THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN - HOUSING FOR ELSTEAD
This report compares changes to Green Belt housing sites and numbers of new homes in the new Waverley Local Plan between the 2014 and 2016 Consultations, as they affect Elstead and Weyburn. It also gives some relevant information about the Elstead & Weyburn Neighbourhood Plan. The Local Plan is due to be completed in Summer 2017, before the Neighbourhood Plan is likely to be accepted.
Note. This is not an official Parish Council or Neighbourhood Plan report. Please address any queries to the Editor: [LINK]
a. Extension of the Elstead Settlement Boundary1
b. Suggested development sites
c. Housing numbers
a. Extension of the Settlement Boundary
b. Suggested development sites
c. Housing numbers
a. The Plan Boundary
b. Suggested development sites
c. Housing numbers
d. EWNP Survey January 2016 - Housing Responses
e. Waverley 2016 Report - Rural Affordable Housing
a. Housing Need in Elstead (EWNP Local Plan Response)
b. Waverley allocation of new homes to Elstead (Waverley Planning Dept)
c. Housing sites in Elstead (Elstead Parish Council September Meeting)
1. The 2014 Waverley Local Plan Consultation
This first consultation on Waverley's proposals for the new Local Plan was held in August to October 2014, with exhibitions in the towns and villages. The intended period for the Waverley Local Plan was 2013 to 2031.
a. Extension of the Elstead Settlement Boundary. This was proposed in the Green Belt Review to include an area north of the Milford Road as far as the Shackleford Road in Peper Harow Parish. This would have included the Burford Recreation Ground and the adjacent field, as well as all the land around Weyburn. It was opposed by both Parishes in their responses to the Local Plan.
b. Suggested Green Belt development sites. Eight possible development sites for housing around Elsteadwere suggested following a call for sites and of those only two were considered suitable, Weyburn Works and the Croft Nursery. Weyburn Works is a Brownfield industrial site on the Parish Boundary between Elstead and Peper Harow. The Croft site is the remainder of the old Croft Nursery, part of which was developed as a Rural Exception Site for mixed housing in 2006. Waverley also proposed that Elstead settlement should be removed from the Green Belt to improve planning procedures.
c. Housing numbers. In 2013 the number of new homes proposed to be built on Green Belt land around the five large villages in Waverley was 300-450, depending on the number to be built at Dunsfold Airfield. A further 400 were to be built within the present settlement boundaries of all the villages in Waverley, assuming normal development processes.
An estimate was made for Elstead of 60-90 to be built on Green Belt land and a further possible 60-80 within the settlement boundary, totaling 120 to 170 new homes over the 18 year period, 7-9 per year. These figures were derived by dividing the totals for the villages by five in each case, hopefully an over-estimate.
All the information in this section was presented to the public at a private exhibition on October 11th 2014, with associated information about the planned Neighbourhood Plan project.
2. The 2016 Waverley Local Plan Consultation
This second consultation was held in August/October 2014 on Waverley's Draft Local Plan. The final draft will be prepared from the feedback from the consultation and should be finalised in early 2017. The intended period for the Local Plan has been extended by one year to 19 years, from 2013 to 2032.
a. Extension of the Settlement Boundary. In the latest draft Local Plan the proposal to add the land north of the Milford Road and west of the Shackleford Road to the Elstead settlement was dropped.
b. Suggested development sites. It is proposed to remove two sites from the Green Belt and include them within the Elstead settlement boundary. One is the Croft site, the other a site between Hookley Lane and Silver Birches Way with 20 homes. There is a possible anomaly related to the Croft site as the existing Croft estate is a Rural Exception Site and was not within the Elstead settlement boundary.
