Green Belt plans for housing are out for consultation
19 March 2020
The Mole Valley Local Plan is out for consultation until March 23rd and, while it has some good elements, it also has some worrying proposals for our Green Belt. We will be asking Mole Valley District Council to put the climate first in the plan, reject the housing targets handed down by the government and prioritise affordable homes on brownfield sites near to public transport.
Please send in your views before the end of March 23rd. You can read the Plan and access the consultation here.
Here are the main points from the submission being prepared by Mole Valley and Epsom and Ewell Green Party:
- Support the brownfield first approach
- Support brownfield sites allocated for development subject to housing densities being optimised, affordability criteria being improved, technical standards fully embracing a positive approach to net zero carbon and facilitation of walking, cycling and public transport to reduce dependence on private car use
- The Climate Emergency should frame the Plan. This would help us plan differently and safeguard sites that help climate mitigation (by taking up carbon, soaking up water, provide land for trees) and avoid sites that add to the carbon burden (by encouraging more private car use for example)
- The Plan should be community led – that would help us identify suitable sites for development and also where green open space is important and should be preserved
- Mole Valley District council can and should bite back on the housing numbers handed down by the Government. Homes in Mole Valley should be genuinely affordable and needed by the local community who need to live and work here – not meet the needs of the London and South East housing market
- The need for local homes can be met by a more proactive quest for brownfield provision on public land and in vacant premises over shops, reviewing housing densities, more building over car parks (like the proposed site at Dorking Station), the use of compulsory purchase orders to prevent land hoarding by developers
- We agree with the policies in the plan on the Green Belt but they are in conflict with the site allocations which remove swathes of countryside from the Green Belt. If the policies are that easily overturned they are worthless
- The Green Belt is vitally important – not just for the reasons it was originally designated – but also for climate mitigation and access to green space from towns for public health and well being
- Affordability should be redefined in the plan in line with other local authorities, and affordable homes should be at least 65% of what is planned
- Infrastructure is essential to support the increase in housing. Walking and cycling routes and decent public transport will need to be provided alongside schools and other services in locations which do not exacerbate pollution and congestion from private cars.
You can read our full response here.
There are many sites in the plan and you can comment on them individually. You can see them here:
The maps here are misleading as they do not show the Green Belt as it is now. You will need to check the status of the sites here:
Mole Valley Greens have complained about the misleading approach to presentation of the sites allocated for development.
Please respond by March 23rd.