Council policies to allow housing on Green Belt

Come to an open meeting to discuss the Council’s proposed new development management policies, including the threat of housing development on the Green Belt, and how we can respond. All welcome.

The Meeting Room, Toby Carvery, Redstone Hill, Redhill
RH1 4BL (Map)
7.30pm on Wednesday 21 September 2016

Download a flyer for the meeting

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has drawn up new development management policies that will shape where development, like new homes, shops and workplaces should go between now and 2027.

The new policies are out for consultation before being submitted to the government for approval.

The consultation asks about a wide range of planning issues and identifies sites for new homes and workplaces and facilities like schools and doctors surgeries.

Green Belt under threat

The policies set out in detail how the Council intends to allow 6,900 new homes between 2012 and 2027, or an annual average of 460 homes a year.

They take an ‘urban areas first’ approach, giving priority to development in our towns. But the policies include releasing greenfield sites, including Green Belt, if they can’t identify enough sites in the urban areas.

Where are the possible ‘urban extensions’?

The two areas where the Council envisages releasing Green Belt land for housing are east of Redhill and Merstham and south-west of Reigate, with up to 700 new homes in each.

They also envisage up to 200 homes and a new business park on greenfield sites around Horley.

The consultation document includes ‘indicative masterplans’ showing potential housing developments – much of them low and medium density – in these areas.

Pages 137-145 show possible schemes for:

  • the Hillsbrow site (south of the A23, east of Chanctonbury Chase)
  • the former Copyhold works and land to the west of it (north of the A23, east of Restone Park)
  • both sides of Bletchingley Road, Merstham

Pages 154-163  show possible schemes

  • south-west of Sandcross Lane
  • at Hartswood Nursery and west of Castle Drive
  • at Dovers Farm, Woodhatch (east of Lonesome Lane)

Pages 174-185 include ‘indicative masterplans’ show possible housing schemes

  • either side of Meath Green Lane, Horley
  • approx 40 new homes on Bonehurst Lane
  • approx 70 new homes off The Close and Haroldslea Drive, Horley

and a business park to the west of Balcombe Road.

Please note this information is based on our reading of the consultation document – please read it yourself to form your own views.

How to find out more and have your say

You can view the proposals and submit your comments online, by email, or get a paper comment form from the Town Hall or local library. Details on this page

The Council is holding exhibitions and staffed drop in sessions where you can find out more in: Banstead, Redhill, Woodhatch, Merstham and Horley – details here

And East Surrey Green Party is holding a public meeting to discuss the proposals and how we can respond (details above). Please come along.

The consultation closes at 5pm on Monday 10th October 2016.

Our view

Jonathan Essex, Green Party councillor for Redhill East, said: “We need to make sure we look at all the options within the urban areas first, and increase population density in our town centres (as well as in London) rather than building out into the countryside.”

“We must not plan to build on the Green Belt. Once we start doing that, we will be giving up on Redhill and Reigate being towns, rather than future London suburbs.

“We need creative plans for higher density affordable housing in live-work locations, not license developers to build new suburbs or a business park in the Surrey countryside.”

Read a short opinion piece on why we’re standing up for the Green Belt .

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3 Comments

  1. Denise Coppard
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I am happy about the location of the proposed sites BUT there must be promises of additional infrastructure of schools, medical services etc or everyone will suffer.

  2. Rosaline Weil
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    What I worry about is the increase in road traffic. The A217 is already overloaded at rush hour and at breaking point when there are problems on the M25 and M23. We will see how it copes with the new development between Hookwood and Horley. When asked about what strategy the council had in place re dealing with extra traffic, I was told
    “Surrey county council deal with that”!

  3. Debra Jeffery
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    There seems to be two big sites either side of the A25 at the top of Redstone Hill, this will surely impact on the amount of cars using the A25 which is in constant use throughout the day. More air pollution in this area is not needed, what with the smell that still comes from the rubbish tip, air pollution and the traffic on the A25 now it is bad enough.

    There will be the loss of habitat for the wild rabbits, various birds including woodpeckers and sparrows plus foxes which live along what is now the cycle path between the end of Cavendish Road to Watercolour. At present one of the fields we know locally as sheep field so where will these go? What happens to the footpath cum cycle path? This field is very steep there is already a lot of water run off during heavy periods of rain. There will also be a lot of trees taken down, will these be replaced?

    What about access to the site? Will this be from the A25 only?

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