For planning purposes the Weyburn site is to be treated as a Brownfield site in the Green Belt, with any homes built to be part of the allocation for Elstead, as Peper Harow lacks the infrastructure and facilities to support development and has no housing allocation.
c. Housing numbers. The total number of houses suggested by Waverley for allocated sites outside the current settlement boundary is 125 - 70 for Weyburn, 35 for the Croft site and 20 for the other Hookley Lane site. This is a change from the original numbers, which were 61 for Weyburn and 30 for the Croft site. Development at Weyburn is expected to occur within the next five years, on the other sites between six and ten years.
In the current draft Waverley's expectation for total development for Elstead is 150 new homes. Of these 22 have either been built already since 2013 or have planning permission. This would mean that if all three of the proposed Green Belt sites are fully developed only three new homes need to be built within Elstead by 2031 to complete the allocation! Since normal development in Elstead is likely to exceed this by a considerable number it appears that the proposed sites do not all need to be fully developed.
It may be that 30-50 more new homes will be built within the village during the next 16 years (2-3 per year), leaving only 80-100 to be built on Green Belt sites.
Elstead Parish Council will be circulating a call for sites suitable for new homes in and around the village as a basis for discussions with Waverley about the best locations for future development.
3. The Elstead and Weyburn Neighbourhood Plan
The EWNP was first discussed by Elstead Parish Council early in 2014 and a decision to go ahead with its development was made in August. An outline of its background and purpose was presented to Elstead residents at an exhibition and discussions on October 11th 2014, followed by a public meeting in November.
a. The Plan Boundary. This includes the whole of Elstead Parish and the area of Peper Harow Parish north of the Milford Road and west of the Shackleford Road as far as Somerset Bridge. It was felt that this was necessary because of the impact that development at Weyburn would have on the facilities and services in Elstead.
b. Suggested development sites. The responses to the opinion survey carried out in January 2016 included several suggestions for development sites outside the present settlement boundary. Some of these are unlikely to be considered for various reasons but others could be suggested to Waverley as alternatives to one or other of those proposed in the draft Local Plan.
c. Housing numbers. It has now been made clear by Waverley Planning Department that the proposed total of 150 new homes is firm and is based on Elstead's ability to support development without excessive strain on the local infrastructure and services, as well as the availability of suitable Green Belt sites. This does not depend on the numbers to be built in other areas. Development at Weyburn is included in the total for Elstead and there is no housing allocation for Peper Harow, which does not have the infrastructure to support major expansion.
What is not yet certain is how many homes are expected to be built in Elstead Parish and the Weyburn area as a result of normal growth, including conversion of redundant farm buildings and other windfall sites. This figure will affect the numbers to be built on Green Belt sites.
d. EWNP Survey January 2016 - Housing Responses There were 534 responses to the question about new homes needed in Elstead. The results show that people think that a variety of open market and low cost homes will be needed but they do not give any numbers indicating actual current need for either low cost or private homes.
e. Waverley 2016 Report - Rural Affordable Housing. The attached document is an extract from the report on current progress on Rural Affordable Housing in the Borough. Waverley distinguishes three types of low cost housing:- Affordable with a maximum of 80% of market value, Intermediate (e.g. shared ownership) and Social Rented homes. Affordable homes are usually built as part of open market developments while Intermediate and Social Rented homes can be Council or Housing Association developments on public land or Rural Exception Sites.
4. APPENDIX. Notes on recent information:
Housing Need in Elstead (EWNP Local Plan Response)
Waverley allocation of new homes to Elstead (Waverley Planning Dept)
Housing sites in Elstead (Elstead Parish Council September Meeting)
1. Housing Need in Elstead.
Extract from the EWNP response to the 2016 Waverley Local Plan Consultation:
We are particularly concerned that the figure of 150 dwellings for Elstead does not seem to be based on any rational or objective assessment of need in Elstead: it appears to have been derived by adding together the figure for the two sites in Hookley Lane (respectively 35 and 20) and the derived figure of 70 for the Weyburn industrial site and making an allowance for completions and outstanding permissions (2013 to 2016) and then “rounded up”.
