Date: Sat 14 Oct 2023

Oxted Quarry housing proposal

Developers Southern Gravel Ltd (SGL) have submitted a planning application to Surrey County Council to build 75 houses on the Oxted quarry site in Chalkpit Lane.

If permission is given by Surrey County Council, the door would be opened to other housing development in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Green Belt. This is particularly concerning at a time when it is proposed to extend the AONB further into Oxted and Limpsfield.

Here are a number of points you may want to include in any objection sent to Surrey County Council.

  • The site is in the Green Belt and in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The government gives the highest level of protection to AONBs and the Green Belt which means that this site should not be used for housing development.
  • SGL is basing evidence on the fact that it currently has permission for 200 lorry movements per day (100 in and 100 out on Chalkpit Lane), and that these would cease if permission were granted for the new housing. However, in recent years operations have diminished significantly and there is nothing like that number of lorries from the quarry using Chalkpit Lane. The residents of the new development will rely on their cars. Given the size of the proposed development and the amount of traffic that would be generated, including delivery lorries, this will increase the traffic and congestion and is likely to exacerbate highway issues.
  • The quarry permission is temporary and requires restoration of the land to its original condition by 2042, the housing permission would be permanent. The Restoration Scheme would be better for biodiversity and the environment. It is unrealistic to restrict domestic lighting at the housing development as the application states. The increased proliferation of lighting would be harmful to the character of the AONB and detrimental to biodiversity. The development would be highly visible from many public viewpoints.
  • The northern entrance to the quarry would be opened up to become the main entrance to the housing development. This entrance is on a blind bend and it is not safe for more vehicles to enter and exit in both directions on Chalkpit Lane.
  • The proposed narrowing of Chalkpit Lane to the south of the quarry will increase traffic problems. It is already difficult for two cars to pass on this narrow lane, and so narrowing Chalkpit Lane for a footpath that is unlikely to be well used will add to congestion and safety issues.
  • The application contains a lot of promises but no information about the costs of meeting those promises. It looks like the costs are going to be significant, particularly the long-term costs of maintaining the parkland, the lime kilns, public access and field study centre. We are concerned that the developer builds the houses and then does not implement the rest of the promises.
  • The documents say 90% of the quarry will be for public access, but the actual plans show only a fraction of the area being for public access.

You can find the application documents and plans on Surrey County Council’s website (click on "accept" then “attachments” to read them): click here

Comments on this application should be sent to Surrey County Council by 30 October by emailing or writing to Surrey County Council Planning, PO Box 478, Reigate, RH2 8EF. We would be grateful if you would copy us in at as we are keen to see what residents think.

Thank you

NB: Comments should NOT be sent to Tandridge District Council because this is a Surrey County Council application.