Work continues on plans for the Garden Community at South Godstone
Following a meeting between South Godstone Garden Community land promoters Bonnar Allen, their financial backers, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Martin Fisher and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, Councillors Keith Jecks and Geoff Duck, the Council understands that Bonnar Allen is no longer involved in promoting South Godstone.
This change in circumstances has no impact on the availability of land previously promoted by Bonnar Allen, as the options that are in place to buy the land were with their financiers Claremont/ CAM Godstone Ltd. The Council considers the proposal remains deliverable and continues to be the best option to deliver a new community with proper supporting infrastructure.
Other land being considered for the Garden Community at South Godstone, both to the north and south, remains under the control of other parties, who the Council is continuing to work with to create a collaboration agreement. This will underpin future work with the community to plan where the various components of the new development will be located, how community assets such as sports pitches and community halls will be managed, as well as how open space will be managed and maintained.
Consideration is already being given to how those financing and delivering the development will work together with the community and other key infrastructure providers. Network Rail and Surrey County Council have already given their commitment to being part of a Board, which will include community representation and steer the detailed planning of the new community.
No decision regarding the specific areas of land to be developed have been made and this will only be done through the preparation of an Area Action Plan.
Last week Councillor Martin Fisher was invited to 10 Downing Street to discuss the Local Plan with two of the Prime Minister’s senior advisers.
Councillor Keith Jecks, Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, said: “We have had a robust conversation with the promoters and financial backers of South Godstone. The outcome of these discussions support the delivery of the Garden Community in the way we envisage. We are committed to working with the delivery partners, which will be a further important step in having the right people in place to make this happen.”