Comment: There was an opportunity for a Housing Needs Survey in early 2015 which was not carried out. This would have defined at least some of the need for new homes in Elstead, particularly affordable, intermediate and social housing. Proposals on the numbers and type of housing to be be provided are likely to be made by Waverley in Part 2 of the Draft Local Plan.
2. Waverley allocation of new homes to Elstead:
Replies by a Waverley Senior Planner to an enquiry show the basis for allocation of new homes to Elstead in the 2016 Draft Local Plan. They do not indicate the numbers of new homes that are likely to be built by normal development processes in the village over the next 16 years to 2032.
Q. Is the number of 125 identified in the 2016 Waverley Land Availability Assessment based on an assessment of Elstead's ability to sustain that number of new homes?
The LAA includes three sites in Elstead/Peper Harow considered by Waverley Borough Council to be suitable for housing. These are estimated to be able to deliver about 125 homes. These sites have largely (but not entirely) informed Elstead’s proposed allocation of 150 homes in the Local Plan. We have also taken into account ‘top down’ factors, such as the appropriate level of housing for a settlement with this level of facilities.
The Weyburn Works site (LAA ID 16) is partly in Elstead and partly in Peper Harow. Indeed the parish boundary runs through the brownfield part of the site. Notwithstanding this, the Council considers that as the site is close to Elstead village it should contribute towards Elstead’s numbers. Peper Harrow is not given its own housing allocation as it only has a very small settlement and very few (if any) facilities.
Comment. It appears from these replies that Elstead's quota is not based on established need in the village but on its capacity to support development and the current availability of sites. All homes built on the Weyburn site will be part of Elstead's allocation regardless of which Parish they are in.
3, Housing sites in Elstead
Extract from the September 2016 Parish Council discussions:
Land for Housing: proposal is that Elstead should provide 150 dwellings in the period 2013-2032 (22 of which are already built or have received consent). For comparison, Waverley Borough as a whole will need to find an additional 20% or so dwellings over this period; the proposed figure for Elstead would be around 14 %. If we accept the figure, we will need to be reasonably clear that we can find through the Neighbourhood Planning process sufficient sites for this number of dwellings. These sites can include small sites within the settlement area (eg the telephone exchange and the former coach park) as well as sites adjacent to but outside the area. They can also include dwellings provided by the conversion of redundant farm buildings. We can propose alternative sites outside the settlement area (ie not those adjacent to Hookley Lane) for consideration by WBC as part of the Local Plan Part 2 process, provided of course that we think they are more suitable than those proposed by WBC. Cllrs thought that the figure was reasonable.
Comments. These conclusions need clarification. The proposed quota of 150 new homes can already be met by the three sites proposed in the Draft Local Plan and the new homes already built or with planning permission between 2013 and 2016, with no other building required during the whole period. This is unlikely to happen.
New homes will continue to be built within the Neighbourhood Plan area as a result of normal development, either within the village or on other suitable sites in the Parish. This will reduce the number of new homes that need to be built on the three Green Belt sites proposed in the Draft Local Plan.
Calculations of new homes for the next 16 years must include estimates of the numbers that will continue to be built in the course of natural growth. The development of the major Green Belt sites needs to be spread over the same period so that the numbers can be adjusted to take account of this.
An additional search for new sites in the Green Belt would only be needed if it is considered that the sites already proposed are unsuitable. The case for this would have to be established well enough to prevent the owners and developers of the currently proposed sites from contesting the alternatives. This would be easier if it can be done and negotiations with Waverley carried out before the Local Plan is finalised. The Neighbourhood Plan may not be the best means to do it as it will not be completed until after the Local Plan.
Earlier documents (2014 - 2016)
6. Elstead Parish Council response to the Waverley Local Plan Consultation.
WBC LOCAL PLAN
I am responding on behalf of Elstead Parish Council to your consultation document on the draft
Waverley Borough Council Local Plan. This matter was discussed at a special meeting of the Council
on 22 September and these comments reflect the unanimous views of all members.
