There are just three weeks left to make your views known about the draft local plan.
There has been lots of discussion on Streetlife, Facebook and at various meetings. We thought it might be helpful to set out the key facts.
- True: Consultants have said there is a need for 9,400 homes across the district.
- False: The Council says this is the number of homes that will be built.
Tell me more
This evidence (called Objectively Assessed Need or OAN and undertaken by external consultants), which we are required to carry out by the government, looks at lots of factors to decide how many homes are needed. It is not allowed to take into account any constraints to development such as Green Belt, conservation areas, lack of infrastructure etc. It looks at population figures produced by the Office of National Statistics and the household figures produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
A complex number of local adjustments are then made to better reflect Tandridge. It is the government’s starting point for plan making, but there is much more to consider before a final plan, including how many homes can actually be delivered, is adopted.
The six approaches in the Issues and Approaches paper set out different illustrations for delivering housing and employment in the next 20 years and they all provide a different theoretical number of homes. It is these approaches we want your comments on. We believe it is important that the consultation gives an idea of the potential outcomes of various approaches in the context of the OAN, otherwise it would be very difficult to consider the pros and cons effectively.
- True: Many of the sites identified for potential development are in the Green Belt.
- False: All sites identified will be developed.
Tell me more
We have no choice, but to consider those sites in the Green Belt put forward by landowners, otherwise we would be challenged by a government Inspector for not being able to demonstrate we have looked at all the options for meeting the number of houses needed. Current government policy recognises the importance of the Green Belt and requires any planning authority wishing to change the Green Belt boundary to show exceptional circumstances.
As part of this consultation we have had to draw up theoretical illustrations to show how housing demand might be met and in doing this we have to include all sites put forward. This does not indicate a plan to build houses in the Green Belt and current Green Belt policy has not changed.
Any decisions on sites which can realistically be developed into specific proposals will only be made once responses to the current consultation have been considered, along with other information such as landscape value. Further consultation will take place before a final decision is made.
- True: The Council receives money from developers when new homes are built.
- False: The Council wants to encourage lots of house building to get more money, especially as it is struggling financially.
Tell me more
At the moment for every new home built, the Council gets money from the government. It’s called New Homes Bonus. The government has announced it is going to change the New Homes Bonus which is likely to reduce the amount the Council receives in the future, so we are not relying on this.
These are challenging times financially, but the Council has a planned approach. Keeping Tandridge as a great place to live work and visit will always be more important than financial incentives put in place by government.
- True: If councils can’t accommodate the number of houses needed, neighbouring councils may be asked to help make up the numbers.
- False: The numbers proposed for Tandridge include mass inward migration from Croydon and other London boroughs.
Tell me more
We do work with neighbouring authorities on big issues, such as housing. The evidence currently collected suggests Tandridge will not be able to meet the housing needs identified in the OAN, so we would be unable to help Croydon or other council areas meet their unmet need. We are preparing a plan for our local area and the need within this area.
Housing need operates in a housing market area because people move around without taking much notice of district boundaries. The government’s population projections reflect the flows of people from one place to another as they move around. We are not preparing a plan to accommodate London’s unmet housing need.
- True: The Plan’s documents do not outline what infrastructure is needed to meet the increase in population and homes.
- False: There has been no consideration of infrastructure to support the housing need figure of 470 houses a year, 9,400 over 20 years.
Tell me more
This first consultation is just the start and it is through this we will find out what the key issues are for residents for example, infrastructure, access to affordable housing, schools, doctors, transport or jobs. As the plan moves through the process other evidence around transport and infrastructure will be taken into account. We have published initial findings from infrastructure providers so you can tell us whether what we think we know is right.
So how can I have my say?
Please read the Our Local Plan – Issues and Approaches document which sets out the six options we have drawn up and highlights areas we want comments on. There are also lots of technical documents which have been produced to provide information to create the six options.
Visit our website www.tandridge.gov.uk/localplan to register and have your say by 26 February, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Local Plan Consultation, Tandridge District Council, Council Offices, 8 Station Road East, Oxted RH8 0BT.