Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

Chapter 4: Housing: Delivering New Housing

Chapter 4: Housing

Delivering New Housing

4.1  Policy SP2 of Local Plan Part 1 sets out the spatial strategy for the location for development in the Borough, with development to be focused at the four main settlements, together with growth at some of the villages reflecting their position within the Settlement Hierarchy. Dunsfold Aerodrome is also allocated as a new settlement. Local Plan Part 1 sets a housing allocation for a number of parishes, based on the Spatial Strategy and their capacity to accommodate growth. Local Plan Part 1 also allocated a number of strategic sites for development around Cranleigh, Farnham, and Milford.

 4.2  The majority of Neighbourhood Plan groups in the Borough have stated that they intend to allocate housing sites themselves, and, as such, housing sites are only proposed to be allocated in Local Plan Part 2 in Godalming, Haslemere, Elstead, Witley (including Milford).

 4.3  Farnham Town Council has allocated a number of development sites through the Neighbourhood Plan. Along with other parts of the Borough, there has been an uplift in the housing requirement in Farnham, as a consequence of modifications to Local Plan Part 1. In order to meet this need, Farnham Town Council has started work on a review of the Neighbourhood Plan, and will allocate additional sites to meet its housing need.

 4.4  Taking into account the review of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, the following parishes are proposing to allocate housing through their Neighbourhood Plans:

  • Alfold
  • Bramley
  • Chiddingfold
  • Cranleigh
  • Dunsfold
  • Ewhurst and Ellens Green

4.5  Since the Issues and Options Consultation, Dunsfold Parish Council has chosen to allocate housing sites through a Neighbourhood Plan, and so the Council no longer proposes to allocate sites in Dunsfold through LPP2.

 4.6  The Council identifies potential housing sites through a ‘Call for Sites’ process by which landowners and site promoters can submit details of their site for consideration. In addition to this, the Council identifies potential sites through the planning application process, the review of publically owned land, as well as representations made on Local Plan consultations. A number of new sites have been submitted to the Council since the Issues and Options Consultation.

 4.7  Sites are assessed in accordance with a methodology set out in the Waverley Land Availability Assessment (LAA), which seeks to determine whether a site is ‘unsuitable’ or ‘potentially suitable,’ and includes an assessment of the availability and achievability of potentially suitable sites. The last LAA was published in August 2016 alongside the publication of the Pre-Submission version of Local Plan Part 1. The LAA was updated in December 2016 to coincide with the submission of LPP1 to Examination. Alongside the publication of this Preferred Options document a new LAA has been produced. This includes a review of existing sites together with the assessment of new sites submitted since the 2016 LAA.. Potentially suitable sites are also assessed through the Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations Assessment processes, the findings of which are used to assist the Council in its site selections.

4.8  Maps of sites in the previously published LAA, as well as newly identified sites, were included in the Issues and Option Consultation. Comments were received in respect to many of these sites, and these have been taken into consideration through the site assessment and allocation process. As more sites have been promoted since the Issues and Options Consultation, more sites appear in this consultation than at that stage.

 4.9  The Council has assessed sites across the whole Borough in its Land Availability Assessment. The Council’s assessment of a site may, however, differ from that of Neighbourhood Plan Groups, that will use a bespoke methodology tailored to local circumstances and Neighbourhood Plan objectives.

4.10  The Council’s preferred housing allocations in each settlement are set out below, with further details set out in Appendix 3. It should be noted that this is the Council’s preferred option based on information currently available to it. The Council will continue to monitor housing supply and planning permissions during the preparation of the plan which may result in further changes to the housing proposals before the plan is finalised for publication and submission.

 4.11  A number of sites have specific policies attached, where the Council has specific objectives for the development of a site. All sites will be subject of other relevant policies in the Plan, including Policies DM1-8 above relating to design and amenity, Policy DM15 relating to self-and-custom build, and Policies ST1, ICS1, AHN1, AHN3, & CC2 of Local Plan Part 1.

 

Delivering New Housing in Godalming

4.12  For sites in Godalming, comments received during the Issues and Options Consultation noted the limited number of available sites, with a number of comments supporting a focus on urban sites, and a number of respondents raising concerns about the impact of development on infrastructure.

