The draft Local Plan has been sent back to officers for further work
The Local Plan sets out the Council’s ‘Place Shaping’ vision for the next 10 to 15 years by showing areas in the borough which could be developed for housing. It has been years in the making and is in its final stages before presentation for public examination and then to the government’s Inspector.
The draft of the new Local Plan was recently presented to councillors who have asked officers to do some further work on it. The aim is to ensure it better represents the views and aspirations of the Borough’s councillors and residents. There are very serious concerns about the impact of any attempt to meet the government’s assessed housing requirement for Elmbridge of 641 dwellings a year for the next 15 years. This would have an impact on our Green Belt, open spaces and the character of our urban areas.
The Cabinet and the cross-party Local Plan Working Group therefore advised senior planning officers that the draft Local Plan, as presented, did not meet the aspirations of the vast majority of councillors and that further work was required before it could be published. The intention is that the short delay will ensure that the eventual Local Plan will have every chance of approval by the Planning Inspectorate. Lib Dem Leader Bruce McDonald described the move as: “Very significant. Our residents have told us so many times about their love for Elmbridge, its green spaces and their concerns for the Green Belt. I’m delighted to see the fruits of the numerous discussions we’ve been having. This is strong local democracy at work”.