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Chapter 6

Housing

INTRODUCTION

The Housing Stock

6.1 In 1991 there were 32,321 dwellings in Mole Valley. Owner occupation is the principal form of tenure and comprises 74% of all dwelling stock.

6.2 The District's dwelling stock is generally in good condition with only a minimal number lacking basic amenities.

The Level of New Housing Provision 1991-2006

6.3 In the thirteen years between 1978 and 1991 some 4,488 additional dwellings were constructed in Mole Valley. The Surrey Structure Plan 1994 seeks to slow down the future rate of housebuilding in the County and requires that provision is made for a net increase in the dwelling stock of Mole Valley of about 1,900 units in the fifteen years between 1991-2006. This requirement, which is less than any other district in Surrey, reflects the tight environmental constraints on new development in Mole Valley.

Housing Needs

6.4 The number of one person households in Mole Valley has been rising. It is predicted to increase from 8,300 in 1991 to 11,500 by 20061.

6.5 While it is appreciated that not all small households require small dwellings, there is nevertheless an increasing mismatch between the number of small households and small (1/2 bedroom) dwellings in the District, despite the provision of smaller (1/2 bedroom) units within many housing schemes in recent years. It is estimated that between 1991 and 2006 there will be an additional 3200 single person households in Mole Valley and the need remains to provide smaller dwellings in the 1/2 bedroom range.

6.6 The relatively high house prices in Mole Valley, and the limited scope for housebuilding in the District by the Council and Registered Social Landlords, have made entry into the housing market difficult for many young couples, single people and those on low incomes. There is also little purpose-designed housing in the District suitable for people with disabilities.

STRATEGY

6.7 The objectives of the Plan's strategy for the provision of new housing in Mole Valley are:

  • To retain the existing stock of dwellings in the District.

  • To identify sufficient land to allow for a net increase in dwelling stock during the period to 2006 in line with the requirements of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994.

  • To encourage the provision of dwellings that meet the requirements of small households and those with specific housing needs.

  • To ensure that land in the built-up areas is developed to make optimal use of its potential for housing without materially harming the character or amenities of the surrounding area.

Safeguarding the Existing and Proposed Housing Stock

6.8 The need to safeguard both the Green Belt and the environment of the District's built-up areas imposes an important constraint on the amount of land suitable for residential development. It is therefore essential to prevent any net loss of existing or proposed residential accommodation, save in the very special circumstances specified at paragraph 6.10 below.

POLICY HSG1 - SAFEGUARDING THE EXISTING AND PROPOSED HOUSING STOCK
Development involving a net loss of existing or proposed residential accommodation or land will not normally be permitted. Where redevelopment proposals involve the loss of residential accommodation or land, replacement residential accommodation will be required within the site or elsewhere, but in the latter case, only if the alternative site would not otherwise be allocated for housing purposes.

6.9 For the purposes of this policy, the term "proposed residential accommodation or land" includes both occupied and vacant accommodation, land last occupied for residential use, or allocated for residential purposes in this Plan, or the subject of an unimplemented planning permission.

6.10 The Council accept that in very special circumstances exceptions to this Policy may have to be made for example to allow provision of small-scale social and community uses such as doctors' surgeries and children's playgroups provided they are suitably located and accessible to the population they serve. Also, in exceptional circumstances, alternative uses for residential accommodation may be allowed to ensure the retention of a Listed Building or where a satisfactory residential environment cannot be maintained or achieved.

6.11 There is a range of existing residential accommodation above commercial premises in Leatherhead and Dorking town centres. The loss of such residential floorspace will be resisted as it reduces the opportunity for buying or renting lower priced accommodation as well as reducing the vitality of town centres. The Council will also encourage proposals to bring back into residential use vacant premises above shops.

NEW HOUSING PROVISION

Provision of New Housing in the Built-up Areas

6.12 In addition to retaining the existing housing stock, the Green Belt constraints of the District require the best use to be made of land within the built-up areas where it is suitable for housing purposes. New housing development should accord with the relevant environmental protection policies as set out in Chapter 4. Children's playspace will be required to be provided on larger housing developments in accordance with Policy REC7.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY HSG2 - PROVISION OF NEW HOUSING IN THE BUILT-UP AREAS
New housing in the District will normally be provided only in the built-up areas except in accordance with Policies RUD4, RUD5, RUD10, RUD15 and RUD19.

