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Chapter 14



14.1 The Local Plan is not in itself a programme of investment. Its main purpose is to provide the land use planning framework within which private and public sector investment decisions may be made. It is a plan against which development proposals, largely generated by the private sector, will be assessed. It also includes certain District and County Council development projects that have planning and resources implications.

14.2 It is implicit in the strategy of this Plan that, by constraining the level of development and confining it to the built-up areas, the maximum use can be made of existing infrastructure. The call on future resources will thus be minimised and resources can be used in the most efficient way possible. This has advantages for a more sustainable approach to development.

14.3 At the same time the Plan deals with circumstances which are continually changing particularly in terms of the economic situation and to the availability of financial resources, practicalities of implementation, and also people's needs, habits and preferences. These changes cannot be predicted with any certainty nor by definition can any unforeseen events.

14.4 In general, public sector resources are likely to be scarce, and particularly for transport provision, they are not expected to be sufficient to meet all the demands placed on them. However, the proposed private sector projects are all expected to be capable of implementation during the Plan period. The public sector projects will depend upon Central Government expenditure policies which essentially are outside the control of local authorities. These policies and controls can affect local authority capital expenditure or grantrelated expenditure. They will impose a financial constraint on the implementation of the local authority proposals. This will apply to resources for capital and revenue-borne expenditure affecting infrastructure, services and buildings.

14.5 The level of development proposed in this Plan is not expected to have significant implications for other public sector expenditure such as health or utility bodies. Their developments will be influenced principally by their own priorities for improvement.


14.6 By far the largest stimulus and level of investment in developments in the District will be from the private sector. They will vary in scale from the householders investing in their house extensions to large companies carrying out the larger commercial and housing estate developments. However, very substantial developments of a comprehensive nature are not envisaged. Consequently there will not be the same need as in other parts of the country to coordinate the activities of private investors and developers and bodies responsible for providing the infrastructure required by schemes of that scale and complexity.

Industrial and Commercial Development

14.7 The Plan's policies and proposals have been formulated to cope with demand for industrial and commercial investment in development during the Plan period. The Plan therefore seeks to respond to market demands where they are consistent with the environmental considerations in the Plan.

14.8 Industrial and commercial development will largely involve the recycling of existing land suitably located for those purposes. The principal exception is the proposed release of land at the end of the Curtis Road Industrial Estate in Dorking. The commencement and progress of development of that site will depend upon the demand from local firms including any relocation requirements.


14.9 Even during the recession, housing development progressed within the District albeit at a reduced rate compared to the late 1980s. Developers do not appear inclined to retain extensive land banks, and sites with planning permissions are expected to proceed without extensive delays. An increase in housing land values has generated the economic incentive for proposals involving the redevelopment and infilling of residential areas. The housing strategy of the Plan assumes a lower level of unidentified small housing sites coming forward during the latter part of the Plan period than in the recent past.

14.10 In the period 2000-2001 it is estimated that sites will come forward sufficient to provide for 138 dwellings which will exceed Structure Plan requirements. In the period 2001-2006 the Surrey Structure Plan requires that provision be made for 600 dwellings. The estimated surplus provision from the first part of the Plan period together with allocated and unidentified sites will make up the housing land supply over the second period of the Plan. A small potential surplus could arise towards the end of the Plan period, but if not, the Council will release one or more of the identified reserve housing sites.

Town Centres and Shopping

14.11 A significant level of town centre shopping investment has already taken place in Leatherhead and Dorking. The Plan's shopping policies are intended to complement these town centre investments and assist in generating further smaller-scale investment necessary to maintain the vitality and viability of these centres.

14.12 In Dorking, the Plan encourages improvements and limited extensions of the town's two supermarkets and the adaptation of the main anchor store in St. Martin's Walk to provide a larger town centre supermarket.

14.13 In Leatherhead, the Plan indicates the Council will undertake a study of the Red House Grounds Area to provide a comprehensive plan for the development and rearrangement of uses, including the investigation of the scope for a new hotel. The Fairfiled/Cornhill site is allocated for a new retail store development or alternatively for a new cinema. A range of other measures are also proposed to encourage a diversity of uses in Leatherhead town centre.



