Ashtead Community Vision New housing for Ashtead? A Brownfield Greenbelt perspective the Shell garage in The Street and an office site off Barnett Wood Lane. Generally though, there is very little available previously developed land in Ashtead (and in most of Mole Valley). So if there is to be any extensive building then it may have to be directed at the Green Belt – a controversial act which will be resisted by many of Mr Osborne’s followers with not an inconsiderable amount of local pressure being directed at the Leader of the House of Commons - our own MP Chris Grayling (who hancellor George Osborne’s statement also happens, lives in Ashtead). Just as well about giving open house to developers who want to build on so-called ‘Brownfield’ then, that the Government currently says it sites created a whole flurry of activity in the wishes to avoid building on the Green Belt. national media. Which is why Mole Valley District Council, contrary to Mr Osborne’s assertions about The hand wringing in Downing Street about the intransigence of local authorities, in its Britain being “incapable of building enough recent assessment activities has been keen homes” made me smile at least in the to identify, Brownfield land wherever it context of the Ashtead Neighbourhood exists - in large part to ensure it counters Development Plan (NDP) which is currently the pressure coming from those who would being put together by Ashtead Community like to concrete over the Green Belt. Vision on behalf of the Ashtead
Neighbourhood Development Forum.
AVC’s housing report – which is part of the evidence backing the soon to be written housing policies in the NDP – suggests there aren’t many Brownfield sites in Ashtead. Most previously developed land that has been redeveloped in recent years, has been on very small sites. The exceptions are the two largest sites at Parsons Mead and St Andrews - sites which yielded 117 dwellings. Of course, drama is never far away from But to put that into perspective the average aspiring politicians so the FT helpfully ‘windfall’ rate – the number of small included the Osborne punchline, “I am not prepared to stand by when people who want Brownfield sites becoming available in to get on the housing ladder can’t do so.” All Ashtead - has been 8 dwellings per year between 2006 and 2014. good knock about political stuff. But what are the implications of this Brownfield debate for Ashtead? You can find out more about ACV and the Forum’s work at: Well, not much more than noise given the www.ashteadcommunityvision.org.uk/ fact that the village is pretty much fully https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashtead developed with few, if any, ‘Brownfield’ -Community-Vision/ https://twitter.com/ sites – otherwise technically known as ‘previously developed land’. Currently going AcvComms The story made the front page of the Financial Times and no doubt on those of some of the other lesser rags in order to point the finger of Britain’s housing woes firmly at the local authorities who are charged with enacting our planning policies.
through the planning process includes the changes of use for the office block next to
John Morgan ACV member
Issue 118. Never underestimate the power of community.