Future Mole Valley Draft Local Plan Regulation 19 - Representations closed on 7th November.

BRA Representation on Regulation 19

The BRA submitted its representation on 5th November.

Peter Seaward - BRA Chairman

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) have now published the next version of their Draft Local Plan which goes under the title of Regulation 19. This document must conform to stricter rules than the previous version (Regulation 18). For Bookham, MVDC now propose that the village will have to take another 424 dwellings in the period from 2020 to 2037. 200 will be on Greenbelt land at Preston Farm. Preston Farm is located behind the west side of Little Bookham Street and north of Lower Road.

19/11/2021 Please note: The original version of the map below in this post an arrow labelled New Green Belt Boundary was pointing to the District Boundary rather than the Green Belt boundary. The map has been revised in this post and the arrow now points to the Green Belt boundary (Blue line). Our apologies. 

Click on the map below for the MVDC Local Plan Mapping Tool which is the definitive document for existing and planned boundaries. 

Another 224 dwellings will be somewhere in the village when sites or more back garden development happens. The BRA has employed a Planning Consultant to advise how we should resist these developments and our arguments must be legally robust as the next stage, before final agreement of any MVDC Local Plan, is that a Government Inspector must agree or disagree that the plan is sound and deliverable.

We have until November 7th to respond to MVDC who will then make a final decision to submit the plan to the Inspector. This will be in late January or February 2022. The inspection process will take over a year, so this plan may come into effect in 2023. The BRA believes that the development of Preston Farm should not go ahead as it continues to merge Bookham and Effingham. Also, along with the development of the Howard of Effingham School, it will create a new village of over 1200 people in West Bookham and Effingham.

MVDC reduced the number of dwellings they originally suggested for Bookham from around 800 to the 424 figure. We hope this is due to the substantial number of objections sent to Mole Valley from Bookham which was the single largest set of responses from anywhere in Mole Valley.

MVDC are suggesting to Government that they can only build 350 new dwellings per annum as compared to the 430 plus MVDC were charged to build over the 17 year Plan period. This is spread across Mole Valley with 30% in Leatherhead, 30% in Dorking, 10% in Ashtead and 10% in Bookham. The final 20% is in various villages.

We here must accept that we have to share this burden and will propose that the 200 houses destined for Preston Farm should be built within the built-up area of Bookham. Of the 424 dwellings 88 have already been built or will be between 2020 and 2024.

 This harsh choice of “infilling” or using precious Green Belt is one that the village in previous surveys has said that “infill” is the best “worst” solution. 

Click here to read more on MVDC Draft Local Plan - Regulation 19

Along with our response your views should also go to MVDC. This can be done either  by email  to  planning.policy@molevalley.gov.uk , or by post to: Planning Policy, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ.
If you are not in agreement with this plan you can object on a number of grounds. e.g:
Preston Farm will cause merging with Effingham which is contrary to Government policies. 
The development will ruin a particularly important and beautiful section of green belt land. 
The local infrastructure especially GP surgeries, road network and education facilities do not have the capacity to incorporate the additional traffic and people this plan will bring.
An individual letter will carry more weight than a proforma letter which will be treated as petition and have less influence.

Please contact the BRA if you need any help in putting an objection together.

Remember the deadline is November 7th.


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