(First Published: 14/04/2020)
During the 2019 consultation on the Elmbridge Local Plan, one of the areas under consideration for possible housing development was GB46, a 14.7 hectare site bordering Blundel Lane north and Waverley Road. As part of the consultation process, Savills submitted a report on behalf of the Crown Estate, which supports the release from the Green Belt and the development of site GB46, among other sites. The report is publicly available and can be downloaded and viewed here. (Note - The document is quite large, filesize is 15 MB)
GB46 comprises a beautiful rural landscape on the east side of Blundel Lane, (i.e. on the left as one is leaving Oxshott).
It is part of the defining rural landscape of Oxshott, and serves not only as a beautiful area for walking, with several well-used footpaths, but also distinctly separates the two communities of Stoke d'Abernon and Oxshott. The loss of this area to housing would impact not only the local residents in Waverley Road and Blundel Lane, but everyone in Oxshott who uses the area for walking or passes it in their car as they drive along Blundel Lane.
With support from FEDORA, residents in Waverley Road and Blundel Lane north have taken the lead in organising themselves to resist possible development of this area, and have formed an action group named BluWav. A message from the leader of the group is attached below, and we hope that many residents of Oxshott will support them in any way that they can.
The GB46 area is shown on this map.
Most residents of Oxshott will know this area and many will be familiar with the "bridle path" which extends from Wrens Hill, near The Bear pub, to Blundel Lane, as a tranquil walking route past beautiful green countryside. This would become a footpath along the side of a housing development.
The following photographs illustrate what would be lost.
This panoramic view of land parcel GB46 stretches from Blundel Lane on the right to Waverley Road on the left. Everything shown here could be lost to housing development.
The message from the BluWav Residents Group follows below. There is a link in the message by which you may contact them by email.
Green Belt land by Waverley Road and Blundel Lane east update and proposed petition to Elmbridge Council
As you know, our beautiful fields are under threat from a large housing development.
Unfortunately, due to the Corona Virus, COVID-19, we had to postpone our residents’ meeting which had been scheduled for 19th March. However, we will rearrange the meeting when circumstances permit, but in the meantime wanted to update you on what we’ve been doing regarding our Green Belt field to the east of Waverley Road and Blundel Lane north.
We’ve set up the BluWav Residents Group. This group aims to represent the interests of all residents who live on Waverley Road and Blundel Lane North in the immediate vicinity of the farmland where 160-180 houses have been proposed to be built. Were this to go ahead on this unspoilt, rural land, the national Government housing development target system enacted in 2018 would require that housing settlement be of exceptionally high density. We aim to influence policy formulation and decision-making effectively through careful research and polite, diplomatic relationships with Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) and other key local and national decision makers. We are very grateful for all the support we are receiving from FEDORA, Stoke D’Abernon Residents Association and Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust.
The unspoilt, rural character of this large, open green land that we live next to is a treasured source of pleasure, leisure and exercise. Being agricultural land it is also a source of income to the local farm who use it. The many trees on this land and the land’s boundaries help to manage our neighbourhood’s air quality and flood risk, and contribute to the biodiversity of the site and our gardens. We all benefit in many ways from this exceptionally beautiful site’s landscape as a readily visible horizon.
The Group is continuing to do all we can to maintain pressure on the council to frustrate any development on the fields. Since the start of March we have:
- Responded to the Elmbridge consultation (which closed on 9 March), stressing the need to challenge the Government numbers for new house build and that there should be no housebuilding on Green Belt land
- Applied for Tree Preservation Orders on the oak trees on the east side of Blundel Lane and on this Crown Estate land where new housing is proposed.
- Contacted the leader of Elmbridge Borough Council and the Planning Portfolio representative in EBC, the Chairman of EBC Planning Committee and our three local EBC Councillors to correct inaccurate evidence used to assess our neighbourhood’s green belt land.
How can you help?
- We are reaching out to local residents who might be able to volunteer their skills; specifically anyone with knowledge of bio-diversity or flooding, and/or to get involved in projects such as conducting a short bio-diversity survey to monitor usage of the local footpaths and fields, producing information leaflets etc - but anything you can offer would be welcomed including contacts who may be able to help us.