Committee approves the submission of the Local Plan

Last night’s Planning Policy Committee approved the submission of the Local Plan to the government for independent examination. This means it will be submitted in advance of the introduction of a new government target, which would require the district to plan for 12,900 new homes or 645 homes per year. Based on the rural nature, environmental and landscape designations and the significant proportion of the district covered by Green Belt, the Council believes the number of homes the Local Plan can deliver is 6,056 or 303 homes per year.

The Local Plan will deliver new homes, including affordable ones, some of which will be only available to local people. The infrastructure led plan will also create road improvements and an improved Godstone railway station, as well as improved healthcare facilities and schools to support existing and future generations. There will be new employment areas and opportunities to increase the number of local higher skilled jobs.

All comments received during the three Regulation 18 consultations and the Draft Local Plan Consultation, known as the Regulation 19 consultation, which ran from Monday 30 July to 5pm on Monday 10 September 2018, will also be submitted.

The Committee agreed to explore all options to help accelerate the delivery of the garden community, including directly acquiring land within the area, preferably by negotiation, but by using compulsory purchase powers if necessary. In addition, the Committee noted the involvement of Engie, a multinational energy infrastructure provider and Clarion Homes, the country’s largest registered provider of affordable homes, which have agreed to work jointly and proactively with the promoters to deliver the community.

Officers are working with Homes England and has also applied to Homes England to join its national garden community programme. Working with Homes England, the Highways Agency and Surrey and West Sussex County Councils, the Council is drawing up a detailed business case to apply for funding from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. The funding is to cover upgrade works for junction 6 of the M25 and the Felbridge junction on the A22.

Within a few weeks of the Local Plan being submitted the Secretary of State will appoint a planning inspector who will oversee the process including an examination in public. More information on this timetable will be shared as it becomes available. To be kept up to date, please sign up for our Local Plan e-mail newsletter by visiting

The Local Plan, the Regulation 22 Statement of Consultation document and all the responses received during the Draft Local Plan Consultation are available at There is also a question and answers document to cover some of the main points around the Local Plan.

Councillor Keith Jecks, Chair of the Planning Policy Committee, said: “The decision to submit our Local Plan to the government for inspection is a significant step and the culmination of a number of years of hard work with input from our residents through the consultations. Our plan has been evidenced and considered to ensure it not only creates the affordable homes we need, but that it delivers great infrastructure improvements including road and rail improvements, healthcare facilities, schools and employment opportunities for the benefit of all.”

All Committee meetings are broadcast live and remain available to view on the Council’s website for six months. Visit

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