Submission of the Mole Valley Draft Local Plan

February 4, 2022 10:25 AM

Submission of the Mole Valley Draft Local Plan to the Government Inspectorate - an important step for protecting our area and safeguarding our area against inappropriate and damaging development

At a Special Council meeting on 3rd February. Mole Valley District Council decided to submit the latest Draft Local Plan to the Government's Planning Inspectorate.

The regulation 19 draft of Mole Valley's Local Plan, which was published last September, significantly improved on the previous version. By toughening up the previous Conservative administration's site selection methodology, finding more brownfield sites, and scaling back Government housing targets, the Liberal Democrats have removed over 20 Green Belt sites - a reduction of 44%.

District Councillor, Margaret Cooksey the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Planning said,

"Like the vast majority of Mole Valley residents, Liberal Democrats remain completely opposed to inappropriate developments on Green Belt land without local community support. However, the Government's planning policies have forced us to consider, and in some cases retain, the Green Belt sites introduced by the previous Conservative administration."

She adds, "Liberal Democrats have also acted on residents' concerns about the need for better infrastructure, the need to maximise the amount of social and affordable housing, and the need to enhance biodiversity and fight climate change, with strong policies which ensure that new developments will enhance Mole Valley's economy, community and environment. Overall this is now a good plan."

Why do we need a Local Plan?

What are the next steps?

The Local Plan examination process requires the regulation 19 draft to be submitted substantially unamended to the Government's Planning Inspectorate, together with the 1309 comments received during the 7-week period for public comments on the legality and soundness of the draft Plan. After submission, the Inspector will organise public hearings another opportunity for people to have their say and, at the end of the process, suggest any modifications needed before adoption.

These are the milestones in the process

Milestone

Date

Submission to the Secretary of State

February 2022

Examination-in-Public opens

February 2022

Examination-in-Public hearings

May/June 2022

Main Modification Consultation

July/September 2022

Inspectors' Report

November 2022

Adoption

December 2022

Why do we need to progress the Local Plan?

The Local Plan will enable the Council to:

  • manage new development to provide high quality housing
  • protect areas not included in the plan from speculative development
  • conserve and enhance Mole Valley's distinctive landscapes, heritage and biodiversity
  • manage change in our high streets

What are the dangers of not having a Local Plan or delaying it:

  • unacceptable and uncontrolled development - with some of the sites removed from the plan being developed
  • erosion of our high streets
  • reliance on weaker generic regulations rather than Mole Valley tailored policies
  • loss of control of Council planning by being placed in special measures by the Government

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page also.