Local Plan Watch: Reigate and Banstead adopts plan to release green belt for new homes

A Surrey council has adopted a development management plan that removes nine sites from the green belt to allocate land for 845 new homes.

Reigate and Banstead Council town hall
Reigate and Banstead Council town hall

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council's development management plan now forms part of the authority’s local plan, alongside a core strategy adopted in July 2014, and replaces policies within the council’s 2005 borough local plan.

Covering a period until 2027, the development management plan identifies non-strategic sites for housing, employment and other development in accordance with the spatial approach set out in the core strategy.

The core strategy plans for at least 6,900 new homes between 2012 and 2027 and sets out an "urban areas first" approach to housing provision, while recognising that "some new homes will need to be provided on greenfield sites".

Changes to the green belt in the development management plan include the removal of nine sites for sustainable urban extensions, which are expected to provide a total of 845 homes, and a series of smaller changes to address historic anomalies in the green belt boundary.

Publishing her examination report in July this year, inspector Helen Hockenhull advised that the development management plan was sound while also finding that the council’s existing core strategy housing target did "not meet the borough’s objectively assessed need".

Hockenhull advised that "a site allocations plan does not need to reconsider the overall housing provision figure established in an earlier core strategy" and noted that the council had started work on a core strategy review.

However, at the time the inspector’s report was published, the that "none of the policies in the core strategy requires updating or modification". The decision gave rise to by unilaterally deciding that existing plans are up to date.

Richard Biggs, executive member for planning policy at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, said: "Councillors and officers have worked extremely hard to secure a positive plan for Reigate and Banstead based on robust technical evidence.

"The inspector’s findings endorse our view that the development management plan will deliver the housing, jobs and infrastructure the borough needs in a sustainable way, while protecting what people love about living here."

LOCAL PLAN UPDATES

ADOPTION NEWS:

West Yorkshire: Leeds City Council adopted an updated core strategy on 19 September after a selective review of its 2014 plan.

CONSULTATION NEWS:

Devon: Dartmoor National Park is consulting on a review of its local plan. The consultation runs from 16 September to 1 November.

EXAMINATION NEWS:

The Reading Borough Council local plan was found sound by an inspector on 24 September.

Buckinghamshire: Chiltern and South Bucks district councils submitted a joint local plan for examination on 26 September.

Cornwall: Isles of Scilly Council submitted its local plan for examination on 30 September.

Northumberland: Northumberland National Park Authority is conducting a review of its local plan. A revised plan was submitted for examination on 30 September.


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