Surrey green belt land earmarked for housing

Protected land in Surrey could be removed from the green belt under plans drawn up by a local authority to build about 2,400 homes.

Runnymede Council said homes could be built on the site of the former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA).

The council said building there would be less harmful than other areas of the green belt.

The Green Party said the needs of developers should not be put above local communities.

'Choice is difficult'

The council has earmarked the site in Chobham Lane, near Longcross, for homes in order to meet its housing target.

Councillor Geoff Woodger, who chairs the planning committee at the Conservative-run council, said green belt covered two-thirds of the borough.

"There are very limited areas left in the borough where development can take place," he said.

"The argument in favour of taking the DERA site out was to take the pressure off other areas in the borough."

The Green Party's South East MEP Keith Taylor said: "The choice is a difficult one and I wouldn't want to diminish the challenge that is there.

"We need development that is focused on people's needs rather than developers' profits."

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