Green Belt protections retained for our villages
Village Green Belt status
Both Box Hill and Headley remain washed over by the Green Belt.
Box Hill retains a village boundary, within which limited in-fill development is permitted, i.e. filling gaps in housing alongside roads. The changes to the village boundary proposed in the 2020 consultation have been further adjusted to come into line with the stricter treatment of Green Belt criteria. This means that some properties previously expected to be included within the village boundary will remain outside it.
Headley remains without a village boundary, meaning that all undeveloped areas, such as land at Dale View, retain Green Belt protection. As a result the Church Lane Nursery site remains open Green Belt, meaning that any development there would still have to be justified by Very Special Circumstances, such as the provision of affordable homes for the local community.
The revised Local Plan still includes Headley Court as a site for residential development. It has been updated to reflect current planning applications and the expected yield of the site is 120 new dwellings. This compares to 184 new dwellings proposed under the latest planning applications. In practice there is a reasonable possibility that some of the applications will be approved before the new Local Plan comes into effect. Under the new Local Plan, development at Headley Court specifically excludes the temporary buildings which include those used recently as the Seacole Centre.
Many residents have been concerned about the possibility of a major development of 600 houses behind Highlands Farm on the road from Leatherhead to Headley. We are delighted that this continues to be ruled out by the stricter Green Belt criteria, as was a further proposed site of 146 houses immediately South of Headley Road. Both these sites had been proposed following the Conservatives' decision in 2017 to call for possible Green Belt sites for development and collectively they would have removed the separation of Headley from Leatherhead.
A new policy has been introduced to protect the viability of the Equestrian and Horse Racing facilities associated with Epsom Downs. This should help protect employment in the stables around the Headley Area.