Statement by Elmbridge Liberal Democrats on housing need

Elmbridge Liberal Democrats welcome the statement from the Alliance of Elmbridge Residents and Civic Groups to resist the Government imposed assessment of housing needs for Elmbridge of 633 dwellings per annum. Their statement can be found here.

In the current Local Plan, made in 2011, it was assessed that 225 homes per annum were required to 2026. When Esher & Walton MP, Dominic Raab, was Housing Minister he introduced a Standard Methodology for calculating housing need which increased Elmbridge’s target to 623. 

In 2020, the Conservative Government consulted on a methodology which would have increased Elmbridge’s needs figure to 774. It was only through lobbying by Councillors and MPs from many parts of the country, that the Government backed down, but only to wanting 633 dwellings per annum in Elmbridge. 

It is simply not sustainable for Elmbridge to deliver 633 homes a year.  Liberal Democrats will continue to question and resist the use of this nationally imposed figure which bears no relation to the household projections now issued by the Office for National Statistics. Elmbridge is constrained by the availability of land suitable for development and by the extent of its Green Belt which forms an intrinsic part of the Borough adding greatly to its character, making the delivery of such a large number of homes virtually impossible without harming the environment and quality of life of its residents. 

Elmbridge needs homes for smaller households and affordable housing, and Liberal Democrats will support development that is well designed and preserves or enhances local character and quality of life. More than ever, we need our green and open spaces and Liberal Democrats will do all they can to protect them, including resisting development in the Green Belt.