 4.13  Local Plan Part 1 sets out that once existing commitments and expected windfalls have been taken into account, there was an outstanding housing requirement over the plan period in Godalming of 352 dwellings as of 1st April 2017. In Godalming, the site assessment process has identified 6 sites which are ‘suitable in principle’ and which are expected to be able to deliver 348 dwellings over the Plan Period. Together with planning permissions since 1st April 2017, this will be sufficient to meet the outstanding housing requirement of 352 identified by Local Plan Part 1. The allocation of land removed from the Green Belt in LPP1 at Aaron’s Hill will meet much of the housing requirement in Godalming.

 

4.14  Further details and maps of these site allocations can be found in Appendix 3.

 4.15  A number of allocations are small sites within the urban area and any application for these sites will be considered against standard development management policies in the Plan. Land East of Binscombe will also be considered in this manner.

 4.16  Land at Aaron’s Hill is a strategic site capable of delivering a well planned urban extension to Godalming, and providing a substantial amount of affordable housing. The site as a whole straddles the boundary between Guildford and Waverley Boroughs. However in its Submission Local Plan, Guildford Borough Council is not proposing this site for development. The land in Waverley can come forward in isolation but careful attention will be required to ensure appropriate access and boundary treatment.

 4.17  In accordance with policy DM15, at least 5% of plots should be offered as self and custom build plots. Satisfactory highways access will need to be established together with any necessary highways improvements will need to be provided along Eashing Lane. Any development should encourage sustainable transport measures and connectivity with neighbouring development, including through improvements to the existing right of way between New Way and Halfway Lane.

 4.18  Development of Aaron’s Hill should be accompanied by a Masterplan showing how a high quality, sustainable, locally distinctive and inclusive urban extension can be achieved. This should seek to establish a resilient and adaptable development which can respond to a changing climate, as well as changing economic and community needs.

 

 

 Map 5: Proposed housing allocations in Godalming

AllocationsGodalmingnoDS41

 

 Do you have any comments on the proposed housing allocations in Godalming?

 

Delivering New Housing in Haslemere

4.19  Haslemere has significant constraints to accommodating development, due to the Green Belt, and the AONB. In addition, it is close to the Wealden Heaths SPA and subject to the size and location of a site, this can be another significant constraint. In relation to Haslemere, the majority of comments received at the Issues and Options stage, expressed opposition to sites in the Green Belt, while also raising concerns about the landscape impact and provision of infrastructure.

 4.20  Local Plan Part 1 sets out that once existing commitments and expected windfalls have been taken into account, there was an outstanding housing requirement over the plan period in Haslemere of 412 dwellings as of 1st April 2017. The site assessment process has identified 16 sites which are ‘suitable in principle’ and which are expected to be able to deliver at least 416 dwellings over the Plan Period.

 4.21  There are a number of urban sites which are suitable for redevelopment, and the Council is seeking to maximise the potential of these sites. Some of these are currently or formerly in other uses, and it has either been demonstrated that these are no longer required for their current use, or else would be suitable for a mixed use redevelopment. Parts of Hindhead and Beacon Hill are in close proximity to the SPA where new residential development needs to be strictly controlled to avoid an adverse impact on the SPA. There is however an area in Central Hindhead which is subject to the Hindhead Avoidance Strategy and where measures are in place to allow limited growth without an adverse impact on the SPA.

4.22  There are not sufficient suitable sites within the settlement area or on other brownfield land to meet the full housing requirement in Haslemere, therefore the Council is proposing to allocate a limited number of sites on greenfield sites. The Council is seeking to direct this development to sites outside the AONB, or areas of AONB where limited development can be accommodated without a significant landscape impact. The Green Belt Review did not identify any areas of Green Belt as potentially suitable for removal in Haslemere, and no changes are proposed.

 4.23  In contrast to Godalming, the Council is proposing a large number of smaller sites. This is a consequence of the limited opportunities for development outside of the existing urban area without harm to the landscape.

 

4.24  Further details on these sites can be found in Appendix 3. For sites that lie between 400m and 5km of the Wealden Heaths SPA, a project-level HRA may be required for sites to ensure there would be no likely significant impacts on the SPA, in accordance with policy NE1.

