Election spat as Conservative leaflet claims Lib Dems plan 'shipping container city' for Tolworth (From Surrey Comet)
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Election spat as Conservative leaflet claims Lib Dems plan 'shipping container city' for Tolworth
Conservative politicians have claimed ruling Liberal Democrats endorsed plans for “shipping container tower blocks” on the Tolworth Toby Jug site, in the borough’s latest local election spat.
The containers, converted to homes in the YMCA’s Y:Cube project, are stackable and the charity is in talks with Kingston Council over introducing them to the borough.
An election campaign leaflet, which has been pushed through residents’ doors, claims plans for a “shipping container city” were endorsed by Liberal Democrat lead member for better homes, Councillor Patricia Bamford.
Coun Bamford said: “We’re in discussion with the YMCA to look at temporary provision. But no specific sites have yet been identified.
“There is no suggestion that the Y:Cube was going to be put on the Tolworth site at all.”
Andy Redfearn, YMCA director of development, told the Comet in March the charity had held talks about bringing a scheme to Kingston – with the former Ministry site in Tolworth mooted as a potential location.
The leaflet promotes the campaign of candidates Lizzy Harrall, Mike Gibson, and Coun Andrew Day in Chessington North and Hook.
Coun Andrew Day said: “We understand that our claim about the homes is true, and it’s up to the Lib Dems to disprove it.
“As far as I know the quote wasn’t taken out of context. It’s no more scaremongering than [The Liberal Democrats’] own leaflet. I think everything is fair at this time.”
Liberal Democrats claimed in March that London deputy mayor for housing, Richard Blakeway, had backed lobbyists’ plans for a review into using green belt land for building homes, which identified Chessington as a possible location.
The party said up to 70,000 new homes could be built there if the land was opened up for construction.
A spokesman from the Mayor of London’s office responded that Mr Blakeway had not commented on the proposal, and said the campaign was “a desperate misuse of the work of a business organisation.”
A spokesman for the Mayor of London added last week: “The mayor has ensured that measures protecting the green belt are a key part of all his housing and planning strategies.
“He has strengthened the protections of green spaces and enabled boroughs to introduce a presumption against development on gardens through the London Plan, and he has no intention of supporting redesignation of green belt at Chessington.”
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