Comments on the Mole Valley District Council draft Local Plan, which was published on 20 September 2021 (see our post Draft Mole Valley Local Plan out for Comment), need to be submitted by Sunday 7 November 2021.
All comments received will be passed to the Planning Inspector, who will hold a public hearing, next year. For further details on the draft Local Plan is available at futuremolevalley.org/
The major concern for Effingham residents, is the proposal to build 200 homes plus 3 traveller pitches on the Green Belt at Preston Farm, Lower Road (site DS8). Along with the rebuilding of the Howard of Effingham School and 258 enabling homes, plus a proposed further 110 homes. This will be a huge loss of the Green Belt, plus the closing of the gap between Effingham and Little Bookham along Lower Road.
A team of Bookham residents have worked with a planning consultant to identify the key issues against the proposal to build 200 homes plus 3 traveller pitches at Preston Farm. These are:
- Lack of demonstration that there are exceptional circumstances to justify removing this site from the Green Belt.
- Inconsistency of approach on applying MVDC’s own Green Belt Assessment criteria so that a more accessible site, with less impact on merging between Bookham and Effingham, has been deleted.
- Insufficient discussions with neighbouring authorities, in particular Guildford Borough Council, on sharing any surplus housing allocations.
- The impact of so much development in close proximity along Lower Road on traffic congestion and schools and healthcare provision etc.
- The impact of housing development on the ecology and biodiversity of Preston Farm.
- The likely increase in traffic resulting from the provision of a Country Park (in an area already rich in green space and countryside).
- Surface water flooding and insufficient capacity of the sewer system.
- Siting of traveller pitches.
- The decline of retail and commercial in town centres leading to increasing availability of floorspace and sites for alternative uses such as housing.
- Recent government announcements about development plans not promoting greenfield development.
Anyone who wishes to comment on the Mole Valley Local Plan should submit their comments by Sunday 7 November 2021
By email: email@example.com
By post: Planning Policy, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ.
EFFRA will be submitting comments on the draft Local Plan with regards development in the Bookhams.