Local Plan Strategy which aims to protect Green Belt agreed
Released on: 17 March 2017
Last night’s Planning Policy Committee agreed the strategy, which sets out the Council’s strategic approach to development for the district up to 2033.
This supports the proposal for a garden village, as part of the creation of the Local Plan, which would require the release of around 1% of Green Belt land. The strategy proposes a new settlement of around 4000 houses, developed around garden village principals, will be pursued as part of the Local Plan. This aim is to provide a mix of affordable and starter homes and would include new schools, a doctor’s surgery, supermarket and investment in roads.
At this stage, the strategy does not set out in detail exactly where new development will take place, but sets out the principles on which decisions will be based.
Five sites will be further considered as the plan moves forward. These sites have been submitted to the Council by landowners and developers. These are on land in Blindley Heath, Chaldon - Alderstead and Tolsworth Farm, land west of Edenbridge. Redhill Aerodrome and South Godstone. Once locations which can be developed have been identified, further consultation will take place to ensure the final Local Plan caters for present and future needs.
Without looking at the Green Belt, the Council will only be able to deliver just over a third of the housing needed. This approach would not boost the supply of housing as required by the government and would not pass the independent examination of the Local Plan, which could mean the Council losing the ability to control and plan for development in the district, putting more Green Belt at risk.
Councillor Peter Bond, Chairman of the Planning Policy Committee, said: “We now have a clear strategy which will be reflected in the development of a Local Plan that is infrastructure led and which relieves the pressure on existing facilities. Releasing a small amount of the Green Belt will enable us to deliver the infrastructure we so badly need, while protecting the rest from incremental development.”