New version of Local Plan means less new housing in our villages
The unpopular site in Capel for 81 houses disappeared early on and did not make it back into the plan.
In December 2017, the then Conservative administration called for landowners to propose Green Belt sites for development and as a result many were included in the draft Plan which went for consultation early in 2020.
This included a very large development of 480 houses in neighbouring Beare Green (which would have had an impact on Capel). However this failed to meet the new stricter Green Belt criteria and has been dropped.
Only modest village expansions are now included in the plan for Capel, Leigh & Newdigate with the total number of houses being reduced from 132 to 94.
- In Capel, Boxhill Caravan site, Capel House Farm and the land rear of Redlands House remain. Brook Cottage at Wolves Hill did not meet the new strict criteria and was removed but Hurst in the Street, which many residents favoured, was added. The housing number has been greatly reduced from 99 to 57.
- In Leigh, the Priest House and the land at Tapner's Road have both been retained in the plan but the housing numbers have been reduced from 23 to 18.
- Newdigate now has two adjacent sites at the Six Bells and land rear of the Chimes but the housing numbers are modest, with a total of 19.
Our attractive rural area is expensive so we do need some new housing to attract young families. The Lib Dem Local Plan insists that new developments of a certain size must have 40% affordable housing, with 70% of those for rent and one-fifth of the rented houses set at low social rent.
In our ward, the ongoing "live" infrastructure delivery plan will consider the upgrading of the bridleway along Trig Street in Newdigate. In Capel, traffic calming in the village and improvements along the A24 are included.