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Page 14

Ashtead Community Vision Why do we need a neighbourhood plan?

O

n 4th May, alongside the Surrey County Council elections, you will have the opportunity to vote yes or no to the Ashtead Neighbourhood Plan. This plan is the culmination of four years of work by a dedicated group of volunteers looking at how we can improve future development in our village.

Why allow any more houses to be built in Ashtead? We cannot bar all future development, especially as it is the current view of Mole Valley that all future development be concentrated in the north of the district, i.e. Ashtead, Leatherhead, Bookham and Fetcham. However, we are surrounded by the Green Belt, which is still protected by both government and Mole Valley policy. Other than the possible exception of Murreys Court, all future development is going to be infill, knocking down an existing building and creating one or more new dwellings.

But let’s start at the beginning: What is a neighbourhood plan? A neighbourhood plan establishes planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, like where new homes and offices should be built and what they should look like

What are we proposing in this plan? The greatest issue is housing. Our surveys all elicit concerns about the affordability and availability of smaller houses. We can do nothing about affordability. Mole Valley planning policy (CS3) expresses a preference for smaller dwellings, but the proportion of 2 and 3-bedroom house in Ashtead shrinks year-on-year. We have therefore proposed policies aimed at reducing this by requiring a mix of small and large houses on new developments.

Neighbourhood plans allow local people to get the right type of development for their community, but the plans must still meet the needs of the wider area. This means that neighbourhood plans have to take into account the local council’s assessment of housing and other development needs in the The other significant concern from surveys and meetings is the maintenance of the area. Therefore our plan is in addition to character of Ashtead. Our village housing is the Mole Valley Local Plan(s). a mix of old and new, large and small and most people would like to keep it that way. Why do we need an additional plan? Mole Valley already has a range of planning We have therefore made it a condition that policies, including a preference for smaller all future developments should be in dwellings, adequate off-street parking, keeping with local surroundings. maintenance of local character and the There is not room to describe all of the protection of local shopping areas. In proposed policies in this article, so I would general these are successful, but we have urge you all to read the plan and vote in identified a number of areas where they favour on 4th May. could be strengthened for Ashtead.

Tony Tuley

More information the work of the Ashtead Neighbourhood Development Forum can be found on the Ashtead Community Vision (ACV) website at: www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk/ or https://twitter.com/AcvComms or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashtead-Community-Vision/ 14

Profile for Ashtead Leatherhead

Ashtead & leatherhead April 2017  

Never Underestimate the importance of community Issue 139.

Ashtead & leatherhead April 2017  

Never Underestimate the importance of community Issue 139.

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