Ashtead Community Vision Water, water everywhere...
wet and muddy cycle ride across the swamplands of Ashtead and Epsom commons reminded me of an issue that attracted a lot of comment whilst developing our Neighbour-hood Development Plan. Many people are concerned about the impact of more development on local flooding issues. Major road “wet spots” are at the junction of Agates Lane and Barnett Wood Lane and on the A24 outside Downsend School. Additionally, there are problems all along the Rye Brook, which rises on the east of the village near Farm Lane, travels north and turns sharply west at Ashtead Common to join the Mole in Leatherhead. Management of rain and waste water is the responsibility of Thames Water, which has struggled to resolve a number of flooding issues on the Rye Brook over the past few years. Their issue with any new development is the impact on existing water infrastructure. They have a duty to review all proposed developments with regard to rainwater runoff and waste water capacity. As these areas are outside the permitted scope of our plan, we have not proposed additional policies in our plan. Cycling was a significant theme in a recent Mole Valley district-wide consultation on infrastructure issues, although with two distinct (and opposing) aims. On the one hand there was support for more cycle lanes and additional cycle stands. On the other hand, there was a wish for greater control over cyclists to lessen annoyance to motorists and/or residents. The latter response was
particularly marked in certain locations which have become popular with cyclists at the weekends or through cycling events. Our plan mentions the pros and cons of an increase in cycling, although this subject is also outside the scope of what we can directly affect through neighbourhood planning. We have however proposed improvements to cycling routes as a possible project for future local infrastructure funding. Local infrastructure funding is provided by a levy on all new developments to fund improvements locally. A new mechanism for this, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), was introduced by Mole Valley from January this year at £175 per proposed new dwelling. Currently, fifteen percent of monies raised in this way from new properties in Ashtead is available for Ashtead-specific projects. If the referendum in May is successful and our plan is adopted, then our proportion of CIL monies rises to twenty-five percent. The balance of CIL money may be used by Mole Valley for infrastructure projects anywhere in the district, including Ashtead. Our Ashtead Neighbourhood Development Plan will be subject of a referendum on 4th May, alongside the council elections. If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum are in favour, our policies become part of the MVDC Development Plan and a material consideration for planning application decisions in the three Ashtead Wards. We therefore look forward to your support in May. 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://www.facebook.com/pages/AshteadCommunity-Vision/ or https://twitter.com/AcvComms 14
Never Underestimate the importance of community Issue 137.