Published Friday, 18th January 2019
The Planning Inspector has published her post hearing advice on the main modifications needed to the Council’s Development Management Plan (DMP) to make it ‘sound’.
It follows examination hearings on the Council’s plan held last autumn (2018) by independent Government Planning Inspector, Helen Hockenhull BA (Hons) B.Pl MRTPI.
The DMP aims to translate the locations and scale of development in the Council’s Core Strategy into detailed policies and allocations to guide planning decisions.
In response, Cllr Keith Foreman, Executive Member for Planning Policy, said: “We are pleased with the limited changes the Inspector is seeking to the plan.
“A key change is that the planning Inspector has agreed with the Council’s argument that Redhill Aerodrome is not currently needed to meet the Council’s present housing demands and can be removed from the development management plan. The inspector also made it clear that neither the aerodrome nor any other safeguarded sites in the borough need to be included in the DMP at this time. We had previously been advised by the Core Strategy Inspector to identify land that could be safeguarded for future housing development beyond the plan period. I’m sure this will be welcome news to local residents.”
“We had proposed a policy to charge developers for a contribution to affordable housing on small-scale sites of 11 units or fewer to try to address the issue of housing affordability faced by our residents. Whilst we’re disappointed that the Inspector has not agreed to this policy, which would have been a departure from national policy, we are pleased that there appears to be no issue with our proposals to increase the amount of affordable housing that developers of our sustainable urban extensions will be required to provide from 30% to 35%.
“All in all, we feel that the Inspector’s feedback reflects that we’ve worked hard to ensure the DMP will deliver the housing, jobs and infrastructure needed, while protecting the character of the borough and what people love about living here.”
The Inspectors other main findings include that:
- Sustainable urban extensions are released together when the council’s five year housing supply availability warrants it, rather than taking a phased approach to releasing sites as we had suggested. ‘Urban extensions’ are sites on land around the edges of Horley, Redhill, Merstham and Reigate that is currently Green Belt or other countryside that will be held in reserve and only used if absolutely necessary to meet housing needs.
- Our amended proposals for an additional new site for gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople and extension to an existing one were appropriate subject to some technical work.
The DMP sets out where in the borough future development, including homes, businesses, shops and facilities should be provided and the planning policies to guide what that developments looks like. It also includes how we should protect the character of the borough and its heritage, and addresses a wide range of important local planning issues.
The plan will be updated to reflect the modifications and a six-week consultation on them will follow in due course. Anyone who made representations during the consultation process will be notified about the consultation.
You can read the Inspector’s post hearing advice note, along with more information about the DMP on the council’s website www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/dmp