16 PM

<FONT color=#0000cc><DIV class=subheading><FONT face=Arial color=black size=4>TORIES TO FIGHT BUILDING ON LOCAL GREEN FIELD LAND

<TABLE width=150 align=left border=0><TABLE class=lightbg cellPadding=4 width=145><TD class=mcblack align=middle> <TD width=5><IMG height=1 alt="" src="" width=5>Conservatives have launched a campaign to highlight the Labour Government's plans to build over the countryside and strip local communities of their say o­n planning. The campaign was launched in Ashford, Kent, whose greenfields have been designated by John Prescott as an ‘urban growth area'.

Michael Howard and Caroline Spelman, Conservative spokesman for Local and Devolved Government, unveiled a campaign poster. Michael Howard said: "Welcome to what John Prescott calls an "urban growth area". If John Prescott has his way, this beautiful countryside at the heart of the Garden of England will become almost as ugly as those words of the Deputy Prime Minister."

Mr Howard continued: "Labour - with the explicit support of the Liberal Democrats - plans to build more than 100,000 new buildings in Kent in the next twenty-five years. 40,000 of those homes will be built o­n green field sites. In Ashford, Labour wants to build 30,000 new homes - doubling the size of the town.

More than 20,000 of those will be o­n green field sites."We need to find the balance between preserving what we have, what we inherited from the generations that have gone before us, and ensuring that we continue to see thriving, growing communities. The best way to do that is to give back to local councils the powers that Labour are secretly stealing."

Michael Howard added: "The next Conservative government will let local councils, elected by their local communities, have a much greater say in how their local communities should evolve. John Prescott famously said that the Green Belt was a Labour achievement and he meant to build o­n it. For o­nce, he meant what he said. But he was wrong. The Green Belt is our common inheritance. Labour has let the countryside down. And we, as Conservatives, mean to defend it."