After months of uncertainty the land at Fetcham Springs has been officially removed from Mole Valley’s latest draft Local Plan.
The 23-acre field retains its Green Belt status and is no longer earmarked for possible use for sports pitches, a clubhouse and parking.
Its owner SES Water has told the FRA that it wishes to utilise the land to help it meet its carbon net-zero target by 2030, chiefly by installing solar panels on a proportion of the site.
Also missing from the latest version of the Plan is an allocation of 55 homes on land below the Elmer water treatment works off Hawks Hill. The FRA understands that this 5-acre site was also withdrawn at the request of the water company.
SES first made it known that it didn’t wish to see development at Fetcham Springs after a Village Hall meeting organised by the FRA in March 2020.
Residents were clear at the meeting that they wished to see the land preserved in its natural state to conserve its biodiversity and to allow community access.
Two ‘brownfield’ sites in Fetcham appear in the Local Plan for the first time. The 1.2 acre Rentwood site in School Lane, owned by Surrey County Council, is earmarked for 22 homes, and the Tudor Motors site where permission for 12 flats has already been granted, is included as work has yet to begin.
Housing numbers reduced
Overall, Mole Valley is proposing a reduction in the target number of new homes to be built in the district between now and 2037. Last year’s draft plan proposed 449 new homes per year. The figure is now down to 353 per year, and it is this target which will be submitted to the planning inspectorate.
A lower new homes target also means that a number of Green Belt sites previously identified across the district have been removed.
There will be further assessment of the latest draft plan in the FRA’s autumn Newsletter.
In the meantime you can read the Plan for yourself and submit comments up until Sunday November 7th. These comments will not be examined by the Council but will be passed with the Plan direct to the planning inspectorate.