Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 17:34 UK

Housing 'key election concern' say Guildford candidates

Guildford Cathedral
Politicians disagree over how extra housing should be provided

Housing is one of the key issues facing one of Surrey's largest towns, according to its parliamentary candidates.

Conservative Anne Milton said a lack of affordable homes in Guildford was among residents' top concerns.

But Mrs Milton and Liberal Democrat Sue Doughty both opposed the South East Plan, which proposed thousands of homes including some on green belt land.

Labour candidate Tim Shand said his party widely supported the plan.

Mrs Milton said: "In terms of what matters to people in Guildford, I think that managing the economic growth of the area in terms of its infrastructure [is one factor], and there is a shortage of housing that people can afford."

But Mr Shand said the Conservatives were not doing enough about the housing problem locally.

Legal challenge

"There was a fabulous scheme that was going to be built on the Dunsfold Estate but that was unfortunately opposed by the Conservative county council," he said.

"Housing is one of our big issues. We support the South East Plan and Guildford taking its fair share of new homes."

Mrs Milton has given her support to Guildford Borough Council, which began a legal challenge against the plan.

Mrs Doughty also supported the move but criticised the Conservative-led council for using its housing reserves to fund a new venue on the site of the Civic Hall.

She said: "Only the Labour Party supports the South East Plan. The housing targets for Guildford were kicked to touch but we don't yet know what the new targets are.

"I agree with Anne that we should not build on the green belt, although we do need to build somewhere."

The candidates for Guildford are: Liberal Democrat: Sue Doughty; UK Independence Party: Mazhar Manzoor; Conservative: Anne Milton; Labour: Tim Shand.

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