Ashtead Community Vision Are we there yet? “Do you want Mole Valley District Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Ashtead to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?” If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum are in favour, the council is then obliged to “make” the plan. At that point it becomes part of the MVDC Development Plan and a material consideration for planning application decisions in the three Ashtead Wards. “Are we there yet?” - a perennial cry from small children on car journeys. As ever, the answer is “nearly there – it won’t be long now”. The same is true of our neighbourhood plan, which took another step closer to fruition at the Mole Valley Council meeting on 6th December. At that meeting, the council was asked to:
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A number of residents have in the past voiced concern that the policies that we are proposing to encourage smaller housing will have a detrimental effect on the character of Ashtead. One of the significant changes recommended by the examiner and approved by the council is to strengthen consideration of local character by the addition of the following words:
Consider each of the recommendations made by the independent examiner and decide what action to take in response to each; Come to a formal view about whether the draft plan meets the basic conditions and other relevant legislation; Publish the above decisions in a decision statement;
Subject to the above decisions, proceed to make arrangements for a referendum to be held. The result of that meeting was that the council accepted all of the recommendations, plus a couple of minor changes identified after publication of the examiner’s report.
“In all housing developments of this size (infill), their mix of housing types should also be consistent with achieving a good layout and design in relation to the immediate locality.” In addition to our specific policies on the subject, this additional wording should also encourage the planning authorities to consider the amount of green space in and around any new development.
A positive result in the referendum does not mean that we can hang up our planning hats and relax. We shall need to keep an eye on the development of the new Mole Valley Local Plan, which should be published in 2018, to ensure that there is no contradiction between that and our policies. At present, we do not foresee any Furthermore, the council agreed that our plan issues, but you can never tell! meets the relevant regulations and should I hope you all had a good Christmas and we look therefore go forward to a referendum. That referendum will be held in May 2017, alongside forward to your continued support in the New Year. the council elections, so there will be an Tony Tuley additional voting paper for Ashtead wards asking
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://www.facebook.com/pages/AshteadCommunity-Vision/ or https://twitter.com/AcvComms 14
Never Underestimate the importance of community Issue 135.