Current Consultation on the Local Plan

Please find below information on the Current Consultation on the Local Plan which closes on Monday 9th March 2020.

Dear Member

Thank you to those who supported the Trust’s submissions on a ‘new’ Parking SPD and a ‘revised’ Development Contributions SPD which closed on 4th February 2020.

A further consultation referred to in our last message to members referred to a wider exercise titled by the Council as “Creating our vision, objectives and the direction for development management policies”.

This is to enable them to take the process to a final phase in the autumn with the Local Plan that it formulates for the next 15 years. That will, in turn, to go to the Government Inspector after further consultation. It may not then be easy to amend to any great extent and the importance of this consultation is that it is almost the last chance for residents to make their wider views known. This consultation closes on Monday 9th March 2020.

The Trust’s Planning Team have attended workshops and have reviewed what the Council have suggested as the emerging key issues policies and challenges. To assist members in answering the questions posed by the Council in the consultation it has drawn up some suggested responses as below.

The Council say it is aiming for ‘good’ growth in our borough. After inspection and adoption, the Local Plan will guide decisions on whether or not planning applications should be granted permission.

The Council say that the consultation is not about housing numbers and the Green Belt. They point to there having already been 2 consultations on that. But it is arguable that the current exercise on “Vision” should have been undertaken before housing numbers were looked at. The Trust considers that in any event, the Council must again take note that in consultations, the public across the Borough overwhelmingly chose option 4 – safeguarding the Green Belt.

In the current consultation, the Council provide a huge amount of material that is relevant, including policies at national and Surrey level. It is difficult for the Trust to summarise all that for you. Remember however that the feedback from residents and stakeholders (such as developers) has to be considered. The Council, in posing a series of questions for residents to respond to, themselves identify what it considers important.

The process of responding can take some time but the Trust feels important to persevere if you feel able. To review the background you can go to:

To go straight to the Council’s questions you should go to:

It is worth identifying at this stage that there is an opportunity at the end of questions posed to upload a file but the Trust believes it would be best to answer the questions in the boxes provided if you feel able.

The Questions with Comments document below shows the council’s list of issues which they present for their questions, annotated with comments from The Trust in red. It is hoped these lists and our comments in red will assist members in formulating their own responses. The Trust will be writing in itself making the points identified in red on the document.

Planning Team, 
Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

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