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Waverley Council’s draft Local Plan ‘not fit for purpose’

Waverley Council’s draft Local Plan ‘not fit for purpose’

Waverley Borough Council’s draft Local Plan is “not fit for purpose”, according to CPRE Surrey, which has submitted its reasoned objections to the Draft Local Plan. CPRE Waverley Group Chairman Anthony Isaacs MBE said: “We have examined the Draft Local Plan thoroughly and have come to the conclusion that it is not fit for purpose.” The group gives six reasons for its damning indictment of the Draft Plan. Firstly, the Plan is based on out of date information which greatly exaggerates the Objectively Assessed Need for housing (OAN). CPRE thinks it should be around 400 new dwellings a year, not 519.

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New report uncovers proposals for 123,000 new houses on London Green Belt

New report uncovers proposals for 123,000 new houses on London Green Belt

A joint report by CPRE and the London Green Belt Council entitled “Safe Under Us?: An investigation into widespread threats from housebuilding in the London Metropolitan Green Belt” highlights how Government policies and sanctions appear to be forcing councils to release Green Belt land for development. Drawing on local evidence provided by CPRE branches in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, London and Surrey, the report demonstrates that the London Green Belt is likely to be under greater threat than ever. There are now plans for 203 sites within the London Green Belt including proposals for 123,528 homes.

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‘Population bombshell’ for Kingston and North East Surrey

‘Population bombshell’ for Kingston and North East Surrey

The population of Kingston-upon-Thames & North East Surrey (Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Mole Valley) is set to grow by a third over the next two decades, raising fears of massive strain on public services and the prospect of losing large swathes of the area’s Green Belt and countryside to development. This is the warning from the local Surrey and London branches of CPRE who are challenging the figures in the area’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), the strategic document that will play a major part in shaping the planning and housing policies of all four local authorities in this area. The SHMA sets out an overall requirement for more than 40,000 new dwellings to be built across the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, the Borough of Elmbridge, the Borough of Epsom & Ewell and Mole Valley District between now and 2035. CPRE said it wished to “raise the alarm about this population bombshell and what it means for local communities and countryside.”

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Guildford’s draft Local Plan branded ‘unrealistic’ and ‘over-ambitious’

Guildford’s draft Local Plan branded ‘unrealistic’ and ‘over-ambitious’

Guildford Borough Council’s draft Local Plan has been described as “unrealistic”, “over-ambitious”, “misguided” and “unsound”. In CPRE’s 28-page submission to the Borough Council’s consultation on the Local Plan, CPRE Guildford Chairman Tim Harrold challenges Guildford’s calculation of figures for new housebuilding. Under the Plan, the Borough must find land for the building of 13,860 new houses over 20 years (693 houses per year), of which more than 8,000 are to be built on sites currently within the Green Belt. CPRE believes the maximum per-annum figure should be 481. This is based on extensive research undertaken for CPRE by planning consultants Green Balance.

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CPRE takes aim at Waverley Council’s ‘flawed’ Local Plan

CPRE takes aim at Waverley Council’s ‘flawed’ Local Plan

Countryside campaigners have denounced Waverley Borough Council’s new draft Local Plan as “fundamentally flawed” and have warned that the Plan risks being declared “unsound” by the Planning Inspector as it relies on the inclusion of “unsustainable” development sites to meet its housebuilding targets. The local CPRE group says that the Plan, which was adopted by the Borough Council last week, has “many serious defects”. These include:
-insufficient weight given to countryside protection due to excessive and unrealistic housing numbers
-the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Great Landscape Value, the Green Belt, and important heritage assets, all put at risk
-inclusion of unsustainable development sites such as Dunsfold
-reliance on unspecified and uncosted infrastructure improvements for major development sites
-failure to give adequate weight to planning constraints, especially building on the Green Belt, contrary to clear Government Guidance.
-heavy reliance on a flawed consultation exercise

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