Elmbridge Borough Council has reassessed its housing need through to 2035 and concluded that it will need to nearly double the number of new houses built to 474 per annum. This cannot be met from existing brown field sites alone and it will have a massive impact on our green belt.
One of the options is to classify that part of the green belt as "weakly performing" and make it available for development. Elmbridge BC has classified three areas as such; two of which are in the Cobham area:-
- Chippings Farm between the Fairmile and the A3
- North of Blundel Lane in the Knowle Hill Park and Fairmile Park areas
We are not talking about a few houses but big estates.
If these proposals were carried through they would have a devastating effect on our community:
- The number of houses in Cobham and surrounding areas could nearly double in the next 20 years.
- Cobham, Stoke D'Abernon and Oxshott would merge into one in terms of the built environment.
- The infrastructure would be overwhelmed in terms of roads with even greater traffic gridlock, car parking, doctors' and dentists' facilities and schools.
There is at present no joined up thinking between local authorities. The Guildford proposal for over 2000 houses at Wisley has now been appealed and there will be a public enquiry. If this were to go ahead it will put massive pressure on our infrastructure before even thinking about Elmbridge's proposals above.
The key dates are:
- Full Council meeting 7:45pm Wednesday 7th December 2016 and, if approved:
- Public consultation starting Thursday 15th December for 8 weeks till early February 2017
One of our senior councillors, Cllr James Browne, has very kindly agreed to come to the next Cobham Heritage open meeting at the Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive on Wednesday 14th December at 8pm to talk about this. All Cobham Heritage members are encouraged to attend to find out more.