I spent Wednesday campaigning with Sadiq and the London Assembly Croydon & Sutton candidate, Marina Ahmad, in Sutton.
Sutton is an Outer London, Liberal Democrat led borough that is currently consulting on de-designating a number of its green spaces currently protected as Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land. These are not scrubby bits of land but the designations include recreation grounds, woodlands, Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, a tennis and country club and parts of the Wandle Valley Regional Park. There are also concerns three allotments sites, a sports fields and a recreation ground may be de-designated. These sites are:
- Land West of Wellfield Gardens
- Land to the West of Beddington Lane A
- Land to the West of Beddington Lane B
- Land north of Kimpton Park Way
- Part of Rosehill Recreation Ground
- the Tennis Centre at Rosehill Recreation Ground
- Reigate Avenue Recreation Ground (this is referred to as S94 in the Draft Policy on the Green Belt and MOL but identified as S93 in the Draft Local Plan)
- Surrey Tennis and Country Club
- Land at Jessops Way
- Land North of Bedzed
Sadiq’s manifesto is firmly committed to protecting open space. He has a suite of policies strengthening protection for wildlife, sites of nature conservation, biodiversity, Metropolitan Open Land and above all, the Green Belt. Sadiq wants London to be 50% open space; he understands its importance to individual Londoners’ lives and the future of the planet. Fundamentally, this is a very strong environmental manifesto.
Figures from the Campaign to Protect Rural England confirm Sutton’s consultation proposals now brings the total of threatened Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land up to 69.
Today (Friday) Sadiq visited Old Farm Park, a 16 acre open space in Erith, Bexley which the Conservative Council are selling off for development. As he said this morning “Bexley’s plan to sell off precious green space is a disgrace. Local residents are paying the price for having a weak Tory mayor and Tory council”
You can find more details around Sutton’s proposal to de-designate Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land in their Local Plan “Sutton 2031”. The Green Belt policy can be found on page 112
You can find out more about the Old Farm Park campaign here
To join Sadiq on the campaign trail, find upcoming sessions here