Tandridge Local Plan – New Village in the Green Belt and Still 2,550 houses short

Tandridge Draft Local Plan  

To be considered by council in July.

It has been bold and has been one of the few authorities in the London Green Belt to consider review and deallocation, atr this instance in South Godstone.

However its OAN is 470 a year, its plan is for 300 a year.  Meeting the need in full would need three South Godstones (given the limits to what can be developed in the plan period).

Despite the plan being nearly 300 pages long nowhere does it explain the choice of its spatial strategy or the reason why it choose to undershoot its OAN so dramatically.   Nor does it set out how and where this shortfall will be met through the duty to cooperate.

This is always a sign where members is a smoke filled room process has eliminated the sites they don’t like and the target is adding up what is left.

Tandridge entered this process by stating if it concentrated housing in one place it could provide infrastructure such as schools etc. more efficiently.  May be so but the scale of shortfall is such as to require three secondary schools worth of development.  By binding itself from the outset to choose only one it has rejected additional sites at Lingfield and Crowhurst which together could meet the need in full.

Will an inspector accept this?  Of course not. On housing and DTC grounds this is an obvious non starter.  There has been a distinct lack of proactive joint working across Surrey and the Gatwick Diamond.

We know the course of events from South Essex, unsound plan, threat of intervention and eventual joint strategic plan.

We need one ASAP for the Gatwick Diamond – the three North Easter West Sussex Districts and four Eastern Surrey Districts.

There is little point is Tandridge submitting a local plan to an examination which would be a predicable waste of money.  Like St Albans who was in the same position a few years ago their members should reject the plan and immediately start joint working on the diamond strategy.  I was widely criticised by (no ex)the leader of St Alban’s district at the time for saying so.  Look what happened to him.


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