Protecting our precious green spaces continues to be a top priority of mine. I am acutely aware of the importance of protecting our green spaces and ensuring that they are preserved for the future.

Woking has seen a lot of building over the years, and it is important that the area has the homes it needs. But one of the major reasons people choose to live and work here is the abundance of natural green space and we must ensure that it is protected for local people and for future generations.

Naturally, I am particularly worried about the proposed development of up to 555 homes and 15 Traveller pitches on the former Green Belt site on the land adjacent to the West Hall care home, off Parvis Road in West Byfleet.

I have strongly opposed any development of this land near West Hall over a number of years and in 2019 I presented a “Protect Our Green Belt” petition, signed by many local residents, to Parliament specifically on this important local matter.

I am very grateful to our Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association and to those resident groups and local councillors who campaigned and lobbied so powerfully alongside me on this issue.

In Parliament, I have consistently opposed excessively high housing targets and changes to the planning system that would have put totally unreasonable pressure on local councils across the South East to give up Green Belt land. I support the prioritising of brownfield development first, and I oppose schemes that would damage the environment and the quality of life of all those who live near by.

Given the current economic imbalance between the North and the South, I believe that there should be a greater emphasis on delivering new housing as part of regeneration projects in towns and cities in the Midlands and the North. 

We also need to do more to make sure that new homes are accompanied by the infrastructure and local public services needed to support them.

I strongly urge people to attend the public exhibition that will be taking place tomorrow (Saturday, February 24, 2024) between 10.30am and 3pm at St John’s Church in West Byfleet about the West Hall proposals.

Members of the project development team will be in attendance to give local residents the opportunity to see and discuss the draft plans and to raise any questions and concerns that they may have.

Over recent days I have been contacted by many local residents who share my real concerns about this proposed development and about the impact and demands it will almost certainly place on our local infrastructure and services.

This consultation event will be a good opportunity for residents to see and understand the proposals for the site and to give your feedback. If you are at all concerned about this proposed development, as I certainly am, I urge you to attend the exhibition and make your views clearly known.