WOKING COUNCIL’S SITE ALLOCATIONS DEVELOPMENT PLAN DOCUMENT (SADPD)
Taken from the Forum Newsletter for October 2021:
The Forum believes the SADPD MUST be adopted by Woking Borough Council Full Council on 14th October 2021.
The SADPD is very important planning document for Pyrford Forum.
So much so, that in 2015 it became its main focus and slightly delayed the creation and subsequent adoption of the Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan.
The pre-Forum Team started the response and objection process by challenging defects in the initial WBC commissioned Report by Peter Brett Associates in 2014.
Many of you will know that the SADPD started life proposing that both fields on either side of Upshot Lane be allocated for development of new houses. In addition, many of you will have objected with us in 2015 and later, in order to get both removed from proposals by the final consultation in 2018.
Thank you for all your objections then.
Following many changes, WBC submitted proposals to the government and their Planning Inspector’s hearing was held in December 2019. The Inspector has now issued his Final Report with his suggested changes, called Major Modifications (MMs), which can be found at https://www.woking2027.info/allocations/sadpdexam/sadpdreport and has declared the SADPD legally sound.
WBC cannot amend the report and WBC therefore has only two options – adopt or reject. It is not legally obliged to accept the report, but if it was rejected, then a new SADPD would need to be created.
The implications of WBC NOT adopting the SADPD now are significant for Pyrford.
The paper for the 7th October WBC Executive spells this out and it can be found at https://moderngov.woking.gov.uk/documents/s19817/EXE21-147%20Woking%20Site%20Allocations%20Development%20Plan%20Document%20DPD%20the%20Inspectors%20Final%20Report.pdf
I think it is relevant to note some of the key points made about implications of not adopting, such as:-
- “If the Site Allocations DPD is not adopted by 2022, there is the likely prospect of speculative development in the Green Belt being approved on appeal on the basis that the proposals comply with the policies of the Core Strategy and supported by the Council’s own evidence in the form of the Green belt boundary review. This will lead to an uncertain planning environment without a clear framework for the spatial distribution of development. Development could be led by appeal rather than by the Council.”
- “There is a high risk for the Secretary of State to intervene”
- “There is a risk of a judicial review”
- “The time it will take to prepare a new DPD could be very significant”…” at least three years”
- “There will be a period of uncertainty between now and when the new DPD would be adopted.”
- “It is possible that the new Site Allocations DPD might have to meet a higher housing requirement than the 292 dwellings per year and over a longer plan period (15 years). Failing to adopt the Site Allocations DPD could trigger the review and modification of the Core Strategy. The pressure for the Council to plan to meet its housing need of 431 dwellings per year will be real and difficult to dismiss. If this were to happen, the Council might have to find more land to meet its development needs, including the release of more Green Belt land.”
- “By not adopting the DPD, there will be significant cost for preparing another Site Allocations DPD”… “ likely to be in hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
One point made in support of adopting the SADPD is:-
- “It will help protect designated land such as the Green Belt, because the Council would be able to demonstrate that it has identified sufficient land to meet the quantum, nature and type of its development needs”
The Pyrford Fields either side of Upshot Lane are NOT listed as potential development sites though the West Hall site does remain, with some others in West Byfleet, as a listed development site.
Pyrford Forum does understand the concerns about West Hall and is actively involved in a Joint Infrastructure Group with Byfleet, West Byfleet & Pyrford Resident’s Association (RA) and both West Byfleet & Byfleet Forums. The Infrastructure Group has raised questions to both WBC & Surrey County Council (SCC) Officers, concerning the four initial areas (Transport, Flooding, Education & Health) that have been reviewed as part of the East of Woking Infrastructure Review requested by Woking Full Council in December 2020. The topics were split up between the participants and I was asked to lead on Transport.
Pyrford Forum believes the Final Report, which reflects all the hard work of many people from Pyrford Village in conjunction with Pyrford Forum and our past councillors in the years 2014 to 2020, MUST be adopted by WBC Full Council on 14th October 2021.
Not to do so at this final stage would mean that all the hard work of the Pyrford Forum and others in Pyrford over the last six years would have been for naught.
Pyrford Forum urges our current ward councillors to vote to accept the SADPD.
This process has taken far too long and needs to be completed.
We hope that you, our members, will support this position.
Take care & stay safe.