Mole Valley Green Belt Boundary Review
The review was discussed on March 18th at a meeting of the full Parish Council but
the Council’s response to the consultation will not be prepared and submitted until the 28th March when the consultation ends. However, although this magazine will not be distributed until after this date you will still be able to submit your response for a few days after that time.
Listed below are some of the points which the Council will be using for guidance in its own response. The Council’s full reply will be in the May edition of the Magazine:
1. The Green Belt Review is a non-statutory review to inform the next stage of the MV LDF in relation to sites for development
2. The MV Housing Requirement up to 2026 is 3760 dwellings,- provision to date in the plan period is 1,480 dwellings. In addition planning permission has been granted for 400 dwellings – not yet implemented making the total provision 1,480 + 400 = 1,880
3. Requirement for the Plan period to meet housing need is therefore 1,880 dwellings or 145 per year, this requirement will increase year on year with any annual shortfall becoming cumulative. Each local authority has a legal obligation to meet its own housing requirement up to 2026.
4. Housing on sites in the Dorking Town Centre Action Plan has identified 160 dwellings. No other brownfield sites have been identified nor have any windfall sites come forward. In summary, sites need to be found in MV for 1700 dwellings.
5. The Green Belt Review is National with some authorities already having identified GB Sites to meet their housing need.
6. It is anticipated that sites for 500 dwellings will be found in urban locations (windfalls) on pre- Developed land. Provision on GB sites will therefore need to be 1000-1200 dwellings
7. Ockley Parish will only make a minimal contribution as the majority of the parish is outside the Green Belt (maybe 50 dwellings)
8. Based upon a density of 30 dwellings per hectare or 12 dwellings per acre, 50 hectares of Green Belt land will need to be found within Mole Valley. The percentage loss of Green Belt land in Mole Valley if the above 50 hectares (123acres) were implemented would be 0.2%
9. Although it is important not to adopt a NIMBY approach that does not mean we have to identify sites in Capel Parish.
10. We need to consider reasons why, IN PLANNING TERMS which sites have or have not been identified.
11. We could evaluate other more urban and sustainable locations to justify our recommendations.
12. In considering Green Belt issues we need to have regard to the 5 Green Belt purposes:
(i) to check unrestricted sprawl of built up areas (this could include village urban areas)
(ii) to safeguard countryside from encroachment
(iii) to preserve setting and character (including conservation areas)
(iv) to prevent merging
(v) to assist urban re-generation i.e. use of brownfield sites
13.The National Planning Policy Framework says: (i) the aims of the GB remain (as above) (ii) the GB should be considered when the Local Plan is being reviewed (that is what is happening now (iii)development must be sustainable (iv) exclude land which it is not necessary that it remains open (part of our evaluation) (v) to safeguard space and recreation land (vi) to ensure any revisions to the GB are permanent (vii) to define physical features (this will import on reasons for protection of GB)
14. Of importance for Capel and Beare Green: To prevent loss of GB land for development in the villages regard must be given to: sustainability; facilities; character; conservation; highways ie parking in The Street.
15. Inappropriate development in the GB should not be approved except in EXCEPTIONAL circumstances: here it is crucial that all other options in MV would have been exhausted
16.Substantial weight should be given to harm caused by any GB loss
17.Exceptions where pp may be granted in the GB: agriculture/forestry; extension or alteration to building not disproportionate to original; replacement of building not materially larger than original limited infilling in village and limited affordable housing for local community needs; limited or partial infilling pdl (ex- temporary buildings) and redundant to use.
18. Beare Green considerations: the PC has already supported the re-development of Godwins (a GB site) with 24 dwellings proposed, the MV figures do not include this site.
19.Capel considerations: land south of Vicarage Lane and East of The Street is protected (Nature Reserve); land north of Vicarage Lane and east of The Street is protected by playing field; land west of the village (north of Coles Lane) Cemetery and village setting-open countryside; nature of road ie narrow, parking etc; impact upon Conservation Area
20. Other MV locations could be considered but care would need to be taken not to be seen as avoiding any proposals for MV.
The Crucial way forward in making sure the parish can manage its own destiny is for the community to undertake a Neighbourhood Plan. This would be promoted by the Parish Council but undertaken by a cross section of the community covering the views of residents and businesses on all aspects of the community including housing and development. The Parish Council would be looking for volunteers from the Parish to help in setting this in motion within the next few months.