Tandridge District Council have agreed a controversial plan to create a new garden community and only meet half of the authority’s Objectively Assessed Housing Need.
The plan, running until 2033, identifies that 6,056 new homes should be built and that 4,000 of these houses are to be provided in a new garden community at South Godstone. This led a number of Councillors to decry the loss of green belt land and the impact that such a community would have on the wider area.
The debate around the plan involved Council Leader Martin Fisher stating that due to a lack of housing many young people were being forced out of the district. Other Councillors raised that the Local Plan documents were weak, flawed, inconsistent and not compliant with national planning policy. The infrastructure necessary to bring the houses forward had not been thought of meaning that funding for necessary projects was unlikely to be available.
By submitting the plan before the 24th January this ensures that Tandridge precedes the new Government target which would have required the district to plan for 12,900 new homes at 645 dwellings a year. However, some Councillors stated that the alleged negative consequences of not submitted the plan were being exaggerated and the plan was being rushed through.
This may represent a wider problem being faced across the country as local authorities race to beat the deadline set by the Government, resulting in a number of local plans which do not meet the housing needs for areas.