More plans for housing development

MORE housing is planned for the borough of Reigate and Banstead under yet another development plan - and the last chance for residents to have their say is fast approaching.

The South East Plan aims to build 2,360 homes a year in the county - the equivalent of a Horley Master Plan every year - and Reigate and Banstead will be taking more than any other district in the county.

Housing Development

The 20-year plan proposes that the Gatwick area - which includes parts of Tandridge and Mole Valley as well as the borough - should build 200 houses a year.

The whole of the borough is asked to allow 385 houses a year - 170 more than the average for each district - while Tandridge requires 110.

A meeting hosted by Surrey County Council was held in the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, last month where East Surrey residents were given a chance to voice their concerns.

Horley town councillor Andrew Kent said: "Reigate and Banstead has the highest number of housing in the county to deliver yet again.

"People in the audience felt it was time a stop was put to this.

"It's quite interesting that they are proposing 200 homes a year for the Gatwick area.

"That equates to 4,000 houses over 20 years. 2,600 of those are for the master plan, which still means that we have to find space in the Gatwick area for 1,400 homes.

"Where do they think they will put these 1,400 houses? There's no other land left in Horley to build on other than the flood plain."

The plan was drawn up by the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) and the consultation period ends on Monday.

The assembly is an unelected body made up of local authority councillors and representatives from the voluntary and business sector, which critics accuse of imposing the will of central government on local authorities.

Formerly, housing in the county was the responsibility of Surrey County Council in their structure plan, but now the county council acts only in an advisory capacity.

Surrey County Council's executive member for the environment, David Munro, said: "We are urging residents to have their say on Surrey's largest housing consultation of recent years.

"Having already successfully lobbied to get Surrey's housing allocation reduced by around 20,000 homes last November, we are now satisfied that Surrey is receiving the right level of housing needed to strike a balance between what residents need and protecting the countryside.

"The South East Plan suggests Surrey needs 47,200 homes, but this won't actually change the number of houses the county builds each year -around 2,300.

"Instead, building will simply be over a longer period of time."

In the consultation document, residents are asked if they agree with the plan and which of three housing distribution options they prefer.

icsurreyonline, 27th Oct, 2005

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