Chairman: Alex Rabbetts
Godstone Parish Council lodged its emerging Neighbourhood Plan with Tandridge District Council in December 2018.
For the last two years, since the examination of the Tandridge District Council Local Plan began, there has been little point in moving the Godstone Neighbourhood Plan forwards. If Tandridge District Council were successful in getting their plan approved and building over 4,000 homes in South Godstone, in addition to their plan to take Godstone Parish, in its entirety, out of the Green Belt, the Neighbourhood Plan as drafted would have been completely obsolete and irrelevant.
The emerging plan was submitted to Tandridge District Council in January 2019 and updated in September 2019, however recent events have driven a need to update the plan and to ensure that it becomes an adopted plan as soon as is practically possible. In real terms we are some way off getting a Neighbourhood Plan adopted, or in planning terms, ‘made’ but work must begin to try and bring the plan forwards.
What has changed? The Planning Inspector, Philip Lewis, who is examining the plan has recently written to Tandridge District Council (ID19) and has told them that, in his opinion, they have failed to give him the comfort he would need to find the draft Local Plan ‘sound’. He has suggested that the plan should be withdrawn, and a new plan drafted in its place. This means that Godstone Parish has a real and valuable opportunity to complete the Neighbourhood Plan and to identify reasonable sites for development whilst seeking to protect the rural nature of the parish.