New criteria strengthen Green Belt protection around Ashtead
Following the Conservatives' call in 2017 for Green Belt sites for potential housing development, four sites in Ashtead were included in the consultation in Jan-Mar 2020:
- Land South of Ermyn Way - this remains in the plan but the Eastern section would be retained as Green Belt and additional requirements are included to retain existing trees and hedgerows and to deliver biodiversity net gain
- Ermyn House - the expected yield has been reduced from 200 to 140 dwellings
- Marsden Nurseries - this site has been removed due to the more stringent criteria around releasing land from the Green Belt
- Murreys Court - additional requirements have been made to take account of the traditional orchard Priority Habitat
Close to Ashtead the large site either side of Barnett Wood Lane just West of the Motorway has also been removed, ensuring that the separation between Ashtead and Leatherhead is not eroded.
Other potential sites have again been rejected as they failed to meet the criteria for removing areas from the Green Belt, including land at The Pines in Farm Lane, Chace Farm Stud and nearby land off Shepherds Walk, The Old Chalk Pit at Pleasure Pit Road, Woodruffe Stables, Warren Field, New Fields off Barnett Wood Lane.
The Infrastructure Delivery Plan includes a number of initiatives in the Ashtead area:
- Improvements to the Grange Road junction with the A24 and the junction of Farm Lane and Downs Road;
- Speed reduction measures outside primary schools;
- A new health hub at the clinic in Woodfield Lane to enhance primary health care; re-provide the Library in a new state-of-the-art facility;
- A new community building will be required on the site South of Ermyn Way capable of accommodating early years' education and other community uses;
- Publicly accessible open space on the land South of Ermyn Way and a Locally equipped Area for Play;
- Improved water utility provision at Ermyn Way;
- Habitat and water quality improvements along the Rye Brook.
Once the new Local Plan is adopted, the Ashtead Neighbourhood Development Plan will need to be reviewed to ensure it is consistent with the revised policies.