New plan challenges unreasonable Government target but still meets local needs
Any Local Plan must strive to set the housing targets set by the Government. The Government's target called for Mole Valley to build many more homes than are needed by the local population and more than twice the rate demanded over the last 15 years. Their targets are especially challenging for areas like Mole Valley where the available land is limited by extensive areas of Green Belt.
Margaret Cooksey - Councillor for Dorking South and Cabinet Member for Planning explains:
"We challenged the Government's unreasonable housing targets.
"Very early on we wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to try to get the figures reduced. It defies explanation that our Conservative councillors and Tory MPs refuse to back us on this. He refused as we expected.
"Nevertheless the new Lib Dem Local Plan has set a more realistic 77% of target house numbers. That's 353 new homes each year instead of 453.
"This makes a more balanced plan to ensure we, in Mole Valley, maintain control over our own development and don't have it taken away by the government to give developers a free hand."
This level of housing is still higher than the estimated demand for new homes from the Mole Valley population and our policies on affordable housing will ensure there is a balanced supply to meet the needs of local people.
The housing allocations also include sufficient new gypsy/traveller pitches to meet the identified demand. Because previous administrations have failed to make such provision, it has become increasingly difficult for the Council to prevent unauthorised pitches being given retrospective permission.