Page last updated at 07:57 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 08:57 UK

Protesters fight Green Belt homes

Oxted town centre
Riders on horseback will join the protest in Oxted town centre

More than 100 residents are expected to protest against green belt development at a public meeting in Surrey.

They fear 650 houses could be built on land in Oxted, along with 45 in Lingfield, if developers get the sites included in a 10-year building plan.

The protest is being held at Tandridge District Council's offices in Oxted on Thursday ahead of the meeting.

Village Developments wants to build the homes in Oxted, and Asprey Homes wants to build in Lingfield Common Road.

A field at the end of Wheeler Avenue, Oxted could be the site of 400 homes, with 250 on a field behind Bluehouse Lane and Chichele Road.

In Lingfield, a garden centre could be replaced by housing.

Planning consultants have also expressed an interest in developing Redhill Aerodrome.

Horseback protest

The meeting has been called by a government inspector who is examining the council's Core Strategy 10-year plan.

A bridle path crosses one of the Oxted sites, and Tandridge Priory Riding Centre is joining the protest, with several riders on horseback.

It is also being backed by East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth.

"It is important to remember that what we have here is a wish list from the building industry," he said.

"However, it would be easy to get the impression that it is trying to arm itself for a full-scale blitz on the local environment.

"What the builders need to understand is that our schools are full, our roads are full, there is growing difficulty with parking and our local NHS services are struggling to cope.

"The green belt was established to protect open land around London, exactly the kind of land that these people want to cover with asphalt."


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