Open letter from Keith Jecks, Chair of the Planning Policy Committee
I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and update residents about the progress of the Local Plan. As the newly appointed Chair of the Planning Policy Committee it is going to be my job to lead the delivery of the Local Plan for Tandridge.
If approved, we will shortly be holding our Regulation 19 consultation which is the final step before the plan is presented to a government planning inspector to scrutinise. It is their job to test the evidence and make sure our plan delivers the number of houses which meets the government’s aspiration of increasing housing delivery.
As a district we are facing some really tough challenges. Our population is ageing which leads to increasing demand on healthcare providers. Our young people can’t afford to buy homes in the area and most local jobs don’t pay enough to give them the hope of ever doing so. Growing families struggle to find suitable and affordable homes to move to. Meanwhile the volume of cars is having a negative impact on our roads.
Our preferred strategy includes a Garden Community which will deliver the infrastructure, along with some limited development where we can see this will benefit a community. Importantly, the plan will also deliver new healthcare facilities, employment sites and better job opportunities for local people. It will lead to new and improved roads and a new school.
While for most people the plan will bring positive benefits, it would be wrong of me not to acknowledge that some people will not be happy with this proposal. I can appreciate that if your current view looks across fields and could be replaced by housing this is difficult to accept. I do understand this and I am committed to working with those affected to do everything we can to minimise the impact.
A Garden Community can take at least 6 to 10 years to deliver and a lot of detailed planning needs to take place before any building can begin. This will be your opportunity to shape our community and be fully involved in how it looks and works.
Please keep up to date with the Local Plan. We are keen to hear your views and though we sometimes have to make tough decisions which won’t always be popular, I can assure you we are listening and you will have another opportunity to view the final plan before we submit it to the government.
Chair of the Planning Policy Committee