The Council is carrying out a public consultation on their “5 Options” for the New Local Plan. The consultation started on 19th August and runs to 30th September.
The existing plan, being replaced next year, is based on the Council’s ability to identify land in the borough for the construction of 225 dwellings per annum. There are currently, approximately, 280 approved planning applications for new dwellings each year. The government now requires that the New Local Plan identifies land for the construction of 623 dwellings per annum.
The Esher Residents Association’s View: The Association is extremely concerned that meeting the government’s demands will put unacceptable pressures, not only on Esher’s present infrastructure, but also on our Green Belt. However, if the council fails to achieve an approved Local Plan or does not implement that plan, we understand that there will be financial repercussions for the Council and the Council could, in an extreme case, lose its power as a planning authority with central government imposing inspectors.
There must be sensible compromise. We believe we are already seeing the effects of the government’s new housing target in Esher/Hersham Riverside. We are hearing rumours that council planning officers are in favour of the proposed Sandown developments (on Green Belt) and already developers are encouraged to submit dense flatted developments in low density private roads and dense, out-of-character, housing planning applications are appearing on large house plots. The latest approach is of a possible housing estate on Moore Place Golf Club (Green Belt).
We, therefore, consider that it is extremely important that all Esher Residents make their views known as the new local plan will clearly have a fundamental effect on the character of this area over the next 15 years. Please do contribute to the consultation here. This link takes you to the consultation homepage, where you can see each of the options and investigate what land needs to be released.