Introduction to the Consultation

The previous draft of the Elstead and Weyburn Neighbourhood Plan was issued for consultation in May 2020. In response to the consultation, three new sites were formally put forward for consideration as potential housing development options. These being:

i)         Land at the rear of Water Meadow Place;
ii)        Land at Kingsmead Park;
iii)       Land at Springfield.

These three new sites have been duly assessed by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group’s professional advisers, AECOM. Informed by the updated site assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) work, the Steering Group are now proposing modifications to the preferred housing site allocations contained in the draft Neighbourhood Plan in May 2020. The purpose of this focused consultation is to therefore seek views on revised housing site allocation proposals.

The results of the May 2020 consultation have not, in the Steering Group’s view, resulted in the need for significant changes in the other policies contained in the draft Neighbourhood Plan. In view of this, we are only now seeking views on the policies contained within this consultation document.

A copy of the May 2020 draft Neighbourhood Plan and its supporting evidence base is available on the Elstead Parish Council website at: https://elsteadvillage.co.uk/neighbourhood-plan/.
The Housing Requirement

Waverley Borough Council’s adopted Local Plan Part 1 (LPP1) requires the Elstead and Weyburn Neighbourhood Plan area to provide or allocate sufficient sites to accommodate a minimum of 160 dwellings over the lifetime of the LPP1 (2013-32). Since 2013, 98 of these dwellings have already been accounted for in the form of housing completions or granted planning permission commitments. This leaves a minimum of 62 dwellings to be allocated to additional sites in the Neighbourhood Plan area.
The Proposed Housing Allocations

The government’s planning policy and guidance, contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) stipulates that before releasing land from the Green Belt all reasonable options to make as much use as possible of suitable brownfield sites and underutilised land should have been fully examined.

At the time the May 2020 draft Neighbourhood Plan was prepared, to meet the LPP1 requirement there was very limited capacity within the existing settlement boundary area to deliver the additional housing required. In view of this, the Steering Group proposed to release three Green Belt sites to deliver the remaining housing quota. These sites were Sunray Farm (42 dwellings), 4 Trees (11 dwellings) and Croft 2 (10 dwellings).
In September 2020, Waverley Borough Council put forward the Springfield site which lies within the existing settlement area and is also a previously developed site. It would provide a net additional 16 dwellings, all of which would be available as affordable rented properties. In accordance with national planning policy Springfield is a more preferable appropriate option than any of the three Green Belt sites included in the previous draft Neighbourhood Plan. The Steering Group accordingly proposes to include the Springfield site in its revised Neighbourhood Plan. The additional 16 dwellings which Springfield would provide mean that it is no longer necessary to utilise all of the three Green Belt locations previously identified. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have sought and received reassurance from Waverley Borough Council Housing Team about the proposed redevelopment at Springfield.  WBC have confirmed that all affected Springfield residents have been appropriately consulted on the proposed plan.

The Steering Group has therefore reassessed and considered the suitability and numbers of dwellings at Sunray Farm, 4 Trees and Croft 2. It remains of the view that Sunray Farm is the most appropriate of the three locations, principally in view of its proximity to services, its status as previously developed land and its lesser impact on the landscape. It recommends however that the number of dwellings at Sunray should be reduced from 42 to 40, with a modest increase in the land available for business use.

The group also recommends that 4 Trees (11 dwellings) should be retained as a site in order to provide a number of dwellings slightly above the minimum required under the terms of LPP1. Springfield (16), Sunray (40) and 4 Trees (11) would together provide space for 67 additional homes, as against the 62 still outstanding to meet the LPP1 requirement. The buffer of 5 homes has been included to ensure that the target can be met.

The Steering Group now recommends that Croft 2 should be omitted from the Neighbourhood Plan. This site has recently been the subject of a planning application for 34 new dwellings, which has been refused by the planning authority. This location is the furthest of the three sites from the main village services and its development would involve the loss of more tree cover than either of the other two Green Belt sites. The Steering Group acknowledges that Surrey County Council Highway Department have previously indicated that a satisfactory vehicular access could be provided. However, the Steering Group remains concerned over the extent to which an appropriately safe vehicular access can be provided. It is principally for these reasons that the site is deemed to be less appropriate than either Sunray or 4 Trees.

The independent assessments of the other two Green Belt sites submitted in response to the May 2020 Neighbourhood Plan consultation (Land at the Rear of Water Meadow Place and Kingsmead Park) indicate that neither is a more appropriate site than either Sunray Farm or 4 Trees. The first of these is a more remote site which is not contiguous with the settlement area. It is very close to the nearby Wealden Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA); indeed, part of the site is within the SPA’s 400m buffer zone. Its development would also compromise the integrity of the proposed ‘green gap’ which separates Elstead village and the Water Meadow Place/Tanshire developments, and Peper Harow Parish, this is included as one of the key policies in the draft Neighbourhood Plan (Policy ESDQ7). The second site (Kingsmead Park) is partly within the 400m SPA buffer zone and is located wholly within a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.
In view of the above, the Steering Group are now proposing the following housing site allocations:

(1) Sunray Farm: 40 net additional dwellings;
(2) Springfield: 16 net additional dwellings (26 gross dwellings);
(3) Four Trees: 11 net additional dwellings.

The proposed policies associated with these revised housing allocations is the subject of this consultation. The detailed policy wording is set out above each of the following questions. 

The AECOM assessments of all three additional sites are included in the supporting documents to the Neighbourhood Plan and are available on the Parish Council’s website https://elsteadvillage.co.uk/neighbourhood-plan/. Also available are the Strategic Environmental Assessment and the Habitats Regulation Assessment.

Question Title

Proposed Housing Allocations (March 2021)

<span style="color: #185598;"><strong>Proposed Housing Allocations (March 2021)</strong></span>
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