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Chapter 1



1.1 The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires district councils to prepare a local plan covering the whole of their administrative area. A local plan establishes a framework of detailed policies and specific proposals for the development and use of land and guides most day-to-day planning decisions made by local councils.

1.2 Central Government has laid down guidelines on how local plans should be prepared and what they should include. The principal sources are the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Planning and Compensation Act 1991, and the Town and Country Planning (Development Plan)(England) Regulations 1999. Government advice on local plan preparation including their scope, format and content is also contained in Planning Policy Guidance Note 12 - Development Plans.

1.3 Mole Valley District Council has prepared this local plan which covers all the District. It is known as the Mole Valley Local Plan, and has been prepared in accordance with the statutory requirements.


1.4 The Local Plan has three principal functions which are as follows:

  • To apply the broad principles of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 to the particular circumstances of Mole Valley.

  • To set out the Council's policies for the control of development in Mole Valley.

  • To make proposals for the development and use of land and to allocate land for specific purposes.


1.5 The Plan sets out the Council's planning policies and proposals for Mole Valley. It puts forward the Council's proposals for meeting the District's housing requirements for the period up to 2006 which have been established in the Surrey Structure Plan 1994.

1.6 The Plan will be reviewed in the light of any alteration or replacement of the Surrey Structure Plan to ensure that it is up to date and adequately addresses current issues.


1.7 The Local Plan comprises a Written Statement and Proposals Map.

The Written Statement:

  • Describes the setting and characteristics of Mole Valley and the planning issues likely to face the District during the Plan period.

  • Sets out the national, regional and county planning policies which provide the strategic context for the Plan's preparation.

  • Puts forward the proposed planning strategy for Mole Valley which identifies the main aims behind the proposed policies and proposals of the Plan.

  • Contains objectives and policies in respect of the following issues:

  1. The conservation, protection and improvement of the District's natural and built environment.

  2. The rural economy and the provision of new development in the rural areas of the District.

  3. Housing, including proposals for meeting the requirement for additional housing in Mole Valley.

  4. Commercial and industrial development.

  5. Shopping provision.

  6. Dorking and Leatherhead town centres.

  7. The management of traffic, including proposals for major highway improvements.

  8. Recreation and visitor related development.

  9. Community facilities.

  10. The resource implications of the Plan's policies and proposals.

1.8 It is intended to monitor a range of indicators to assess whether the Plan's aims and objectives are being achieved and if the Plan's policies are successful.

1.9 The Local Plan does not contain any policies or proposals in respect of the extraction and processing of minerals or waste disposal. These matters are addressed in the Surrey Minerals Local Plan and the Surrey Waste Local Plan which are produced by and available from the Surrey County Council.

1.10 The Plan's policies are printed in bold type and boxed within a shaded background to distinguish them from the supporting text which provides a reasoned justification for each policy and indicates how it will be implemented by the Council. To interpret the policies fully, it is necessary to read the supporting text.

1.11 When considering proposals for development, the Council will have regard to all the relevant policies in the Plan.

1.12 The Appendices to the Written Statement contain technical information, and a glossary of terms. Additional statistical information is included in the main text where necessary.

Proposals Map:

1.13 The Proposals Map (inside back cover) is presented as three sections covering the north of the District, the Dorking area and the southern part of the District. In addition there are detailed inset maps of Dorking and Leatherhead town centres and twelve villages. The Proposals Map identifies areas to which specific development control policies will be applied and defines sites for particular developments and land uses.

1.14 Other maps and plans included in the Written Statement are for the sake of clarity and do not form part of the Proposals Map.

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