Ahead of the much anticipated publication later this month by MVDC of their 'Proposed Submission Version' of the Mole Valley Local Plan, a news release was published by MVDC on Tuesday 7th September 2021.
The submission document is now expected to be published for a seven week period, from Tuesday 20th September to 7th November 2021. During this time, comments received by MVDC will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of their examination of the Plan.
The following News Release includes encouraging reference to six main changes to the previous (Regulation 18) version.
Proposal to Publish Draft Local Plan, Future Mole Valley
At an Extraordinary meeting on Wednesday 15 September 2021, Mole Valley District Council’s Cabinet will consider a report recommending that the draft Local Plan is published. Should Cabinet agree to proceed, that same report and recommendation will be considered by all Members at an Extraordinary Council meeting later that evening.
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) conducted an extensive Regulation 18 draft Local Plan public consultation in 2020. Comments received at that stage helped inform changes now reflected in this iteration of Future Mole Valley; the ‘Proposed Submission Version’. If agreed by Members, MVDC’s Regulation 19 draft Local Plan and other submission documents will be published for a seven-week period, Tuesday 20 September to 7 November 2021.
Key stakeholders and individuals who commented during the 2020 public consultation would be notified of the publication of the Regulation 19 draft Local Plan. This stage would also be open to anyone else to comment during this seven-week period if they wish. MVDC is not required to make changes to the draft Plan based on comments received. Instead, comments will be forwarded on to the Planning Inspectorate who will consider them as part of their examination of the Plan. The main changes between this Regulation 19 draft Local Plan and the previous Regulation 18 version are:
- A 44% reduction in the amount of Green Belt allocated for development
- A significant increase in the amount of brownfield land being allocated for development
- A lower overall housing target to create a fair balance between meeting the housing need and protecting Mole Valley’s landscape and character
- Stronger climate change, biodiversity, affordable housing, character and heritage policies
- Stronger infrastructure policies and more infrastructure allocations
Councillor Margaret Cooksey, Cabinet Member for Planning, said:
“Having carefully analysed and scrutinised the comments received as part of the Regulation 18 public consultation in 2020, we listened and are confident that we are bringing a more rounded draft Local Plan in front of Cabinet and Council. This Draft Plan better reflects what our residents and key stakeholders told us was important to them".
“I would like to stress that, while this Regulation 19 stage is not a formal consultation, it is no less of a vital step towards a sound Mole Valley Local Plan being adopted, we hope, in early 2023. By successfully progressing to a point where we have a Local Plan in place, we will be in a position to manage new developments providing, high-quality housing to suit local need, delivering infrastructure and protecting non-allocated areas from speculative housing and other development.”
The FRA remains hopeful that the Fetcham Springs site in particular has been removed from the Plan, whilst also remaining aware and vigilant that the devil maybe in the detail.