These comments specifically address three aspects of the proposals contained in your draft as they
affect Elstead, ie the four potential scenarios for the location of new homes; the changes to the Green
Belt; and the specific suggestions for modifications to the settlement area in Elstead. But before
dealing with these items I need to reiterate several of the highly pertinent points made in the Parish
Council’s earlier letter of 30 December 2013 to you on this subject .
Over the past 15 years there has been substantial residential development in Elstead. During this time,
more than 100 new dwellings have been constructed, which has meant an increase of over 10% in the
total housing stock in the village. This has not however been accompanied by any corresponding
strengthening of the village infrastructure. As a result, our roads are increasingly congested, parking is
becoming a major problem, the village primary school is barely able to cope with current demand for
places from within the village, the doctors’ surgery is under pressure and the electricity supply is
fragile and lacks resilience. All of these problems are compounded by an entirely inadequate and
deteriorating public transport provision.
The increase in residential development has been accompanied and to a large extent facilitated by a
significant decline in the number and scale of employment sites in the village. We have over the past
15 years lost two builders (Tracys and Elstead Builders), two vehicle repair yards (Mays Motors and
Hillbrow) and a large manufacturing enterprise (Federal Mogul). All but the last site (currently
derelict) have been developed for housing. The only major employment sites left in the village (apart
from agricultural enterprises and 3 pubs/restaurants) are Tanshire House (office suites), Chandlers
Motors (vehicle repair) and Bridge House (care home). No new employment sites have been
identified during this time. As a result, there is a serious risk that Elstead will soon become nothing
more than a commuter village.
Future development in Elstead has to be considered within the context of the government’s National
Planning Policy Framework. This emphasises the need for development to be sustainable, which in
turn requires planners to take account of the need for mixed development, ie development which
reduces journey times and demands on the transport infrastructure. The conversion of any of the
remaining employment sites into housing, or the development of new housing sites without a
corresponding increase in local employment, could not be considered as sustainable in the context of
Elstead’s current situation.
The Council also notes that since the start of 2013 (the start date for the new Local Plan period) at
least 7 dwellings have been completed or are nearing completion within the current settlement area in
Elstead. Planning applications have been either approved or are awaiting approval for a further 11 or
so dwellings. It seems likely therefore that Elstead is on course to provide at least 18 of its target
number of new dwellings (whatever this may turn out to be) within the first 2-3 years of the Local
The Four ScenariosThe Council recognises that Elstead will have to play its part in identifying suitable land for housing
to help meet the Borough’s target identified in the SHMA. But it needs to emphasize that additional
housing in the village can only be accommodated if there are at the same time improvements to the
infrastructure of the village (notably transport, education and health). Even then (and our experience
over the past 15 years has shown that infrastructure improvements in Elstead have signally failed to
keep pace with increases in population) there are clear limits to the number of additional dwellings
that can be accommodated within the parish owing to the limitations imposed by the inadequacy of
the local services and transport facilities. Because of this, the Council takes the view that the bulk of
the additional housing needs in the Borough should be met by development within the main
settlements, which are far better equipped to provide the required transport facilities and services .
The Council is unable to comment specifically on the merits or otherwise of a major development at
Dunsfold. It would however argue that a major development on a single site would be a better option
than trying to meet the Borough’s housing target by means of a multitude of sites spread around the
rural areas of the Borough. This is because it would be much more practical to provide the additional
services needed on a single site than on a multitude of sites distributed in penny packets around the
For these reasons the Council would support Scenario 4 in the Consultation Document, provided
development at Dunsfold on the scale envisaged would indeed be practicable and sustainable.
The Green Belt
The consultation document proposes two significant changes to the Green Belt as it affects Elstead.
The first is that a large area of land to the north-east of the village should be removed from the Green
Belt. The second is that the whole of the land within a revised settlement boundary (which may
include the area to the north-east of the village) should also be excluded from the Green Belt.
