Ashtead Community Vision Will having a Neighbourhood Development Plan limit building on the Green Belt? The simple answer is yes. The Localism Act 2011 gives communities the chance to have some influence on development in their area. However, the National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (NPPF) has a presumption in favour of development because a) to stimulate the economy via building and b) to provide more housing. We may not agree with this policy but this is the reality that we are constrained by.
demonstrate that we can accommodate those needs on existing brownfield or previously developed land (such as turning offices into houses) then we will not have to use any green belt land. We are using the 2011 census, reports & statistics at government, county and district level, and importantly the opinions of Ashtead residents. This is why it is so crucial that everyone in Ashtead gets involved in helping ACV gather evidence to go into the NDP.
The ACV stand at Village Day 2013
‘Can’t we just say that Ashtead is full?’ Well no; there is a national need for housing and government have required MVDC to provide 1400 new homes across the district , so it is only fair and right that Ashtead is asked to provide some proportion of this. We cannot just be NIMBYs – every area is grappling with the same difficult issue.
If we do not produce our NDP which shows we have assessed the need and allocated the land MVDC will produce a different plan, Ashtead will have far less say in the matter and developers could be in a stronger position to build where Ashtead’s Neighbourhood Development Plan they like because the presumption in the NPPF (NDP) will become part of Mole Valley’s Local is in favour of development. So Ashtead needs Plan. It will be a blue print for how much and to get on board and help us produce a robust what type of housing our community assesses it NDP where we accommodate some development will need in the next 10-15 years, and identify but keep Ashtead the lovely village we all where this housing could be built. The NPPF sets enjoy. out the characteristics of land which would be favoured for development: firstly brownfield sites; secondly previously developed land; and Sign up for the Newsletter on the website: only if neither of these is available, thirdly a www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk realignment of green belt land. It is fifty years since the last green belt boundary review was Contact: Andy Ellis 07530 373975 done and MVDC are now required to carry one email: out. This does not mean that just any area of email@example.com green belt will become available; for a start Find us on Facebook Ashtead Community most of it will be needed, but anyway, all Vision, and Twitter @AshteadCV greenbelt areas are judged for their suitability on three criteria – merging, encroachment and character. Each area also has to have a sustainability appraisal. Because Ashtead is producing its own NDP we will make these judgements ourselves, in a Green Belt Boundary Review for Ashtead using the residents’ views, including the survey, to arrive at proposals. The key thing to remember is that everything included in the final NDP has to be backed by evidence. For example if we produce enough evidence to show our housing needs, and can 14
Issue 93, July 2013. Never underestimate the importance of community.