Surrey Heath Borough Council created a draft Local Plan for the Borough outlining where housing development could take place, along with employment, commercial, recreation and green spaces. We consulted with residents and businesses on our draft local plan in 2022 which received broad support. We are now working on the final version that will be published later in the year. The precise timetable is due to be agreed by the Council’s Executive in March.
The timetable for the Local Plan will take into account recent Government proposals about important changes to the national rules governing Local Plans. These are intended to give Councils more flexibility in determining the number of new homes and the locations that are right for a borough like Surrey Heath and provide even greater protection for our highly valued Green Belt.
All Councils are required to provide sites in their Local Plan for Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Show People. The Council has been investigating four potential sites, two extensions of existing sites at Swift Lane in Bagshot, and Bonds Drive on Pennypot Lane in Chobham. The other two sites were on Land South of Broadford Lane, Chobham and Diamond Ridge Woods, Camberley. The Council received a significant number of comments in response to the consultation on these sites that took place during the Regulation 18 Consultation in 2022, and also commissioned its own independent investigations to determine their suitability.
Taking this further work into account, it is clear that the existing Swift Lane site does have further potential, and therefore will be considered as a site allocation in the new Local Plan. However, given the significant constraints identified with the other sites, none of these are being recommended for inclusion in the Local Plan at this time. The Council will of course be required to review this in the future if further relevant information becomes available.
Latest information about the development of Surrey Heath’s new Local Plan, including the detailed evidence needed to comply with Government requirements, can be found on the local plan evidence base webpage.
Portfolio Holder for Planning and Control, Councillor Adrian Page commented:
“The Council is determined to deliver the best Local Plan for our residents and give maximum protection to our highly valued Green Belt and Special Protection Areas. In this Plan we have demonstrated that we are able to prioritise development in areas that are already in use, while giving our more rural areas of the borough the minority of the new housing, thereby protecting their character and rural qualities so valued by our residents. I’d like to thank all those residents and businesses who engaged with us and shared their comments and feedback. Every single comment has been reviewed and this will help ensure that our residents can continue to have confidence in a Local Plan that provides what they and our borough needs.”