The Story so Far
This is a summary of the main stages of the WBC public consultation on the Site Allocations Development Planning Document over the period from 2014 to the present time.
SITE ALLOCATION DPD (SADPD) FINALLY ADOPTED – 14 November 2021
The decision to adopt the SADPD at the 14th of October Full Woking Borough Council meeting is significant.
This was the outcome the Pyrford Forum requested of their local ward Councillors. The newsletter sent to all of our members was subsequently forwarded to all Woking Borough Councillors seeking their support as well.
It means that none of the Green Belt, which occupies 2/3rds of the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum Area will be allocated for development.
The Planning Inspector does indicate that, in his view, the changes made now to the Green Belt boundaries should mean that no further Green Belt changes will be needed to deliver the requirements of the next core plan, which runs from 2027 to 2042. Time will tell if his view is right.
The next milestone of the Woking Core Strategy is the five yearly review of the Woking Core Plan 2012 -2027 in 2023.
Apart from Woking Town Centre, the majority of homes being allocated are in the East of Woking at sites like, Sheerwater, Broad Oaks, Sheer House & West Hall. This does raise the issue of whether the current infrastructure can cope with what is planned.
Pyrford Forum is already involved in looking at the infrastructure issues, jointly with the Byfleet Forum & West Byfleet Forum, through the Infrastructure Group set up by the Byfleet, West Byfleet & Pyrford Residents’ Association.
WBC News Release – 18 March 2021
Another step closer to the end – WBC released the following News Release on 12 March 2021:
Site Allocations DPD comments submitted to Inspector
In accordance with the Planning Act and Regulations, Woking Borough Council submitted all representations received on the main modifications to the Development Plan Document (DPD) to the Inspector on 12 March 2021.
The preparation of the Woking Site Allocations Development Plan Document has evolved over a period of time with public consultation at each stage. The Council published the main modifications to the DPD for public consultation between 18 September 2020 and 14 December 2020. The main modifications are the changes that the Inspector believes will be necessary to make the DPD sound and legally compliant. A total of 448 individuals and organisations submitted representations during the consultation. A Petition signed by 2,739 individuals was also received.
The Inspector will take the representations into account before he submits his final report to the Council. Copies of the representations are on the Council’s website, and can be accessed by visiting www.woking2027.info/comment
Once adopted the Site Allocations DPD will allocate specific sites to enable the delivery of the requirements of the Woking Core Strategy. The document is an important development plan document of the Council to help manage development across the Borough in a sustainable manner. Decisions about what the next steps of the DPD process would be, including the timing of the Inspector’s Final Report is a matter for the Inspector. The Council will notify the public when the Inspector’s Final Report is received.
The Council values the continuous involvement and interest of the community in the preparation of the DPD.
Last Minute SADPD Petition Dismissed – Dec 2020
Background to the December 2020 Newsletter Item:
The petition worded “To withdraw the modified SADPD and resubmit a new plan based on current information and the proposed legislation to the benefit of current and future residents”, was received at the 3rd December 2020 Full Council meeting of the Woking Borough Council.
The paper produced by the Officers made the following key points in response:-
“ Withdrawing the DPD at this stage and restarting the process will lead to unacceptable delay and potential loss of control of the Council’s ability to manage development across the borough”.
“The preparation of the DPD has evolved over time with public involvement as a key part of the process. This includes Regulation 18 consultation, Regulation 19 consultation, consultation on land east of Martyrs Lane and consultation on the main modifications to the DPD.”
“The DPD is presently going through an Independent Examination, which is the last stage of the process until the Inspector submits his report to the Council. “
“Given that the petitioners have sufficient time and opportunity to submit representations of their concerns for the Inspector to consider before submitting his report, there will not be any justifiable reasons to withdraw the DPD at this stage and restart the process. The consultation on the main modifications to the DPD closes on 14 December 2020”.
Concern was expressed during the presentation about an exit from West Hall onto Pyrford Road.
