Future Mole Valley – a new Local Plan

Future Mole Valley is the name Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has given to its new Local Plan; a policy that will (once complete) set out plans for development across Mole Valley for the period 2018-2033, include targets for delivering new homes, identify locations for development and set out the areas which will continue to be protected.

Background
Between 1st July and 1st September 2017, MVDC held a public consultation to ask for your views on the strategic options for Future Mole Valley. The consultation considered two main themes: making the best use of brownfield land, and the potential release of greenfield land.

MVDC received a significant number of responses to the consultation which have now been analysed by the team.  A Consultation Summary is available to view – to download a copy click here.

A report was presented to the MVDC Executive on 28th November 2017 and MVDC members agreed the following preferred strategic development options to guide the preparation of the new Local Plan:

Brownfield Options
Town centre redevelopment
Limited reallocation of commercial and retail land
Mixed use redevelopment
Targeted increases in suburban densities

Greenfield Options
Urban extensions
Expansion of one or more rural village
Modest additions to rural villages

Towards the end of 2017 MVDC launched a Greenfield Call for Sites that invited anyone who owned or had an interest in a site to submit details to MVDC if they wanted the site to be considered for future development.  The call for sites closed on 5th February 2018

Buckland residents who attended the most recent Annual Parish Meeting (March 2018) heard Parish Council Chairman Nigel Husband deliver a talk designed to help everyone gain an appreciation of the work being undertaken by MVDC as it prepares its new Local Plan.  Cllr Husband focused on the fact that whilst MVDC had established a target need of 5900 new homes by 2033, it had only been able to identify the potential to deliver 2900, leaving a shortfall of 3000 that MVDC had concluded can only be delivered if land is released from the Green Belt.  The minutes of the 2018 Annual Parish Meeting, that  include a precis of the talk, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Latest MVDC update – August 2018

If you click Future Mole Valley you can read additional information about the new Local Plan.  MVDC issues periodic newsletters and recently issued Newsletter 3.  If you click “Modest Additions to Rural Villages” you will be taken directly to the page that provides more detail about the workstream that directly impacts Buckland.   If you have not yet signed up to receive newsletters you can do so by clicking here.

The MVDC Planning Policy team has taken care to emphasise that at this stage the proposals remain subject to change and are being presented for review; in advance of a more formal public consultation that will take place “in due course” – possibly early next year.  Within an explanatory note set out on the Future Mole valley website is the following paragraph: “In some cases a village may exhibit varying characteristics that mean that within the village boundary some parts are inset and other parts continue to be washed over by the Green Belt or countryside designation”.  This applies to Buckland i.e. the proposals do not currently suggest any part of Buckland should be inset from the Green Belt.

MVDC recently explained that work on the other two preferred greenfield options (urban extensions and the expansion of one or more rural villages) is ongoing and no decisions have yet been made as to the criteria that will be used to decide how many or which rural villages will be subject to a proposal for significant expansion.  MVDC has advised that the “Modest Additions to rural villages” workstream is, at this stage,  being progressed independently of the other two workstreams.

Buckland Parish Council Meeting – September 2018

MVDC recently shared some initial ideas with Buckland Parish Council, and has, as indicated in the latest newsletter, now published a draft proposal map for Buckland on the “Modest Additions to Rural Villages” webpage.

When Buckland Parish Council last met, on Monday 10th September, Cllr Husband (Chairman) presented, alongside the MVDC draft proposal map, a supplementary Parish Council proposal map, proposing an “additional village boundary for planning purposes” around an area of land to the east of Buckland Conservation Area.

Cllr Husband re-stated information that had been circulated via the village email group at the end of August, responded to queries seeking clarification and invited feedback from those residents who had attended to participate in this Open Forum section of the parish council meeting.  Cllr Husband welcomed a statement from a Buckland resident who expressed his support for the “pro-active approach to engaging with MVDC the parish council is encouraging the local community to adopt”.

Cllr Husband asked everyone present, once they had taken time to read the background papers and consider the draft proposals to express their views to the Parish Council and encourage other parishioners to engage and to do so mindful MVDC had asked the Parish Council for a response before the end of September to this informal consultation.

A copy of the response Buckland Parish Council submitted to MVDC can be downloaded by clicking response. A copy of the annotated MVDC draft proposal map was appended to the response together with a copy of the supplementary Parish Council proposal map.

The MVDC website currently suggests the formal consultation on a new Local Plan for Mole Valley will most probably be launched late Spring/ early Summer 2019.