The area to the north-east proposed for removal is, with the possible exception of one parcel of land
immediately to the west of the brownfield former Federal Mogul site, of much the same character as
the neighbouring land which would remain within the Green Belt. It is all lightly to moderately
wooded, with a range of mature broadleaf trees (mainly oaks). Much of the land is low-lying and
prone to winter flooding. The exceptions are the two large parcels of land owned by the Parish
Council. One is the Burford Lodge Recreation Ground and the other is the Burford Lodge Extension
Land, currently used partly as allotments and partly as horse grazing. These parcels, together with the
field to the south of the Tanshire site, are the subject of covenants which would preclude the use of
the land for residential development.
There seems to be little justification in the Council’s view for taking this large area of land out of the
Green Belt. To do so would imply that all of the land would be suitable for development, which
would extend the settlement area within Elstead by around 50%. But as indicated above, much of the
land concerned is either prone to flooding or is the subject of covenants, both of which would render
the sites concerned unavailable for housing.
The main problem arising from the exclusion of such a large area of land from the Green Belt is that
over time the settlement area of the village would be likely to be extended to encompass the whole or
most of the excluded area. This would fundamentally alter the character of the village and would also
be contrary to the objectives set out in the village design statement The one parcel of land which might be suitable for development (other than the brownfield former
Federal Mogul site) is the parcel to the west of that site, currently used for clay pigeon shooting on an
occasional basis. This land is not in agricultural use and has been neglected over recent years. It
contains a number of derelict buildings and deposited waste material. The Council would not object if
this land were to be included within the adjacent brownfield site, as it already displays many of the
characteristics of a brown field site.
The Council fails to understand the logic of removing the whole of the settlement area in Elstead from
the Green Belt. The Green Belt is designed, among other objectives, to protect the existing open
spaces within the village settlement area (an objective which also features in the village design
statement). Removal of Green Belt status for the settlement area would also remove this protection.
The Council has provisionally decided to proceed with the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for
the village, which if adopted would be likely to give greater protection to its open spaces and to its
unique character. It therefore recommends that no decision on the removal of Green Belt status should
be taken in advance of the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Sites Outside the Settlement Area
The Local Plan supporting documents published by WBC include 8 sites in Elstead which have been
suggested for housing development. All of these are currently outside the settlement area. The
Council’s assessment of these sites is given individually below.
Site 16 (Former Federal Mogul Works)
This site includes both the brownfield land occupied by the now-derelict works and the adjacent
greenfield land to the north, west and south. Overall, it is a large site and if developed for housing
could accommodate a large number of dwellings – probably well over 100. It has been categorised as
‘green’ in the WBC SHLAA.
Much of the land is quite unsuitable for housing. That to the north is on the floodplain of the River
Wey. That to the south-west is subject to winter flooding. Much of the brownfield site is contaminated
land. Access to the village services on foot or by cycle is difficult owing to the lack of dedicated
pedestrian or cycle routes.
The brownfield site is moreover the last remaining significant employment site serving the village,
other than the adjacent Tanshire site. WBC recognises that in the Borough as a whole there is a
shortage of available employment sites, and the loss of this major site to housing would only
exacerbate this problem.
Nevertheless, the Council believes that there is scope for some residential development on this site
and that if more dwellings have to be located in or near Elstead this would be the preferred location.
Road access is reasonably good and it is important that the site should be taken out of its present state
of dereliction. But part of the site should be reserved for industrial/commercial use in order to help
maintain and increase employment in the village. With this in mind, the Council would support the
inclusion of the field to the west of the derelict works (already referred to above) in the brownfield
site in order to facilitate dual use of the site.
If there is to be significant residential development at the former Federal Mogul site (as enlarged by
the addition of the field to the west), it is imperative that there should be safe access on foot and by
bicycle to the services within the village. As the surrounding land is largely within the same ownership as that of the site itself, it should be a condition of any planning consent that the developer
should provide such access through a dedicated link.
