The borough council has just published a consultation ‘look-ahead’ for the borough up to 2032. The document is – or should be – key in shaping the future of where we live, so we must mention it here. But we doubt that many readers will study the full text closely. (Even the Eye will have to battle to keep its eyelid open.) Which is very regrettable.
Let’s just quote the beginning of the document here:
“1.1 The Surrey Heath Local Plan will guide the location, scale and type of future development in Surrey Heath up to 2032. This includes the provision of new housing, retaining existing employment and retail uses and provision of green spaces. The Local Plan will also provide detailed development management policies. These policies will be used in determining planning applications.
“1.2 The Surrey Heath Local Plan, once adopted, will replace the Council’s current adopted Local Plan which is the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies document, including saved policies from the 2000 Local Plan and the Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan.”
You are familiar with the saved policies from the 2000 Local Plan, aren’t you?
Now, we have some sympathy with the council. It would, rightly, be criticised if it didn’t cover ‘everything’. On the other hand, the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest, so an all-embracing document can contain all sorts of mischief. Which means that we think the approach that the council has taken is totally wrong for a public consultation. The contents of the document should have been released in digestible sections over a period of time. After all, there’s no urgency to reach 2032, is there.
Anyway, what you’ll be wanting to know is that the main relevant council webpage is https://consult.surreyheath.gov.uk/consult.ti/LPIO2018/ The main 140 page document is https://consult.surreyheath.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/919106/36988421.1/PDF/-/Final_Draft_of_Issues_and_Options_Reg_18_Plan.pdf The 120 page sustainability assessment (et al) is https://consult.surreyheath.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/919106/36213029.1/PDF/-/SASEA_Report_IOPA_2017_final_draft.pdf The first part (100+ pages) of the appendices to the sustainability assessment is https://consult.surreyheath.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/919106/36213189.1/PDF/-/SASEA_Report_IOPA_2018__Appendices_AJ_Final.pdf And the remaining ~70 pages of appendices is https://consult.surreyheath.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/919106/36214437.1/PDF/-/SASEA_Report_IOPA_2018__Appendices_K_Final.pdf
(Apologies, Facebook readers. There’s no guarantee that those five links will carry over successfully from WordPress. We’ll do our best to sort things out if that happens.)
But we’ve not finished. A fundamental question is whether the Local Plan will actually be implemented! We’ll help our readers to make up their own minds. Some years ago, we extracted items from the Local Plan 2000 that were particularly relevant to the Eye. We turned them into a scruffy document; if you click HERE you’ll see it. Read and decide for yourself how much of that ‘eighteen year old’ document has actually been carried out. It’s depressing.