In July 2016 Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) issued their Draft Local Plan 2035 for consultation, which included taking land out of the Green Belt (GB), including land at Ottershaw East and Bittams Lane. The Ottershaw Society ran a campaign objecting to the loss of GB land and in particular to the proposal to develop GB land at Ottershaw East (to the east of Brox Road) for potential 385 – 510 homes. This total leaflet drop to the whole of the village was successful with 428 objections being submitted by residents objecting to Ottershaw East. This was out of a total of 762 responses to RBC from the whole of the Borough.
In a further review of the GB by RBC in 2017, immediately around the urban areas, several sites around Ottershaw were proposed for removal from the GB. (See: here for more details). We are pleased to report that RBC will not now remove any of these extra sites from the GB with the exception of St. Peter`s Hospital site. This new site is for 420 residential units and a 70 bed care home. These 420 units are mostly on land to be sold to a developer with the money gained to enable the Hospital to refurbish its older staff accommodation on site, plus 60 new staff units on its land that it will retain in NHS ownership. (See: here for more details).
At the same time RBC have been undertaking a further review of the allocated sites for development to increase the numbers of residential units to be built on these sites. Together with the new site of St. Peter`s Hospital, and one other new site in the Englefield Green area, means they have able to up the overall number of housing units in the Plan over the next 15 years to 6126-6406 (annual 408-427).
This review also includes a change to the proposal for Ottershaw East. These proposals reduce the area at Ottershaw East to be taken for development from the GB, and designate part of the area as a SANG which will remain in the GB. So the previous 510 houses has been reduced to 180 houses + 20 sheltered units + 2 traveller pitches + 3.53ha of SANGS. Perhaps RBC have partly listened to the views of over 400 objections submitted in 2016? On the new map of Ottershaw East the area outlined in red is the new proposed development site. The red hatched area is the SANGS.
See: Map of Ottershaw East site Updated 12 May 2017 for updated map of the proposed Ottershaw East site.
See: Map of ottershaw east from 2 Aug 2016 for the superseded map of Ottershaw East
There are still 40 units proposed at Brox Lane Nursery.
The removal of the Hospital site, the reduction in size of Ottershaw East and the increase in the number of houses to be built up to 2035 is now out for a further Consultation as `Runnymede 2035: Additional Sites and Options consultation, May 2017`. This can be found on the Runnymede BC main consultation page https://www.runnymede.gov.uk/localplanconsultation
Whatever your views on this change it is important that you write in again to RBC, as now that the proposals for the Ottershaw East site area has changed your previous objection falls by the wayside.
The Ottershaw Society is still in principle opposed to the loss of any Green Belt land.
Although fewer houses are now proposed, either RBC or the Inspector can still change anything in their final proposals. e.g. revert to larger numbers of houses in Ottershaw East or indeed include Upper Ottershaw or Great Grove Farm. The owners of Upper Ottershaw and Great Grove Farm are also most likely to put their sites forward to the Inspector at the Public Enquiry next year for consideration. We also already have 2,000 units in the Plan at the DERA/Longross site, and extra housing at St Peter’s Hospital and Bittams Lane and we are still uncertain about potential developments at Woodham New Town and Fairoaks Garden Village in nearby Boroughs. Whatever number of houses, there will be a significant effect on the local infrastructure and the A320/A319 and other village roads, and GB land will be lost for ever.
To comment on these revisions this statutory 6 week consultation is open from Friday 12th May until Friday 23rd June 2017. Any representations must be made in writing. RBC would like you to send in your views electronically if possible. You can download a copy of the consultation questionnaire from the Council’s website at https://www.runnymede.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=16681&p=0
Hard copy questionnaires will also be available in the Borough’s libraries, and can be requested from the Technical Administration team.
Responses to the questions set out in the questionnaire or your own individual letters should be emailed to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
The Planning Policy and Strategy team,
Runnymede Borough Council,
Remember: Anonymous representations will not be accepted.
The Society is working on its advice on the form of words you might use in any letter of representation and will send out a further alert about this
RBC will be holding the following drop in sessions throughout the Borough over the period of the Additional Sites and Options consultation. Residents can attend any of the events as they are not tailored to a certain locality. Please do try to attend one of these sessions to find out the full details of the development sites, infrastructure problems etc.
- Monday 22nd May 10am-1pm Chertsey Hall
- Tuesday 23rd May 2pm-5pm Ottershaw Village Hall
- Tuesday 30th May 2pm-5pm All Saints’ Church Centre, New Haw
- Friday 2nd June 10am-1pm The Village Centre, Englefield Green
- Thursday 15th June 5pm-8pm Addlestone Civic Centre.
We would urge members to go to one of these events, hear what they have to say and make their views known, before submitting a written response.
RBC will also be running a daily counter duty service at the Council offices during the course of the consultation which will run each working day from 10-12 and 2-4pm. A prior appointment does not need to be booked. People just need to ask Front of House if they can see the Local Plan duty officer. If people have very detailed queries, this may be a better alternative to attending the drop in sessions.
Once this new consultation is completed RBC will prepare and then consult on a Pre-submission Plan in Autumn 2017 and then prepare a Submission Plan for the Secretary of State in December 2017, and lastly the Inspector will report and the new Local Plan will be adopted in 2018.