Conservatives say a campaign by Liberal Democrats claiming Boris Johnson is pushing ‘up to 70,000 homes’ in Chessington is scaremongering.
Kingston and Surbiton’s Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey said in an email today: “If Boris continues to push 70,000 extra homes in Chessington it would double the size of the Royal Borough in a stroke, put intolerable strain on our roads and local services and destroy our precious greenbelt, including ancient woodland.”
He said Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for housing Richard Blakeway had backed the proposals.
But James Berry, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Kingston and Surbiton said: “This kind of scaremongering is the unacceptable face of Lib Dem politics.
“There is not one scintilla of Conservative support for mass building on green field sites in Chessington."
Conservative Coombe Hill councillor Gaj Wallooppillai, opposition member for better homes, said: “I think this is really cynical stuff.
“I think I’m right in saying Boris opposes building on green belt, as do Kingston Conservatives.
“I’m surprised Ed Davey has jumped on this bandwagon.”
A spokesman for the Mayor's office said: "This is yet another blatant Lib Dem lie.
"A Conservative-run City Hall would never endorse such a plan for the Chessington green belt.
"This is a desperate misuse of the work of a business organisation."
Boris Johnson told the Surrey Comet last week: "You don’t have to do this on green belt. My plan is to develop only on brownfield sites.
"Crossrail 2 will make a huge difference."
Mr Davey said in his email backing the ‘Say no to 70,000 homes in Chessington’: “I was aghast and angry when I read these proposals in the 'Home Truths' and 'Funding Crossrail Two' reports and learnt that Boris' Deputy Mayor has backed the recommendations.
“The authors of these reports can't have ever been to Chessington because if they had, they would have realised how daft and damaging these proposals would be.
“If Boris continues to push 70,000 extra homes in Chessington it would double the size of the Royal Borough in a stroke, put intolerable strain on our roads and local services and destroy our precious greenbelt, including ancient woodland.
“It's not as if Kingston and Chessington in particular hasn't seen many new homes built in recent years. Moreover the council is already planning for over 5,000 homes in the next decade across all of Kingston but this Conservative-backed plan is for more than ten times the homes our borough needs, on a single site.
“I am proud that it is the Liberal Democrats in Kingston who are leading the opposition to this ill-thought through, destructive plan. We now need London's Mayor to reverse his support and join us in opposing this. I hope local Tories will also come off the fence, join us and stand up for local people, even if it means opposing Boris.
“Recent success show that where Liberal Democrats campaign with local people - for example against Tesco's Tolworth Roundabout store - we get results. So I am confident we can stop this but we must start now before these ideas are taken to the next stage.”