The Main Modifications SADPD currently says (my bolding) :-
“Development of the site will be required to:
Contribute to the provision of essential transport infrastructure necessary to mitigate the impacts of the development of the site, which will be informed by a Transport Assessment at the development management stage. In particular, the Transport Assessment should consider:
- the need for significant infrastructure measures to provide vehicular access to and from the development with Parvis Road (the A245) – this is likely to include primary access from Parvis Road via a new roundabout at the junction with Blackwood Copse, subsequently through Green Belt land, and secondary access from the drive to West Hall for emergency purposes. The care home and existing West Hall properties would continue to be accessed via this unnamed road;
- improving accessibility to the adjacent Broadoaks site (GB10), including links to provide pedestrians and cyclists with a more direct route, through Broadoaks, into West Byfleet District Centre and the services and facilities therein;
- improving accessibility to, from and through the site by connecting to the surrounding strategic pedestrian and cycle network, including Dodds Lane footpath adjacent to the southern boundary of the site (carrying out improvements to the existing footpath if necessary);”
Whilst discussing the petition, the Council did pass a motion:-
“Council calls for a joint study with other authorities and partners on the future infrastructure requirements of the East of Woking, based on both current demand and future demand and that the terms of the study come to the next meeting of the Executive.”
Pyrford Forum supports the view of Woking Borough Council that the SADPD process should be completed as quickly as possible, as there have already been a number of public consultations over the last 5 years. If possible, the Forum will be willing to input to and or comment on the joint study.
Public Inspectors Preliminary Report – Jan 2020
The initial planning Inspectors report – “without prejudice for the final report” – was issued on Friday 14th February.
For a full copy of his recommendations click Post Hearing Letter
He suggests a number of changes to the plan for WBC to consider and respond. One of them is a consultation until 9th March on the Annual Housing Management Review (AMR) published on 19 December 2019.
Again for full details click here . Interestingly the AMR suggests that the forecast housing supply will exceed the Core Plan targets by 1,394 but in reality a lot could change. e.g. planning applications approved but any completions are not delivered in the forecast timescale or sites not reaching planning approval in time to deliver.
In addition, the inspector asks WBC to clarify the policy on when ex Green Belt sites, like West Hall, are released for development.
Public Hearing 2019
However these things are never over until the ‘fat lady sings’ and the final proposals from WBC (without use of our fields) must gain the approval of the Secretary of State and a Public Hearing is now planned for 2-13 December 2019.
There is an outside chance that proposals might yet be changed again and the Forum has taken steps to minimise this possibility and will attend the hearing in the WBC Council Chamber. By definition the general public may also attend on this basis and if you are interested please note:
Hearing sessions are planned from 3-6 December when morning sessions will start at 10am and afternoon sessions will start at 2pm
Friday the 7 December is a contingency session and further similar sessions in the am/pm will be held from 10-12 December with contingency sessions planned for Thurs 12 Dec from 2pm and Friday 13 December am and pm.
For full details of the hearing and it’s scheduled sessions click on https://www.woking2027.info/allocations/sadpdexam
SADPD Reg 19 – 2018
Although use of Martyrs Lane was rejected, by Nov/Dec 2018 proposals for the final statutory Regulation 19 consultation proposals to develop the fields on both sides of Upshot Lane had been dropped entirely. – A great result for us in Pyrford. Details at https://pyrfordforum.org/wbc-development-proposals/
Martyrs Lane – 2017
As a consequence, of the action we took, a site in Martyrs Lane was identified as a possible alternative for all WBC proposals for safeguarded development land and we campaigned very actively to have that proposal accepted as more suitable than our fields. See https://pyrfordforum.org/martyrs-lane-consultation/ for further details of the on-going story.
SADPD Reg 18 – 2015
Randall’s Field on the West side of Upshot Lane and the Aviary Road Filed on the east side of Upshot Lane were included in the SADPD as land they proposed be taken out of green belt and safeguarded for development purposes in a time frame between 2027 and 2040. These proposals formed the basis of the first statutory consultation known as Regulation 18 in June/July 2015.
The Forum hired consultants to help us object to these proposals and members responded magnificently with responses supporting our objection. Further details can be found at https://pyrfordforum.org/green-belt-review-2015/
Peter Brett – 2014
As you will recall the fields on both sides of Upshot Lane first became a concern in December 2014 when they featured in the Peter Brett Green Belt Review aimed at identifying green belt that could be released for future housing development all across the Woking Borough .
In 2015 WBC published their Site Allocations Development Proposals Document (SADPD). This was a strategic document aimed at identifying land for development agreed as necessary with the government and covered the whole Borough.