Ashtead Community Vision Where will Ashtead’s new housing go? While we were all tucking into the turkey and keeping our heads down from ‘somewhat’ inclement weather, spare a thought for our intrepid volunteers at Ashtead Community Vision (ACV). You’ll recall in last month’s ‘Local’ that the Forum’s efforts had so far been focused on Mole Valley District Council’s Green Belt Boundary Review. Well, now the Forum has to look at land allocation given that MVDC’s planning department has to work out where houses are going to go. Why? It’s, in part, thanks to there being so many baby boomers in Ashtead - those born between 1946 and 1954, and who are expected to live longer lives. As a result we have a large cohort of individuals who are ageing and looking for more suitable accommodation in smaller homes. The Forum’s role in land allocation is simply to use the planners’ own methods to assess sites and to let the council know what we residents think about them. It’s still down to MVDC to make the final decision about what housing goes where – but the Forum’s view are important to the planners as it is meant to pull together what residents think about proposed developments- for and against. In terms of the actual field work, the ACV teams, have to go into the field (often literally) and assess the sites. In doing so they have to put together a whole load of information about the land – its proposed use, its size, where it is etc. They have to look at existing use, potential noise or fume impacts from neighbours and any loss of privacy. Pretty topical at the moment is whether the land is in a flood zone, its proximity to water courses and other potential sources of flooding.
Ashtead from Epsom
enhancement? Is it next to protected landscape? Is it agriculture land? Are there tree preservation orders or established hedgerows? Are there listed building, conservation areas, archaeological sites? What about rights of way, telephone masts, sub-stations pylons? The list goes on…. and on. Of course a fundamental issue is how many houses could be built on the site, what’s the density, what type of dwellings – small family houses, sheltered accommodation, affordable housing? And what does the local community think – the people who have to live with any development? The overriding point that all residents need to understand is that everyone who has an opinion should express it. The Forum’s next Report on the assessment of sites is intended to go online with a survey in February so please keep in touch with the ACV website at www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk and make sure your voice is heard.
Contact: Andy Ellis 07530 373975 email:firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on Face book Ashtead Community Vision, and Twitter @AshteadCV
Other questions include, can, or is, the site serviced by footpaths, cycle routes, vehicle access? Or is it close to a motorway or trunk John Morgan road? How far is it from community facilities? ACV Member Are utilities connected? Biodiversity and landscape are also big factors. Is the land capable of ecological 12
Issue 100, February 2014. Never underestimate the importance of community.