It has been a little while since the last planning update and it might be useful for residents to be aware of several matters affecting Oxshott. Residents should be aware that there are deadlines for participation noted below.
Elmbridge BC (EBC) has been working on a new Local Plan for over five years. This has involved public consultations, collection of an evidence base and consideration of the optimum way of meeting the requirements of central Government. A draft plan was expected to be released for consideration by Councillors in late January. Due to procedural issues, the release date has now been delayed until early March. This delay is not thought to have any sinister implications and there is some confidence that there will only be a mixed impact on Oxshott. While Green Belt will hopefully continue to be protected, there will though be an inevitable push to increase densification. This will result in further applications to build blocks of flats and to obtain a greater number of smaller houses on existing sole use plots.
Once the draft Local plan has been released, a further Planning update will be sent to residents.
Design Code Consultation
EBC is launching a consultation on local design and character. The purpose is to help EBC and residents decide what good design looks like in an area based on local aspirations for the way in which an area should develop. Once created, a design code will be considered when determining planning applications.
This is a hugely important process because a failure by residents to provide their views on how Oxshott should develop will significantly weaken the ability to resist future planning applications that are detrimental to local character. All residents are therefore strongly encouraged to participate in this consultation.
The first stage is to register to participate in the consultation by accessing https://consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/system/home. Please note that the deadline for registration is Friday 11 February 2022. Subsequently, a note will be sent by FEDORA to residents identifying the main points that need to be addressed as part of the consultation.
There are three contentious planning applications that are currently open for comment. All three applications represent resubmissions of applications that were rejected by the local area planning committee in 2021. All involve important points of principle, and their outcome will probably have a decisive effect on local character. The three applications, their planning reference and their deadlines for comment are:
- Beech Close (2021/4161) – 4 February
An application for the construction of a two-storey block of five flats on the vacant part of a sub-divided plot. Beech Close consists of single dwellings on large plots with reasonable levels of amenity space. The application presents problems by virtue of its comparatively cramped and contrived design and its lack of amenity space. It is inconsistent with local character and will create on-road parking issues.
- Steel’s Lane (2021/3332) – 4 February
An application for a very small one-bedroom house created at the back of a sub-divided garden with important potential violations of privacy. This follows a build programme conducted seemingly in advance of the grant of planning permission.
- 1 Holtwood Road (2021/4160) – 15 February
An application for the construction of four pairs of semi-detached houses on a plot currently occupied by a single house. The development is clearly not consistent with existing local character as all houses in the local area consist of large houses on single plots. This application was previously rejected because of excessive bulk and heights in comparison to neighbouring properties. Changes made in this revised application are relatively minor and most of the application remains unchanged.
Comments on any of these applications can be submitted even after the deadline. Participation is encouraged because, without the voice of the community being heard, there is considerable potential for planning decisions to be taken that have long-term adverse implications for the whole of Oxshott.