Help shape Elmbridge’s Future – final call for comments
Regulation 19: Draft Elmbridge Local Plan 2037
Over the past few years, some of you would have received invitations to view, or may have accessed online and commented upon, EBCs ‘Draft Local Plan’. You may even hopefully have read about it in the ERA Spring 2022 Newsletter (issue number 104 on page 8 and also available online via esher-residents.com). This is the Council’s major strategy document for the next 15 years and, as well as setting out future strategic policy, it is a material document that must be used in determining all planning applications. Councillors from all parties have been working with the officers and other professionals to get it right so it meets both current and future needs and is also in a format that satisfies national government requirements.
The Council’s aim is to get it right first time around to ensure that its recommended draft local plan has no errors, gaps or loopholes that could leave the local community exposed and that it will stand up to scrutiny and inspection by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, the final arbiter. If the powers that be in Westminster dislike it, then it can be rejected and sent back to the EBC drawing board. Something no one would ever actively seek!
It is hoped that, after many years of meetings, consultations, many drafts and redrafts, the Local Plan is good to go but there is still one more local stage before final submission and approval. This is where we are at now. The Draft Local Plan is now open for comment and can be accessed through the EBC website at: consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/reg19/consultation
This is still a very important democratic consultation process as public engagement at this stage gives any interested party a last chance to comment upon the draft Plan (and its supporting information) before it is submitted to the Inspector. However, despite very many hours of work there are still some areas that are giving residents cause for concern, particularly so over the protection or perceived lack protection of some of Elmbridge’s non Green Belt open spaces.
Areas recommended for protection in the Local Plan are identified as Local Green Spaces. In the earlier published draft Local Plan Esher Cricket ground and Clare Hill golf course were included and, as a result of further lobbying by the ERA, Moore Place golf course has also been included. Designation as a Local Green Space will give these open areas strong protection from future development. Apart from Moore Place, these sites are not designated as Green Belt but are nonetheless a highly desirable, even vital amenity that should be formally protected for our residents present and future.
This is your last chance to have your say. All representations received will be sent to an independent Planning Inspector but your comments must be received by 4pm on 29 July 2022. Late responses will not be accepted under any circumstances.
There is a also an independent public meeting at 8.30pm on Monday 4th July at Claygate Village Hall, Church Rd, Claygate KT10 0JP when a planning consultant will be available to discuss the Local Plan.