CONSULTATION ON POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT SITES (REGULATION 19)
This important consultation started on Monday, 5 November 2018 and it runs until 5pm on Monday, 17 December 2018. Many of you responded to earlier consultations but be aware, earlier comments are now ‘time expired’ and we must all respond again. Information on how to respond to this consultation is contained further down this email.
Key points for Pyrford’s Green Belt
With your support, we have been campaigning to protect the Green Belt in Pyrford. Woking Borough Council had previously proposed removing two fields in Pyrford from the Green Belt so that they could be used for residential development. The two fields concerned are the field bounded by Aviary Road and Upshot Lane (known as Aviary Road Field), and the field bounded by Lovelace Drive, Upshot Lane and Teggs Lane (known as Randall’s Field). The good news is that in the Council’s latest proposal both fields will remain in the Green Belt. Nevertheless, we are advising supporters to respond to this Regulation 19 consultation for three reasons:
- It is probable that others, such as the owners and potential developers of the two fields, will object to the Council’s conclusion and seek to overturn it.
- To show support for the Council’s conclusion that the two fields should remain in the Greenbelt; and, if you wish, to congratulate them for listening to the views of residents.
- The Council’s Sustainability Appraisal Report makes reference to earlier proposals to remove one or both of the fields from the Green Belt, and includes in its evidence base the 2014 Green Belt Review which recommended taking Randall’s Field out of the Green Belt. We believe that the earlier recommendations and proposals, and the reasons given for them, were wrong then and are still wrong now. Otherwise it might appear that the fields are being left alone because they are not needed rather than they are not suitable.
It is important to note that your responses to earlier consultations carry no weight going forwards and will not be considered by the Inspector (more on the Inspector’s role later). For your voice to be heard and your views considered by the Inspector you must respond to this current consultation. Also, you must make representations now if you wish to have the right to speak to the Inspector and make your case at the examination.
If you are a strong supporter of maintaining the Green Belt we should draw your attention to the fact that land is going to be taken out of Green Belt in other areas of Woking, such as in West Byfleet, Byfleet and Mayford. Also, the largest Green Belt development site, surrounding West Hall in West Byfleet (GB10), is adjacent to Pyrford. This site backs onto the Twisted Stone golf course, and may impact the use of the Dodd’s Lane footpath (which is in Green Belt).
Information on the consultation
The Council has published its Site Allocations DPD and its accompanying Sustainability Appraisal Report for Regulation 19 consultation. This is a final opportunity to submit representations before the DPD and supporting documents are submitted to the Secretary of State for independent examination.
Information on Site Allocations DPD and the consultation process is at:
What is the DPD?
The main purpose of the DPD (Development Plan Document) is to allocate specific sites for future development of housing, traveller sites, employment and infrastructure needs within Woking Borough. The DPD will facilitate the delivery of the Woking Core Strategy (2012) to the year 2027 which makes provision for the delivery of:
- 4,964 additional dwellings
- 93,900 sq. m of retail floor space
- 28,000 sq. m of office floor space
- 20,000 sq. m of warehouse floor space.
The Site Allocations DPD takes a long term view of the future (period 2012 to 2027) and safeguards land for residential development beyond the Plan period (between 2027 and 2040). It releases land from Green Belt in Woking, but the majority of future development sites are located within Woking Town Centre.
What is Regulation 19?
The Regulation 19 consultation is the final opportunity for anyone to comment on the Site Allocations DPD before it is submitted to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will appoint a Planning Inspector who will review the document and who is likely to arrange public meetings.
Woking Borough Council is saying, that representations made at this stage of the process should relate to one of the tests of soundness. To be sound the Site Allocation DPD should be positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy (see Appendix below). However, all comments received will be summarised by Woking Borough Council and passed onto the Secretary of State.
The consultation started on 5th November 2018 and runs for 6 weeks to 5pm 17th December 2018.
Responding to the consultation
The Site Allocations DPD and its supporting Sustainability Appraisal Report, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Proposals Map are available for inspection at the following venues:
- Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, GU21 6YL. Monday to Friday 9am – 4.45pm.
- Woking, Byfleet, West Byfleet and Knaphill libraries. Please see http://www.surreycc.gov.uk for addresses and opening times of the libraries.
On the Council’s website http://www.woking2027.info/allocations
Woking Borough Council will be holding drop-in sessions where you can come and discuss the proposals in more detail with the Planning Policy Team. These will be held on:
- Wednesday 21 November at HG Wells Conference and Events Centre, Church Street East, Woking GU21 6HJ, from 5.30 – 7.30pm;
- Monday 26 November at Woking Borough Council Civic Offices from 1 – 4.45pm.
Representations can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
The Planning Policy Team
Woking Borough Council
Civic Offices, Gloucester Square,
Woking, Surrey, GU21 6YL
Appendix – Tests of Soundness (National Planning Policy Framework July 2018)
Local plans and spatial development strategies are examined to assess whether they have been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements. Plans are “sound” if they are:
a) Positively prepared – providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area’s objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
b) Justified – an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
c) Effective – deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
d) Consistent with national policy – enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in this Framework.
Thank you all for your support
Chair, Pyrford Green Belt Action Group