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In the last newsletter we published the results of the July 2017 resident consultation on possible housing sites for Witley Parish.
Using this feedback, combined with further individual site analysis, the Witley Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) team had hoped to announce by early 2018 the housing sites shortlist for further consultation. Waverley Borough Council (BC) has already proposed one strategic site (Milford Golf Course) in their draft Local Plan Part 1 (LPP1) for 180 houses. In addition, the WNP process needed to propose sites for the further 300 houses that are required to be built in the Parish over the next 15 years. As the 25 site options were examined in more detail with reference to other key stakeholders including Natural England (NE) and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Board, an increasing number of obstacles were identified that have constrained the WNP’s ability to successfully shortlist housing sites. Please see further information the WNP Update March 2018 - full details on housing allocation constraints (This information is also included in the Spring 18 Parish Newsletter that is being delivered to every household in March).
On the basis of these active constraints and the risk of spending considerable public money without achieving a ratified Neighbourhood Plan the WNP team and Witley Parish Council have very reluctantly arrived at the decision to ask Waverley BC to complete the allocation of housing sites for our parish area as part of their Local Plan Part 2 consultation process.
The WNP team and Witley Parish Council still believe that having a neighbourhood plan will bring significant benefits for Witley Parish residents, even if allocation of proposed housing sites is formalised via Waverley Borough Council. We will continue to provide inputs to and formally respond on any public consultation from Waverley Borough Council through the LPP2 process.
We will flag immediately the consultation begins on Waverley Local Plan Part 2 to ensure maximum participation from local residents.
Waverley BC Local Plan Part 1
The Public Inspectors report was issued in February 2018 and approved Waverley Borough Council's Local Plan Part 1 (LPP1) with amendments that were highlighted in the Inspector's interim report issued in December 2017. Waverley BC ratified the plan at full council later in February 2018. The key aspects that impact Witley Parish are:
Greenbelt Status Removal
Only Waverely BC can make changes to the Greenbelt boundaries. Click here for Waverley Borough Council - Proposed Sites in Witley Parish for Greenbelt Removal. Since the adoption of LPP1 Waverley BC have indicated that they will not consider any areas outside these asterisked areas to be removed from the Greenbelt for potential housing. WNP has sought independent planning advice on whether we could challenge this policy and allocate alternative greenbelt sites in an neighbourhood plan, such as Secretts, which was popular in the WNP July 2017 survey. The advice received was that this could be a high risk approach. If the WNP proposal did not receive support from Waverley BC it would be unlikely to reach submission stage. And the Independent Examiner could question why the WNP was not aligned with the strategic Greenbelt policies in LPP1.
As a reminder on the results of the community survey please see information here WNP Possible Housing Development - Community Survey Results Sept 2017 The majority of the additional sites being proposed by Waverley BC for greenbelt removal in the LPP2 process were in the top 10 of most popular sites in the survey. However as an additional update Secretts, the 2nd most popular site in the WNP community survey, are continuing to promote their site directly with Waverley BC through the LPP2 process.
Milford Golf Course Site
This is the only strategic site in the Waverley BC Local Plan Part 1 proposed for the Witley Parish area. It was reviewed under the Public Examiner Inspection of the Local Plan Part 1 in June 2017. During this process Witley Parish Council, WNP and local residents made representations about their concerns on this site. Despite these representations the Public Inspector's report, and therefore Waverley BC, have now ratified the proposed development of the Milford Golf site. The plans put forward by the associated developer proposes 180 homes be built. Any development would still need to go through the formal planning process. Any continued concerns about this future development should now be directed to the Planning department at Waverley BC.
For more information please go to: www.waverley.gov.uk/consult
If you would like to get involved in the Witley Neighbourhood Plan project or have any comments or questions please contact email@example.com
Milford Village Hall