 4.25  Haslemere Key Site was included in the 2002 Local Plan as a site which represented an opportunity for redevelopment for a mix of uses including improved retail, parking facilities, and residential development. However, development on the site has not yet come forward. This is in part because the site is in fragmented ownership, although a substantial part is owned by the Council. It is proposed to retain this as a Key Site, although only with a modest housing allocation given that development may only take place on parts of the site within the Plan Period. The Council will however, seek to work with neighbouring landowners to coordinate redevelopment of this site.

 

4.26  Central Hindhead, London Road, falls within the Hindhead Concept Area, where a limited level of residential development is considered acceptable despite its proximity to the Wealden Heaths SPA. This site is currently in use for car sales, although following the realignment of the A3 Trunk Road it is less suitable for this use. The site is considered suitable for a mixed-use redevelopment. A purely residential scheme resulting in the loss of existing commercial uses would need to be justified against Local Plan Part 1 Policy EE2.

 

4.27  Within Wey Hill there are a number of potential development sites in close proximity, including two owned by the Council. This represents an opportunity for a coordinated Place Shaping approach to bringing forward these sites.

 4.28  The Council-owned Wey Hill Youth Campus contains facilities used by local community groups. It is the intention of the Council that these groups will either be accommodated in the Wey Centre, or new facilities within Wey Hill.

 

4.29  The Fairground Car Park is currently used for parking. However, it is poorly surfaced without demarcated parking bays, and currently no parking charges are applied. The Council intends to deregister this site as Common Land, providing an area of green space nearby as a substitute. Alongside this, it is proposed to temporarily resurface the car park and impose parking charges while plans for the long-term redevelopment of the site are progressed.

 4.30  The NPPF gives great weight to the conservation of important landscapes, and states that major development should not be permitted in the AONB other than in exceptional circumstances.

 4.31  In order to meet housing needs, it is necessary to allocate a number of small to medium sites within or close to the AONB. The Council has sought to only allocate sites which can be developed without a significantly harmful impact on the wider landscape. A number of these sites are in close proximity to each other, and will need to be designed to ensure they do not cumulatively result in a significant landscape impact.

 4.32  An application for residential development at Longdene House and an eastern field was recently allowed at appeal. This decision is subject of an ongoing legal challenge. The planning permission remains in place unless and until is quashed by the High Court. In the event that the challenge is successful, it is the intention of the Council to allocate the eastern field for 25 dwellings. Similar to DS 15, the topography of the site and surrounds and screening by mature trees, means that development of this site is likely to be achievable without significant landscape harm.

 

4.33  The Georgian House Hotel Hotel is an important community facility within Haslemere, however it has closed twice in recent years. Redevelopment of part of the site for housing has the potential to secure the long-term retention of the hotel itself.

 

  Map 6: Proposed housing allocations in HaslemereAllocationsHaslemere

 

Map 7: Proposed housing allocations in Hindhead, Haslemere 

AllocationsHindhead

Do you have any comments on the proposed housing allocations in Haslemere?

Delivering New Housing in Elstead

4.34  The housing allocation for Elstead in Local Plan Part 1 is 160 dwellings from 2013-2032. Planning permission has been granted for 69 dwellings on the Weyburn Works site on the north east of the village, which will meet a substantial proportion of the housing requirement in Elstead. Within the existing settlement boundary there are few opportunities for infilling or redevelopment and as such limited development on greenfield sites will be required, and development around Elstead is highly constrained by the Green Belt, the AONB, as well as the proximity of the village to the Wealden Heaths Phase 1 SPA. The Green Belt boundary is proposed to be adjusted, as set out in Chapter 3 in line with the spatial strategy set out in Local Plan Part 1, to accommodate development needs in the village.

4.35  Local Plan Part 1 sets out that once existing commitments and expected windfalls have been taken into account, including the Weyburn Works site, that there was an outstanding housing requirement over the Plan Period in Elstead of 67 dwellings as of 1st April 2017. The Council’s site assessment process has identified three ‘potentially suitable sites,’ capable of delivering at least 67 dwellings over the plan period. There are two sites in the areas being removed from the Green Belt, together with an area of previously developed land which remains in the Green Belt on the western side of the village.