6.13 New housing will be provided through development, redevelopment, conversion or rehabilitation of existing properties.

6.14 The Council will not normally allow the development of strategic open spaces within the built-up areas or other open land which makes a significant contribution to an area's character and amenity (see paragraphs 4.95 - 4.100). Also, development will not normally be permitted where it would lead to the loss of existing suitably located industrial / commercial development, and social, community and recreational facilities unless alternative facilities are provided at locations reasonably accessible to the population served.

New Housing Provision

6.15 Policy DP4 of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 requires the Council to make provision for a net increase of about 1900 dwellings in Mole Valley between 1st April 1991 and 31st March 2006.

The provision is to be made in two phases as follows:

STRUCTURE PLAN PHASES
DWELLINGS
1991-2001
1300
2001-2006
600
1991-2006
1900

During the period between the 1st April 1991 and 31st March 2000, there was a net increase of 1271 dwellings in the District. As a result, the required level of housing provision for the period covered by this Plan is as follows:-

PHASES
DWELLINGS
2000-2001
83
2001-2006
600
2000-2006
683
POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY HSG3 - NEW HOUSING PROVISION 2000-2006
The Council will make provision in Mole Valley for a net increase in the dwelling stock of 683 dwellings between 1st April 2000 and 31st March 2006. Provision will be made for 83 dwellings in the period between 1st April 2000 and 31st March 2001 and for 600 dwellings between 1st April 2001 and 31st March 2006.
The provisions made for the two phasing periods are cumulative. Any surplus or shortfall from the first phasing period will be carried forward to the second period.

6.16 The Council has undertaken an assessment of the potential housing land in the District, which is summarised in Table 6.1.

Table 6.1

LOCAL PLAN HOUSING PROVISION APRIL 2000 - MARCH 2006
COMPONENTS OF SUPPLY
2000-2001
2001-2006
2000-2006
(1) Sites above 0.4ha with planning permission for 10 or more dwellings at 1/4/2000
42
144
186
(2) Unidentified sites (1-9 dwellings and sites over 10 dwellings up to 0.4ha)
78
344
422
(3) Unidentified large sites (10 or more dwellings on sites of 0.4ha-1.0ha)
18
45
63
(4) Large sites (exceeding 0.4ha) identified in Local Plan
-
36
36
TOTAL PROVISION
138
569
707
 
Residual Requirement
83
600
683
Surplus/Deficit
+55
- 31
+24

Housing Land Supply up to 2001

6.17 It will be seen from the above table that the housing requirement for the period 2000-2001 is expected to be met by large sites (containing 10 or more dwellings) already with planning permission, and by other small housing sites which cannot be identified in advance. It is estimated that the total provision for this period is likely to exceed the requirement of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 by 55 dwellings.

6.18 In estimating the number of dwellings likely to be completed on unidentified sites, the Council has had regard to past rates and the likely effects on them of the Plan's policies which seek to avoid town cramming and ensure that new housing development is provided in suitable locations and at appropriate densities. The Council accepts there will be fluctuations in the rates at which unidentified sites come forward during the Plan period. The anticipated completions on unidentified sites in Table 6.1 do not therefore presume a ceiling or target which is expected to be achieved annually. Records of net annual completions, permissions and net additions to the housing stock are shown at Appendix 9. The methods of calculating anticipated completions and the assumptions on which they are based are set out in Appendix 10.

6.19 Mole Valley is likely to remain an area of high market demand. The Council considers it important that land suitable for new housing which cannot reasonably be identified in advance is husbanded by a suitable policy to ensure that it will be available throughout the Plan period.

6.20 The Council will achieve this objective by not normally granting permission for further large housing sites (greater than 0.4ha) where there is an excess of 20% or more between the five year housing land supply and the housing provision requirement for the same period derived from Structure Plan Policy DP4.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY HSG4 - AVOIDING PREMATURE DEVELOPMENT ON UNIDENTIFIED SITES
The Council will continue to monitor the availability of housing land in Mole Valley and will not permit the development of unidentified sites in excess of 0.4ha to take place if it is satisfied there is an excess of 20% or more between the five year housing land supply and the housing provision requirement for the same period derived from Policy DP4 of the Surrey Structure Plan. However an exception may be made if it is demonstrated that the development would result in a significant environmental, social or community benefit.

