Planning Policy Committee approves Local Plan and set dates for final consultation
Last night’s Planning Policy Committee voted to approve the Draft Local Plan for a Regulation 19 consultation which will now take place between 30 July and 5pm on 10 September. The meeting is available for everyone to view online by visiting www.tandridge.gov.uk/webcast and it will remain online for six months.
The Regulation 19 consultation is a technical consultation, where people have the opportunity to comment on the legal compliance and soundness of the draft plan. The Committee agreed to move the proposed date for the consultation back by two weeks to give councillors the opportunity to make comments on whether the new Local Plan should replace the existing plan’s detailed policies. All comments will be considered before any amendments are made and the plan is presented to a government planning inspector.
The Draft Local Plan has taken over three years to prepare and there have been three consultations so far to help shape it. As a result the Council set out a preferred strategy for a Garden Community which will be located in South Godstone. As well as delivering around 4,000 homes over the long term, it will also deliver significant new infrastructure for the district including new primary schools, a secondary school, a health hub, rail and road improvements, play pitches, flood mitigation and employment sites.
The district is around 94% Green Belt and this cohesive strategy will mean releasing a small amount of Green Belt, to put the Council in a better position to protect the rest.
The total number of new homes proposed by the Draft Local Plan is around 6,100, which is significantly beneath the current need of 9,400 homes or the government’s calculation of 12,900. The Council is confident it can demonstrate through rigorous evidence gathering and detailed preparation this is the realistic number of homes this district can accommodate when the Local Plan is examined at inspection.
Councillor Keith Jecks, Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, said: “This is a significant step for our Local Plan as we set the future course for this district up to 2033. The feedback of residents has been key to helping us shape this and we are particularly focused on the delivery of the infrastructure it sets out. The Local Plan is not just about building homes our young people can afford– it is about creating a vibrant future for the district through a once in a generation opportunity to deliver new infrastructure, create new higher skilled jobs, grow the economy and give everyone the opportunity of a good quality of life.”