New Local Plan cuts pressure for new housing in our village

Green Belt

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 Ockley). However this failed to meet the new stricter Green Belt criteria and has been dropped.

Housing allocations

Overall, the Lib Dem challenge to the Government's unreasonable housing targets means that the housing numbers in the revised Local Plan have been reduced. What this means for Ockley is that housing numbers have been reduced from 62 in the previous draft Local Plan to 52. This is line with residents' preference for modest village expansion rather than large housing estates.

The very strict criteria for site section that was used to achieve this means that some sites have been removed and very large sites that some developers proposed never made it into the plan. The sites which remain in the plan are:

  • The land at Elmer's Field and the nearby Cricketers Close for 20 and 6 dwellings, respectively.
  • The land at Friday Street with a proposed 26 houses

Both areas are designated rural areas so there is opportunity for building homes at affordable rents or for shared ownership. This would help young families to move into the village, something to be encouraged following the recent closure of the local school.

The Plan requires that viewpoints for the adjacent Areas of Great Landscape Value will be protected as far as possible, and that heritage assets will be retained including the brick wall boundary along Stane Street.

Infrastructure

Ockley has been listed as an area for road traffic improvements including mitigation measures at several problematic junctions. A scheme is proposed for a safe off-road cycle and public bridleway between Ockley village and the railway station.

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