14.14 The greatest public expenditure arising from proposals in the Plan will be on transport infrastructure and will be borne by the Surrey County Council as Highway Authority. There are no development-related road schemes referred to in this Plan.

14.15 Funding of improvements to the A24 between Clark's Green and the County boundary with West Sussex will be considered through the Local Transport Plan process.

14.16 The proposals for improving the traffic system in Leatherhead town centre include the provision of two-way traffic on parts of the present one-way gyratory system.

14.17 The County Council bids for funds for cycling facilities through the Local Transport Plan process.


14.18 The emphasis of the Council's role in housing has changed from being a provider of homes to one of an enabler of housing development, particularly in association with housing associations. This changed role is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, but Government policy may change during the period of the Plan.

14.19 Policies in the Plan seek a proportion of affordable housing on the larger housing sites. If this is to be provided by a Registered Social Landlord, the taking up of the opportunities as they arise will depend upon the necessary finance being available and the housing policies operated by the Council and the Housing Corporation.

Environmental Enhancement

14.20 The Council has budgeted for a capital sum as its contribution towards the cost of Phases 2 and 3 of the enhancement of Leatherhead's pedestrianised area (Policy LTC11). This will be a joint scheme to be carried out with the County Council, and with developer contributions.

14.21 The Council makes an annual provision in its revenue budget for an environmental enhancement programme. This enables environmental improvements to be carried out across the District principally, but not exclusively, in Conservation Areas. The Council also helps fund two Countryside Management Projects in conjunction with neighbouring districts.

14.22 In addition, discretionary grants are made for the preservation of historic buildings (including those on the Buildings at Risk Register). Grants are also made to voluntary bodies in the field of conservation and targeted property enhancement in certain Conservation Areas. While the Council wishes to maintain its support, continuation of these grant schemes will be considered in the light of the Council's overall budget.

14.23 Under the terms of Policy E7 where appropriate in larger business development schemes the Council may negotiate public environmental improvements as a planning benefit. The negotiated works will be taken into account in balancing the various considerations of such planning applications.

14.24 In Policy DTC11 a nature reserve is proposed in Archway Place, Dorking and an amenity area on land adjacent to Dorking Nursery School and Vincent Walk. With regard to the former, its cost is unlikely to be substantial and will be met from the Council's Environmental Enhancement budget. Any use of the land adjacent to the Dorking Nursery School and Vincent Walk as an amenity area and associated environmental improvements will require the agreement of the County Council.


14.25 Policy E3 allocates 2.2 hectares of land west of the Curtis Road Industrial Estate for industrial, commercial, storage and distribution development. The Council owns the vehicular access to the site and will require a legal agreement to secure the planning aims of the Policy and any other relevant planning matters. It is likely the development would be funded privately.

Recreation / Cultural Facilities

14.26 Under Policy REC3 the Council will seek to acquire from Thames Water 1 hectare of land to expand the neighbouring Council owned recreation area off Randalls Road, Leatherhead. The timing of this will depend upon the demand made for the recreation space and the availability of Council finance. Similar considerations will apply to the Council's intention (Policy REC5) to purchase 9.1 hectares of land fronting Cobham Road and Raymead Way, Fetcham from the Sutton and East Surrey Water Company for amenity and informal outdoor recreation purposes.

14.27 Provision of a new Dorking Museum is likely to depend upon the redevelopment of Dorking Foundry, possibly involving the relocation of businesses. The financial implications of a redevelopment and the loss of revenue from the current premises on the site will have to be carefully weighed by the Council in coming to a final decision on the implementation of this scheme.

14.28 Other recreation provisions of this Plan are unlikely to involve such substantial public expenditure and can be budgeted for by the Council.

Red House Grounds Area, Leatherhead

14.29 The Red House Grounds area is owned by the Council and comprises the Red House Grounds themselves and a former hard tennis court, a maintenance depot and an area used for open storage. It also includes the Red House Annexe building, Red House Cottage and the Station Road and Randalls Road public car parks. The main buildings and open storage area are surplus to the Council's requirements.

14.30 The Plan indicates (Policy LTC7) that the Council will undertake a detailed study of the Red House Grounds area to provide a comprehensive plan for the development and rearrangement of uses.

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