Ashtead Community Vision Ashtead’s housing issues - no room for complacency But as one Forum member suggested at the recent meeting, even if the NDP policy focused on building 2/3 bedroom homes there is no guarantee that they would satisfy local housing demand for such properties. Market forces dictate that such homes in Ashtead can be bought from people from outside the area – and are often done so. Therefore, when drafting policies – and commenting on them – we all need to be aware that housing The Ashtead Neighbourhood Forum met last requirements are actually broader than month to discuss the wording of the draft many may think. housing report that had been written by its working group Ashtead Community Vision Another way of looking at the issue would (ACV) as part of the process to establish a be to look simply at the ‘balance’ of housing stock and to see whether it Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). promotes a ‘balanced’ community – if that Having made a few minor changes following is what we are seeking to achieve. This is the Forum meeting the full report is now on something further for the community to the ACV website for public consultation at decide through the consultation. www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk/ . It is worth taking a look at the report as it will One bit of good news – at least from the be the basis for the policies which will ACV’s perspective - is that all this chat ultimately be put to Ashtead residents in about the future of Ashtead is stimulating the NDP referendum. some debate on social media – primarily Some of the key issues in the report were through the ACV website but also through highlighted in last month’s ‘The Local’ Facebook where numbers of visitors appears article. That article focused on the to have spiked recently. That’s very “housing crisis” that is facing the Village. encouraging given that the process of You will recall that the issue for those developing a Neighbourhood Development seeking housing in Ashtead is focused Plan (NDP) (like most planning issues) primarily around the supply of 2/3 progresses at a glacial pace – so it’s bedroomed houses. Much larger four or encouraging that we can all maintain our more bedroomed houses are tending to be attention long enough to involve ourselves built when in-fill development sites become in a somewhat dry subject. available. The complexity of the issue about new 2/3 bedroom houses being built in the future comes down to whether there is an actual problem or whether it’s simply a question that an imbalance has been created over the past 20 years or so. As is widely recognised the opportunity to build homes in Ashtead is pretty restricted and so any new policy focusing on building smaller homes will be limited in its effect unless larger sites become available.
You can find out more about ACV and the Forum’s work at: www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk/ www.facebook.com/pages/AshteadCommunity-Vision/ https://twitter.com/AcvComms
John Morgan ACV member
Issue 114. Never underestimate the importance of community.