Site 308 (Land Adjacent to the Croft)
This site has been categorised as ‘amber’ in the SHLAA. It is not ideal for housing, as it is at risk
from winter flooding, and additional development would put further strain on the road system nearby,
in particular in terms of accessing the Milford Road via Hookley Lane. But it is surrounded by
development on two of its four sides and its use for housing could not be opposed on landscape
grounds. The Council would therefore agree with the ‘amber’ assessment . But before making any
decision on this site WBC should first check that no planning agreement exists in the documents
relating to the Croft development which would preclude development on this site.
Site 577 (Tanshire)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment. This is the
most important employment site in or near the village and must be maintained as such. It is well
supported, to the extent that car parking on the site is now becoming a problem (cars parked on the
sides of the local roads owing to inadequate on-site parking provision). There is no justification for a
change of use to residential, given the current shortage of employments sites in the Borough.
Site 689 (Land Adjacent to Springfield and Westhill)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment.
Development on this site would be visible for miles around and should therefore be strongly resisted
on landscape grounds. Access would also be a problem, owing to the limitations of the roadways at
the end of Springfield and Westhill. Furthermore, the site is home to a number of springs which in wet
weather run strongly down into Springfield and can cause localised flooding .These problems would
be exacerbated by development. This site would be the least suitable for new housing in the village.
Site 613 (Sunray Farm)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment, for largely
the same reasons as set out in relation to Site 689 above.
Site 471 (Land at the Rear of Staceys Farm)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment. The site is a
small one and part of it is within the floodplain of the River Way. Access would also be a problem.
Site 624 (Moors Lane)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment. There are a
number of specimen trees on the site, which would preclude large-scale development. Access would
also be a problem for development on a significant scale.
Site 695 (Land at End of Redhouse Lane)
This site is categorised as ‘red’ in the SHLAA. The Council agrees with this assessment. The site is
adjacent to an important SSSI and its use for housing would put the interest and integrity of the SSSI
at risk. Furthermore, the site and the adjacent developed land is prone to winter flooding. The use of
this site for housing would result in the transfer of rainwater to the adjacent land, thereby exacerbating the flooding problems in the immediate locality. Development of the site would also extend the
settlement area towards the heathland area, which would be undesirable on landscape grounds.
I trust that these comments are helpful. Representatives of the Council would be happy to meet with
WBC officers to expand on them in more detail if this would be helpful.
The New Waverley Local Plan - Introduction
Waverley currently has more than 50,000 homes but the Government's methodology shows that we may need to find space for around 8,500 more homes between 2013 and 2031. This means that almost all the towns and villages in Waverley will have to find space for a least some new housing.
A number of potential sites around Elstead have been offered to Waverley for possible development. All are outside the present village boundaries and are currently in the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If all these sites were to be developed they could accept up to 298 dwellings. However only two of them are assessed as sustainable in the Waverley Green Belt Review. The only one likely to be developed before 2019 is the Weyburn brownfield site on the Shackleford Road.
The Green Belt Review indicates a preference for development at Weyburn and on land adjacent to The Croft, which would cover the quota of 60-90 houses likely to be allocated to Elstead over the 16 year period.
There is a danger that regardless of the Waverley Local Plan a developer might apply for planning for a major development that could be accepted by an Inspector at a Public Enquiry. It is essential that the Waverley Local Plan is based on widespread public consultation and support.
Elstead Parish Council has started work on a Village Neighborhood Plan that will reinforce and add detail to the Waverley Local Plan. This will take about a year to produce and will need a lot of work and support from Elstead residents. It will be our chance to have our say in the way in which Elstead is developed in the future, within the constraints imposed by Government policy.
