Tandridge Local Plan Consultation

Click here to see the key points

BBC Surrey Breakfast Show interviews OLRG and Oxted Councillor David Weightman, chairman of the Planning Policy Committee, about the Council's new Local Plan which says 9,400 new houses are needed in the District. Broadcast on 14 December, 2015. Click the play button below to listen.

Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields Green Belt Fields
Bark Ringed old oak by Village Developments

Old Oak Ring-Barked

TANDRIDGE LOCAL PLAN CONSULTATION - PLEASE WRITE IN NOW!

Also, a resident from South Godstone has started a petition. Please do sign it - this is in addition, not as a replacement for sending in comments to the Council's consultation. To sign the petition click here

Onslaught on the Green Belt - Council's "seriously flawed" Local Plan documents approved for consultation.

Tandridge District Council's new Local Plan documents which claim 9,400 new homes are needed for massive inward migration from London, have been approved for public consultation despite widespread criticism from residents and some Councillors.

The Council has listed "deliverable and developable" sites for more than 1200 new houses around Oxted, Limpsfield and Hurst Green - 980 of them are on our local Green Belt.

The Plan claims that 470 houses are needed every year, almost 4 times the current requirement. It would mean a likely rise of a third in the District's population and approximately one new house built for every four existing.

The increase is not for genuine local need, but for a huge and sustained increase in inward migration from London that would require building on large swathes of the Tandridge Green Belt.

In putting forward this high figure, the Council has contradicted its own evidence given to the Planning Inspectorate at a recent Public Inquiry.

This scale of building would put intolerable and unsustainable pressure on infrastructure such as schools, health services, roads, rail services and parking which are struggling to cope with the existing demand. Other services, such as water, landfill and cemeteries are also at capacity.

Some of the contents of the Plan's infrastructure documents are very worrying. For example, regarding GP services, the Council states it has written to all 10 surgeries in the District but has received no replies. It has therefore concluded that "there is no indication of any specific requirements at present." It seems wholly unjustified to come to such a conclusion based on no response.

OLRG has now learned that Oxted Health Centre have said they "never received a letter" from Tandridge Council's Planning Department asking for their views on the impact of the new development proposed in the Council's Local Plan documents. For more details, click on the first headline.

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WHAT CAN YOU DO? WRITE IN NOW AND LET THE COUNCIL KNOW YOUR VIEWS. EITHER:

1. Email your comments to: localplan@tandridge.gov.uk OR

2. Send a letter marked 'Local Plan consultation' to: Planning Policy, Tandridge District Council, Council Offices, 8 Station Road East, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0BT OR

3. Use the Council's consultation portal on this link: click here You will have to register first to be able to take part this way and it is more time-consuming.

For some key points that might be helpful for taking part in the consultation, click on the second headline or on the button marked "Tandridge Local Plan Consultation" at the top right of this page. To see comments from members so far, click on the third headline.

THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS 26 FEBRUARY 2016


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There are a vast number of Green Belt sites across the District together with open spaces and recreation grounds that the Council has listed as deliverable and developable. To see the sites near you click here and open "HELAA Appendix 3".


The sites include:

OXT 006 Chichele field, Oxted (150 houses)

OXT 007 Stoney field beside St Mary's Church, Oxted (250 houses)

OXT 025 Holland Road, Hurst Green (165 houses)

In addition, "Green Belt areas for further investigation" have been identified - to see the map of where, click here and open "Green Belt Assessment Appendix F".

The Green Belt assessments have not been properly carried out and we have found numerous factual errors and inconsistencies in them. For more details of what to say about these assessments, click on the button marked "Tandridge Local Plan Consultation" at the top right of this page and go to "Comments on the Green Belt Assessments."

Fears have been expressed that because the Council is so short of money, building on the Green Belt is welcomed in order to keep itself going as this Surrey Mirror article explains click here

Caterham Councillor, Clive Manley, who voted against the documents being put out for consultation, said they were "seriously flawed." He said the housing need figure (OAN) was "inflated" and it was "wrong" to put it before the public.

He said the Council had been advised at a meeting with the Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP and officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), not to publish an OAN figure without also publishing a figure taking account of constraints such as infrastructure and the Green Belt. But this advice had been ignored and doing so put the Green Belt at great risk from speculative planning applications.

OLRG also attended the DCLG meeting and can confirm the position Councillor Manley has set out.

Woldingham Councillor, Sally Marks, said, "there is a fundamental issue on whether small towns and rural or semi-rural Surrey communities should be expected to absorb such migration out of London that has nothing to do with genuine local need."

She was also concerned at the "lack of contact" with the current consultants who were appointed after the Council sacked a previous set of consultants. She said the current consultants who were "alleged to be more expert in considering the dimension of in-migration from London", had been appointed without any consultation with Parish Councils or with the public.

Lingfield & Crowhurst Councillor, Liz Lockwood, also attacked the OAN figure emphasising that the Council's own barrister had said that "an OAN based on unreliable evidence is itself unreliable and that past trends of over-inflated delivery will make the future projections over-inflated."

She spoke of her concern about how the Green Belt parcel assessments had been carried out, saying: "I do think we are going to rue the day with some of the results in the parcel assessments."

Councillor Lockwood made her worries clear in this 29 December article in the East Grinstead Courier click here

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OLRG is taking part in the Local Plan consultation with the aim of protecting the local environment, of protecting local infrastructure from being swamped by overdevelopment, of meeting local need rather than London's need, and of achieving a reasonable and proportionate outcome for Tandridge District.

Membership is free. Join now by emailing oxted.residents@btinternet.com

OLRG has more than 2,400 members - the larger it is, the stronger our voice. Please do join and encourage others to join. All you need to do is email oxted.residents@btinternet.com or write to: Oxted & Limpsfield Residents Group, PO Box 233, Oxted Post Office, Station Road West, Oxted, RH8 9EH.

Most members are from Oxted & Limpsfield, but there are others from across Tandridge and anyone in the district is welcome to join. The group is solely concerned with planning matters. OLRG is a member of the National Organisation of Residents Associations.


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NB: The picture on this page shows one of the trees on the Chichele field in Oxted that was deliberately destroyed by developers. Ten large old trees, including a number of mature oaks, were ring barked. Men with chainsaws cut away the bark ensuring that the trees would slowly die. Very many people expressed their disgust at this behaviour.

For more details see "The Story So Far" on the fifth headline. No planning application has yet been submitted for the Chichele Green Belt field but one is expected at any time.