Runnymede Objects to Green Belt Release in Woking

Get Surrey

A neighbouring council has objected to plans to build at least 1,200 homes on green belt land next to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking .

Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) said the proposed new development at Martyrs Lane next to Woodham and Ottershaw would bring “undoubted urban sprawl” to neighbouring areas should it be built.

Woking Borough Council (WBC) has consulted on the possibility of developing the 112.1 hectare site – dubbed “Woodham New Town” – as it works to towards setting its local plan for development between 2027 and 2040.

Cllr Gail Kingerley, chairman of RBC’s planning committee, said: “At a time when Woking Borough Council has already identified and consulted on sites to provide housing in the coming years, I cannot see why they have put forward a proposal for Martyrs Lane.

She added: “Taking any land out of the green belt should be carefully considered and if Woking has justification for such a move then it should be based on up and coming need.

“Another important reason why such a proposal should be carefully considered is the undoubted urban sprawl it would bring to the communities that neighbour its boundaries in Runnymede.”

RBC has now written to WBC to set out its concerns, warning that the authority has not done enough to work with neighbouring councils and that issues such as increased congestion on the A320 have not been properly considered.

The consultation ended on February 27.
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One thought on “Runnymede Objects to Green Belt Release in Woking

  1. Woking has an unmet need of circa 300dpa I recall from when I did their last plan, which was examined on the cusp of the introduction of the NPPF in March 2012.

    It wasn’t entirely clear what the OAN was, and consequently what the unmet need might be, as Woking hadn’t undertaken an NPPF compliant assessment of need. This was because its plan was prepared before the NPPF and examined just as the new NPPF-based system was being introduced. It did, however, fall within a separate HMA consisting of Guildford and Waverley. I can’t remember if that HMA is still being used. The inspector was assured at the time by Woking that that all three authorities of the HMA would work together under the duty to cooperate to address any potential shortfall, and he wrote this in his report. Therefore it was always on the cards that Woking might have to re-draw its green belt to accommodate future unmet housing needs. The evidence back in 2012, although not definitive, suggested that there was probably a considerable unmet need. This might well provide the justification that Runnymede is seeking.

    Why this proposal should wait until 2027 isn’t clear to me though.

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