4.36  Further details and maps on these sites can be found in Appendix 3.

 4.37  Sunray Farm, on the western side of the village is not an area that has been considered suitable for release from the Green Belt, as it has not been identified for release in the Green Belt Review and would not represent a minor adjustment to the boundary. The site has, however, been previously developed with a number of buildings associated with its equestrian use. National policy allows for the redevelopment of land in the Green Belt provided that there is no loss of openness or conflict with the purposes of the Green Belt. On this basis, this site is proposed to be allocated for a limited level of development. Based on the floorspace and scale of the existing buildings on the site, it is likely that this site can accommodate approximately 12 additional dwellings.

Map 8. Proposed housing allocations in ElsteadAllocationsElstead

Do you have any comments on the proposed housing allocations in Elstead?

 

 

Delivering New Housing in Milford and Witley

4.38  Local Plan Part 1 sets out that once existing commitments and expected windfalls have been taken into account, there is an outstanding housing requirement over the Plan Period in Witley of 235 dwellings as of 1st April 2017. In Witley, the site assessment process has identified 6 sites which are ‘suitable in principle’ and which are expected to be able to deliver at least 247 dwellings over the Plan Period.

 4.39  Witley and Milford are inset within the Green Belt, and the northern and western parts of the Parish are within the AONB. Parts of the villages are also in close proximity to Wealden Heaths Phase I SPA and SAC. There are limited opportunities to accommodate additional development on previously developed land, and as such land is proposed to be removed from the Green Belt, particularly north of Milford in areas indicated as being potentially suitable for release from the Green Belt in Local Plan Part 1.

4.40  Further details and maps of these site allocations can be found in Appendix 3.

 4.41  The majority of sites are within 1km of the Wealden Heaths Phase I SPA and SAC, and as such project level HRAs will likely be required to ensure that there would be no likely significant effect upon the integrity of the European Sites.

 4.42  Highcroft is a site which contains existing housing for older people. Although not identified as an area for release in the Green Belt Review, the current Green Belt boundary does not follow any defined boundaries, and as such the boundary is proposed to be amended to follow an established tree line on the southern boundary of the site. There is the potential for a limited level of additional residential development on this site.

4.43  The Green Belt Review identified land between the Milford and the A3 Milford bypass as capable of accommodating development with limited visual impact, and as such being potentially suitable for release. The Council’s Landscape Report also identified that land east of the A3 could also be development without a significant landscape impact, due to its containment between the A3 and the existing built up area of Milford. This area is proposed to be the main focus of housing development in Milford.

4.44  Despite these sites being considered appropriate for development in order to contribute to the housing requirement in the Borough, development on these sites will require a high standard of design and well considered landscaping to ensure development integrates well with the existing settlement, does not harm the setting of nearby heritage assets, and does not result in a harmful impact on the landscape.

4.45  Due to the proximity of these sites to each other, there is the opportunity for a coordinated development to come forward which provides a sustainably planned urban extension to Milford. This could be achieved through a masterplan outlining the layout of the sites and setting out key design parameters. However, as these sites are in separate ownership, they may not come forward at the same time. If the sites come forward separately then it will be necessary to ensure that they are compatible with each other.

Map 9: Proposed housing allocations in WitleyAllocationsWitley

 

Do you have any comments on the proposed housing allocations in Witley?

Re-use and alterations to large buildings

4.47  Within the Borough, there are a number of large houses, many of which have already been subdivided into smaller dwellings. The reuse and adaptation of larger dwellings can help contribute to housing supply, while making more efficient use of existing buildings, can represent a highly sustainable use of resources.

4.48  Proposals for such development will normally be supported, subject to acceptability of factors such as provision of parking space, bin storage, and compliance with space standards. In some instances, factors such as a high risk of flooding or the impact on a heritage asset may make the subdivision of a dwelling inappropriate.

4.49  Where two or more dwellings are proposed to be amalgamated into a single dwelling, applications will be considered on a case by case basis, including consideration of the impact on housing supply and the adequacy of the living space the existing subdivided property provides. While restoring a previously subdivided property into a single dwelling will normally be acceptable, given the acute housing need in the borough, the large scale amalgamation of dwellings will be resisted.

4.50  Where works to divide or amalgamate dwellings are proposed, developers should take the opportunity to improve the environmental performance of the building in accordance with Policy CC2, and provide other benefits where possible such as protecting features of historic interest or improving flood resilience. Resisting amalgamation of dwellings that would result in a loss of dwellings is important so that the Council can address the need for smaller dwellings within the Borough identified in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

 

Do you have any comments on Policy DM14 or the supporting text?