Planning laws allows a community to add extra planning policies for their own area. A Neighbourhood Plan sets out those polices.
A draft Dormansland Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared based on consultations that were carried out in 2015/16 with residents and businesses.
The plan has been delayed for a variety of reasons since the second public consultation event in February 2016 and the situation has changed in a number of respects since then. At that time there was concern that the future of the village would be directly affected by the Tandridge District Local Plan. A Neighbourhood Plan would have helped protect the village against any adverse effects of planning policy changes as a result of the Local Plan.
Tandridge District Council published its preferred strategy for the Local Plan in June 2018 which confirms that Dormansland will not be directly affected. The village continues to be included in the Green Belt which surrounds it and therefore benefits from the considerable planning protection that such status provides.
Since February 2016 there have been changes to the situation around three key things that the Neighbourhood Plan was intended to address, these being:
- Provision of a car park at Dormans Station
- Resolution of the future of the Memorial Hall, ensuring that charitable status is maintained and a community facility is provided.
- Provision of affordable housing in the village.
A decision on whether or not to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan is currently on hold for two reasons:
- Planning decisions are expected from Tandridge that may resolve the three issues above.
- Although Tandridge District Council has published its preferred strategy for the Local Plan this is now being considered by the Government Inspector and may be changed. A neighbourhood Plan must be consistent with the Local Plan and therefore it makes sense to wait until the Local Plan is finalised before making decisions regarding the future of a Neighbourhood Plan.
With increasing pressure on local infrastructure arising from housing developments in Tandridge and neighbouring counties and with a well-established policy of protecting the Green Belt the Parish Council will not be supporting a Neighbourhood Plan that provides for large scale development in or around Dormansland.
The Parish Council is determined that a Neighbourhood Plan will reflect the wishes of the majority of residents. If it is decided to move forward with a Neighbourhood Plan there will be further public consultation and ultimately a referendum on whether to adopt the plan or not.