With local elections coming up in May, a key issue will be the policy of candidates to the Local Plan that Elmbridge needs to prepare. This plan has been under preparation for several years but has been continually delayed by an inability to agree how to develop policies to meet a very high housing target from central government. The current target would require increased density across Oxshott and inevitably in due course, loss of Green Belt. Oxshott, as we know it, would change profoundly and, in due course, become another anonymous outer London borough.
What the Council has not done is to challenge the basis by which this target has been calculated. The methodology applies across the country but fails to take account of local circumstances in Elmbridge that make it inappropriate. Action is needed now to develop arguments that support the contention that exceptional circumstances apply to reject the government target. The target for Elmbridge should then be calculated on the basis of assumptions that recognise specific local circumstances.
AERC (an alliance of Elmbridge Residents and Civic Groups) has thrown down the challenge to election candidates and local political parties. The paper which you can download here sets out compelling reasons why Councillors need to act now to avoid the greatest threat to Elmbridge since its creation almost 50 years ago.
Please read this paper carefully and consider how candidates in the local election intend to deal with this issue.
Director - Planning
12th March, 2021