New Local Plan Is Put Back To Officers For Further Work

PORTFOLIO HOLDER AND WORKING GROUP ASK FOR MAJOR REVIEW

Elmbridge Borough Council’s Portfolio holder for Planning Cllr. Karen Randolph and the cross party Local Plan Working Group have asked officers to carry out further work to better represent the views and aspirations of the Borough’s councillors.

The Local Plan sets out the Council’s ‘Place Shaping’ vision for the next 10 to 15 years. It has been years in the making and is in its final stages before presentation to the Inspector. 

Portfolio Holder and Residents Association Councillor Karen Randolph said ‘I’d like to thank the officers for their hard work and determination to get us to this point. However, further work is needed before we will have a draft plan that the Administration, I and indeed Members across the Council, can support.”

Cllr. Chris Sadler, Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council also acknowledged the Administration’s serious concerns: “As we have repeatedly stated to the government, our local MP and the Secretary of State, we have serious concerns about the impact on our open spaces, Green Belt and the character of our towns and villages, if we attempt to meet, in full, the Government’s assessed housing need for Elmbridge.

The officers’ proposed plan clearly illustrates the difficulty of this task and I am pleased that they will be coming back to councillors with revised proposals”.

Cllr. Barry Cheyne, Chairman of the Planning Committee and the Local Plan working Group said: “The cross-party Local Working Group, after careful consideration, 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 a draft Local Plan could be published. I am delighted that the planning officers have accepted this advice. It is essential that any Local Plan approved by the Council is procedurally sound and based on well thought-through planning judgments and this short delay will ensure that the eventual Local Plan will have every chance of approval by the Planning Inspectorate.”

LibDem Leader Bruce McDonald describes 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”.

Esher Residents’ Association Chairman, Paul Fielding, commented “The news that the Local Plan proposals are being refettled by the officers is very good news indeed. We’ve battled, since we were formed in the 1970s, to protect the Green Belt and our green spaces. This has clearly been taken notice of. We can breathe a little easier today”.

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