Links to key Waverley Documents
Consultation Plan & links: http://www.waverley.gov.uk/newlocalplan
Articles and discussion documents
Waverley Local Plan
Waverley councillors have now published the process by which public consultation will take place over the new draft Local Plan for the borough, through a special edition of “Making Waves” devoted to the purpose A comprehensive publicity campaign will swing into action later in the month, so I will not go into detail here, except to say that a travelling exhibition will visit Elstead on 24 September 2014, from between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.. However, there are some straightforward issues for us all to think about in the meantime
It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of the Plan for everyone who lives in the borough. Councillors were told that the number of new houses that Waverley must provide to enable the policy of central government to “build our way out of recession” now indicates a level of around 470 additional homes in the borough: every year for the next 18 years before being revised again. This compares with the 250 per year for which government officials have estimated Waverley can presently provide services; schools, roads, water, drainage, gas and electricity, medical facilities, etc., in an on-going “sustainable” way so a great deal of new infrastructure investment will be necessary to make this plan viable. At the present time, there is no indication of where the funding for that infrastructure will be found although most of the facilities that will be required are normally the responsibility of the local authorities with, sometimes, a degree of funding directly provided by central government. If this level of investment in local facilities is really going to be available from government, then there may be some benefit for all of us, but we surely do not want to see villages such as Elstead turned into early morning commuter dormitories, with everyone racing away down the A3 at the crack of dawn to get to work well beyond the borders of Waverley
There are four different scenarios that Waverley will present to us for comment, and each will target different parts of the borough for the distribution pattern for new houses. The larger numbers will impact primarily on Farnham and its surroundings, and Cranleigh with Dunsfold Park, but all of our towns and villages have a part to play. Outside the towns, the new proposals mostly affect four “rural” villages, one of which is Elstead along with Milford, Witley and Chiddingfold
Waverley has completed a review of its Green Belt land, as required by the Planning Inspector last year, and the proposals locally identify the potential to remove Elstead, Milford and Witley from the Green Belt and extend the village settlement boundaries of certain villages, specifically Elstead, Milford and Witley but also Churt. There are no proposals, presently, that would directly affect Tilford or Thursley villages but most of those villages which are proposed for development are in our immediate neighbourhood and will have consequential effects on all of us
There are no proposals for change to the status of Thursley Common and the other smaller commons areas; the MoD connexion with Hankley would rule that out for future housing development; and Frensham Common is classified as an Area of Historic Landscape Value, which will severely restrict any proposals for development. I have some more detailed advance information with maps and, if anyone wants to see it, I will forward a link to the source or e-mail a copy, on request. I shall also be holding some local surgeries during the early stages of consultation and write a longer and more detailed exposition, for those who may be concerned about the implications, in a future bulletin
We live in interesting times …
Waverley Borough and Elstead Parish Councillor
WAVERLEY BC CORE STRATEGY
COMMENTS FROM ELSTEAD PARISH COUNCIL March 2012
1 I am responding on behalf of the Parish Council to your Core Strategy document issued at the end of February 2002. This document has been considered by the Parish Council and the following comments reflect the unanimous view of the whole Council.
2 Our comments relate principally to allocation of land for housing. The Council supports the Core Strategy judgment that adequate provision of land for housing needs to be made in the Local Development Framework (LDF). It also accepts that the annual figure of 230 dwellings for the borough as a whole is probably the minimum figure which would be regarded as consistent with government policy.
3 As far as Elstead is concerned, the provision of additional housing in the village must take account of the following requirements:
Provide the appropriate type of housing needed in the village, ie largely family housing, with a minimum of 2 bedrooms and preferably more. This would apply both to affordable housing provision and open-market housing.
The provision of adequate infrastructure to support a larger population, in particular school places, accessible public transport and leisure facilities. Significant additional housing would place heavy pressure on the village primary school and on the availability of secondary school places at the most accessible secondary school at Rodborough. It would not be acceptable for village children of primary school age to be required to travel outside the village to attend school. On transport, the Parish Council notes that Surrey County Council is proposing a reduction in the already attenuated bus service to Elstead. It would not be acceptable to locate additional housing in Elstead unless adequate public transport is made available.
