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New sites submitted for housing development

We are concerned about Tandridge Council's decision to keep open its Sites list for developers/landowners to submit sites for development until December 30 - the same day as its Local Plan Sites Consultation closed.

Inevitably, this has meant a number of sites were submitted too late for people to comment on them.

After persistent requests from OLRG's Councillor Jackie Wren, Tandridge Council has now published a list of the extra sites. We felt it was very important to get these sites published as soon as possible so that residents were aware of them.

There are new sites in Hurst Green and Limpsfield together with some new large sites around the District including in Chaldon, Bletchingley, Blindley Heath, Dormansland, Lingfield and Woldingham.

To read the full additional site list click here

The Council says it has not yet assessed these new sites to see if it considers they are suitable for development, but will now be doing so.

We do not understand why the Council did not close the site list for the current Local Plan before going out for consultation. The big problem with what has happened is that a third Regulation 18 Consultation may now be necessary and that would mean considerable extra cost at a time when the Council is facing serious financial problems. OLRG can find no other local authority that has carried out three Regulation 18 consultations.

It would also be likely to delay even further the next stage, Regulation 19, and the production of the final Local Plan. Last June, the Council delayed the Local Plan by a year which meant it missed this year's Government deadline.

The longer the delay with getting a sound Local Plan before the Planning Inspectorate for Examination, the greater the risk of speculative planning applications being submitted by developers on Green Belt sites. This, together with the Council's inadequate Green Belt assessments which put the Green Belt at unjustified risk, is a real worry.

OLRG's two expert opinion documents have made clear that the Council's current Local Plan proposals are not fit for purpose and do not form the basis for a sound Local Plan. We hope they will be corrected quickly and that national policy for the protection of the Green Belt and open spaces will now be adhered to.

We are very anxious that a sound Local Plan is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination as soon as possible.