Tandridge District Council – Press Release 26 April 2018

Tandridge District Council Press Release 26.4.18

Planning application received for re-development of the gasholder and Johnsdale car park sites

The Council has received a planning application from developers St William for the re-development of the gasholder and Johnsdale car park sites in Oxted. It is now available for residents to view on the Council’s website.

The application is for 111 apartments, with an enhanced access route, landscaping and associated car parking. The proposed development consists of 20 x 1 bed, 70 x 2 bed and 21 x 3 bed apartments, with 147 car parking spaces and 134 cycle spaces, spread across three buildings with three to seven storeys on this redundant brownfield site. The apartments will be accessed from the entrance opposite Boots on Station Road East and from Johnsdale.

The Council first received a planning application for 77 apartments from St William in October 2017, which was approved at the Planning Committee in January 2018. St William has since agreed to buy Johnsdale car park from the Council and the new planning application is for a comprehensive residential re-development of both sites.

In March, St William held two public exhibitions to share proposals for the new scheme. The exhibition materials have also been on display in the Council Offices.

A decision on the planning application is expected at the Planning Committee on 28 June. If the scheme is approved, work to bring the gasholder down could begin in autumn 2018.

Louise Round, Chief Executive, said: “We would like to encourage residents to take a look at the new planning application for the gasholder and Johnsdale car park sites. Removing the gasholder from the town centre will greatly improve the appearance and vitality of Oxted. Its removal has been a long held objective of the Council and is one we are keen to deliver for the town.”

To view the planning application, visit www.tandridge.gov.uk and search for planning application reference 2018/729.

More information on the project is available to view at www.oxtedgasholder.co.uk.

Guildford Borough Council

Paul Spooner Leader Guildford

Conservative led Surrey council with 89% Green Belt has recently completed its final Local Plan consultation and is awaiting Inspection.

The plan submitted to the Government Inspectorate in December 2017 provides for 654 houses per annum and included the loss of about 1.5% of its Green Belt. It has adopted a brownfield sites approach first but to meet its housing need the plan includes five strategic sites on previously undeveloped land. Two are urban extensions on the edge of Guildford providing 3,200 units and a new settlement of 2,000 units at Wisley.

Infrastructure improvements required as part of the plan include two new railway stations, a new intersection on A3 plus a solution to the A3 around Guildford.

A planning appeal for a replacement secondary school and 258 residential dwellings in the Green belt was just recently allowed by the Secretary of State.

The Government Inspector, before even starting the examination, has said he is very concerned that the plan makes no allowance for meeting unmet housing need and that he sees no evidence the plan can reasonably be expected to improve housing affordability.

Paul Spooner the Leader of Surrey has rebutted the Inspectors criticism as unrealistic and did not consider it reasonable or consistent with achieving sustainable development to require Guildford to release further Green Belt sites.

Watch this space!

Waverley Borough Council

Cllr Martin Fisher, Leader of Tandridge District Council

Housing needs assessment per annum.

Council Calculation 519

Government Target 538

Inspector demands 590

Conservative led West Surrey council with 64% Green Belt whose main towns are Godalming, Farnham and Cranleigh.

In 2013 the government inspector rejected Waverley’s Local Plan because it only included building 250 houses per annum. The District then had to completely restart its Local Plan process which made it vulnerable to speculative development. With no Local Plan the council lost control and spent over £500,000 defending 117 developer applications of which 69 were given permission on appeal including a number of sites in the Green Belt.

In 2017 Waverley sent their revised Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for examination based on 519 housing per annum and loss of 1% green belt with developments at Binscombe, Arons Hill and Mitford golf course totalling some 2,000 houses. The largest site at Dunsfold Aerodrome will deliver 2,600 houses although not in the Green Belt was controversial and was subject to a review by Secretary of State which was approved very recently.

The government inspector in February 2018 found the plan sound provided it increased its planned target by 14% to 590 houses per annum which is even higher than the Government target. The reason given by the Inspector was that this increase was required due to shortfall at Woking and migration from London.