Local employment. Employment opportunities within or adjacent to the village have been steadily reduced over the last 20 years, with the loss of 3 of the 7 main employment sites to housing. As a result, approaching 100 new dwellings have been constructed. Of the remaining 4 employment sites, one (Federal Mogul ) is vacant and another (Tracys) has been granted planning consent for housing. This leaves only 2 (the Egg Farm and Tanshire). It is wrong in terms of sustainability for employment sites in a discrete community such as Elstead to continue to be converted into housing sites.
Superfast broadband. There is only a passing reference on the Core Strategy document to the provision of superfast broadband. Enquiries undertaken by the Parish Council have established that for the major remaining employment site in Elstead (Tanshire) the provision of superfast broadband services is likely to be of critical importance in maintaining the viability of the site.
4 The Parish Council has particular concerns over the proposal to convert the Federal Mogul site from industrial/commercial use to housing. These can be summarised as follows:
The land is as the SHLAA notes subject to flooding.
There is evidence of significant contamination from toxic materials used in the manufacturing processes previously carried out on site.
As noted above, the site is one of the few remaining employment sites left in Elstead. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a strong demand from Elstead residents for accessible small-scale business sites within the village and this site is clearly ideally suited to such use.
In sustainability terms, it would be entirely wrong to lose a further large and accessible employment site to housing. The result would be the loss of future employment opportunities within the village and an increase in traffic movements as a result of Elstead becoming even more of a dormitory settlement than it is currently following the loss of previous employment sites.
There is also no footpath along the B3001 which would permit safe pedestrian access to the village.
Public transport in the village is poor. The occupants of the additional 50 dwellings without private transport would find it difficult to travel both outside the village and to the services within the village (shops, school, doctors’ surgery), which are generally over half a mile or more distant from the site.
The inclusion of this site in the Core Strategy provision of land for housing will serve only to discourage the owners of the site from pursuing industrial/commercial use, as the price of land for housing is twice that of land for industrial/commercial use. As a result, and until the Core Strategy process has been completed, the land is likely to subside even further into the state of dereliction and insecurity which the present owners appear to have facilitated.
5 The Parish Council therefore asks that the Federal Mogul site is not included in the sites recommended for housing. The only basis on which the Council would accept any provision for housing on this site would be if this made it financially attractive for the bulk of the site to be retained for industrial/commercial use.
6 If additional land for housing is needed in Elstead, the Council suggests that Waverley BC planning department should investigate the suitability and availability of the site at the former Sunray Poultry Farm to the rear of Westhill. This is just outside the current settlement boundary, but is largely derelict. The lower section of the land adjacent to the old farm buildings is close to existing housing and vehicular access is available. The higher land however would not be suitable for housing on landscape grounds.
P W Murphy
Parish Council Chairman
30 March 2012
Development sites considered by Waverley. Weyburn (16) and The Croft (348) are the only two assessed as sustainable. The Croft is restricted from further development for another five years.
Waverley Borough Council is consulting on a number of potential housing scenarios and other issues to help draw up a new Local Plan. This consultation will help to decide where future developments should go. It will run for just over six weeks from the 3rd September until 17th October 2014.
Waverley currently has more than 50,000 homes but evidence shows that we may need to find space for around 8,500 more homes between 2013 and 2031. This means that almost all the towns and villages in Waverley will have to find space for a least some new housing.
During September, if you are a resident or a business in the Borough, you will receive a special edition of the Council’s publication ‘Making Waves’, which will provide some information about the potential scenarios for where housing could be located as well as information on some of the other issues to be covered by the Local Plan. A feedback form will also be included. This summary leaflet clearly cannot cover the whole subject matter and so you are encouraged to read the Council’s main document explaining this:“Consultation on Potential Housing Scenarios and Other Issues for the Waverley Local Plan”. That document, together with links to all the supporting documents and evidence, can be found on the Council’s website at www.waverley.gov.uk/newlocalplan. They will also be available to see at the Council’s offices at Godalming and Farnham, and at Farnham, Godalming, Cranleigh, Haslemere and Bramley libraries.