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Moorhouse planning application refused

7 March 2019

Moorhouse planning application refused

Tandridge District Council's Planning Committee last night voted to refuse the Moorhouse planning application because of significant harm to the openness and visual amenities of the Green Belt due to the bulk, scale and mass of the scheme with insufficient very special circumstances that would clearly outweigh the identified harms. This would be contrary to the provisions of Policies DP10 and DP13 of the Tandridge Local Plan Part 2: Detailed Policies (2014) and the National Planning Policy Framework.

The vote was carried by six to five. Three Conservatives and the three Independents on the committee voted for the refusal motion; three Conservatives and the two Liberal Democrats on the committee voted against it.

However, the motion to refuse put forward by Independent Councillors was split into two by the Conservative administration and the second part of it concerning the harm to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was voted down, with two of the Conservative Councillors changing their vote and not supporting this part of the motion.

It seems wholly inconsistent to decide that the development would harm the Green Belt but then decide that it would not harm the Surrey Hills AONB. This suggests that the Council's administration have in effect passed the final decision on Moorhouse to the Local Plan Inspector. In their Local Plan, they are proposing removing Moorhouse from the Green Belt.

None of OLRG's Councillors are on the Planning Committee but Catherine Sayer and Phil Davies spoke at the meeting.

The debate can be seen on the Council's webcast - see item 5.1 click here

Before the meeting, Tandridge Council's Planning Department recommended that the application should be permitted prompting dozens of residents to attend the meeting in protest.

The application, from developers Roxhill acting on behalf of the Titsey Estate, is for a super-sized DPD parcel distribution centre on the Moorhouse site which is next to the Grasshopper pub on the A25 between Limpsfield and Westerham.

There were hundreds of objections to it from residents on the grounds that it was inappropriate development in the Green Belt and in the Surrey Hills AONB and that the development would generate huge and unacceptable levels of increased traffic.


27 February 2019

Moorhouse planning application - Council recommends permit

Tandridge District Council's Planning Department is recommending that the Moorhouse planning application is approved.

The final decision will now be taken by the Planning Committee at a meeting next Thursday 7 March at the Council offices in Station Road East in Oxted starting at 7.30pm.

The meeting is open to the public if you wish to attend.

The application, from developers Roxhill acting on behalf of the Titsey Estate, is for a super-sized DPD parcel distribution centre on the Moorhouse site which is next to the Grasshopper pub on the A25 between Limpsfield and Westerham.

There have been hundreds of objections from residents on the grounds that it is inappropriate development in the Green Belt and in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and that the development would generate huge and unacceptable levels of increased traffic.


9 February 2019

A new consultation is being held on the Moorhouse planning application for a super-sized DPD parcel distribution centre. The site is next to the Grasshopper pub on the A25 between Limpsfield and Westerham.

The original application was submitted last year (see below) and hundreds of objections to it were sent in.

There were strong grounds for refusing the application on the basis that it constituted inappropriate development in the Green Belt and would cause significant harm to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As a result, the developers have submitted revised plans reducing the height of the proposed building, a revised parking layout and a revised landscaping plan.

The amended plans can be seen on this link (see view all documents):
click here

Tandridge District Council is allowing just a short time for comments - the closing date is 20 February and ideally comments should be sent by then. However, we have been told they will be accepted up until the date of the Planning Committee meeting to decide on the application, currently expected to be 7 March.

The Council says that all the hundreds of people who have commented so far have been sent letters advising them of the new consultation.

Comments can be submitted by emailing comaps@tandridge.gov.uk or Planning Officer Lesley Westphal at lwestphal@tandridge.gov.uk or by commenting online via the link above or by sending them to the Planning Department, 8 Station Rd East, Oxted RH8 0BT.

Comments should include the application number (2018/1792) and your name and address.

If you would like any more information, you are welcome to email us at oxted.residents@btinternet.com

25 September 2018

The Moorhouse planning application is back for the third time with a new proposal for a super-sized DPD parcel distribution centre. The site is next to the Grasshopper pub on the A25 between Limpsfield and Westerham.

The application has been submitted by developers Roxhill acting on behalf of the Titsey Estate. The first application in 2015 was rejected by Tandridge District Council. A second application made in 2016 was withdrawn just a few days before the Council's Planning Committee was due to decide on it. Nearly 1,000 objections were sent in from residents of Limpsfield and Oxted and Westerham concerned about the effects of hundreds more vans on local roads. Both Surrey County Council and Kent County Council Highways Departments also objected.

As well as on highways grounds, the 2015 application was rejected because it was considered inappropriate development in the Green Belt and likely to cause significant harm to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In its new Local Plan, Tandridge District Council wants to take the site out of the Green Belt but the site currently remains within the Green Belt.

OLRG has now sent in an objection to the new application after discussions with Limpsfield Parish Council and Westerham Town Council.

Hundreds of other objections have also been sent in to Tandridge District Council. The application can be read on this link click here

There are more than fifty documents across four pages - in particular you might be interested in the Transport Assessment Issue documents on Page two.

Please ignore the 13 October 2018 deadline for comments posted by the Council, as it is now saying comments can be submitted up until 'mid-November'.

They can be submitted by emailing comaps@tandridge.gov.uk or by using the comment form on the Council's website or by sending them to the Planning Department, 8 Station Rd East, Oxted RH8 0BT.

They should include the application number (2018/1792) and your name and address.

Two years ago hundreds of residents from both sides of the Kent-Surrey border turned up at Moorhouse to show their opposition to the previous proposal.