6.21 An exception to Policy HSG4 may be made if it is demonstrated that the development concerned would result in a significant environmental, social or community benefit. This could include the provision of new health or community facilities and/or affordable housing.

Housing Land Supply 2001-2006

6.22 The Surrey Structure Plan 1994 requires that provision is made for 600 dwellings in Mole Valley in the period between 1st April 2001 and 31st March 2006. The estimated surplus from the period 2000-2001 of 55 dwellings will contribute towards this requirement and it is anticipated that 144 dwellings will be provided on large sites with planning permission. It is estimated that 389 dwellings are likely to be provided on sites which cannot be identified in advance (see Appendix 10). In addition, three sites are allocated for housing development as a contribution to housing land supply in the period 2001 - 2006 in accordance with the following policy.

POLICY HSG5 - HOUSING SITES 2001-2006
The following sites shown on the Proposals Map are allocated for development after 31st March 2001:
  1. Land at Murreys Court, Ashtead (1.85ha)
  2. Land at Starhurst School, Chart Lane South, Dorking (1.35ha) Site now built
  3. Land off Westlees Close, North Holmwood (0.43ha) Site now built
Development proposals which would prejudice the use of these sites for longer term housing development will not be permitted.

6.23 It is estimated that these sites could in total accommodate approximately 65 dwellings. The availability of land at Murreys Court, Ashtead is uncertain however, so that no allowance has been made for it in Table 6.1. Applications in relation to the site at Starhurst School, Dorking will be considered in the light of considerations material at the time, including the provisions of Circular 9/98 - The Town and Country Planning (Playing Fields) (England) Direction 1998.

6.24 Plans of these sites and a brief assessment of the main planning constraints affecting them are set out in Appendix 11. The detailed planning of the sites would be subject to full consideration at the planning application stage. The comments in the Appendix and the approximate density figures are without prejudice to the consideration of formal planning applications. In planning the layout of these sites account should be taken of energy efficiency and particular attention should be paid to the orientation of buildings.

6.25 Planning permission for the development of these sites could be granted up to 12 months prior to 31st March 2001 to enable site clearance, infrastructure and construction to begin, with a view to the initial completions taking place after 31st March 2001.

6.26 Taking all the elements of land supply into account, a small surplus on Structure Plan requirements of 24 dwellings is anticipated towards the end of the Plan period, based on calculations at 31st March 2000.

6.27 Cautious assumptions however have been used in estimating the number of dwellings that are likely to come forward in the longer term (see Appendix 10). Within the context of a six year Plan, there is scope for these trends to change. Furthermore, the surplus could be eliminated by relatively minor changes in the supply of land available. Therefore, to safeguard the land supply position and ensure that the objectives of Policy HSG3 are met the Plan identifies five reserve housing sites.

Reserve Housing Land

6.28 In preparing the Dorking and Leatherhead Area Local Plans, the Council excluded five sites from the Green Belt at Strood Green, Brockham; Marley Mead, Dorking; Springfield Road, Westcott; Randalls Park Farm, Leatherhead and Clare Crescent, Leatherhead. Those Local Plans indicated that these sites would be held in reserve to meet future identified housing requirements which could not be met from land within the built-up areas. This enabled a Green Belt boundary to be established that would endure and avoid the need for frequent revisions, which would weaken public confidence in its status.

6.29 Since the sites were identified in the previous Local Plans, there has been an adequate supply of housing land. It has not been necessary to develop these sites, although, exceptionally, a family centre has been constructed on a small part of the land at Randalls Park Farm, Leatherhead.

6.30 The Council will monitor the housing land supply in Mole Valley. If the Council is satisfied that there is likely to be a deficit towards the end of the Plan period such that the level of housing provision in the District which is required by the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 cannot be met, one or more of the reserve housing sites will be released for development. In making this assessment, the Council will take into account the likelihood of development taking place within the Plan period on sites already released.

POLICY HSG6 - RESERVE HOUSING LAND
The District Council will continue to monitor housing land supply on an annual basis. If as a result of this process the Council is satisfied that land is required in addition to that allocated in Policy HSG5 to meet the identified housing requirements of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994 for the period between 1st April 2001-31st March 2006, one or more of the following sites, as shown on the Proposals Map will be released:
  1. Between Randalls Road and Cleeve Road, Leatherhead (2.9ha/7.2 acres)
  2. Fronting Clare Crescent, Leatherhead (0.9ha/2.2 acres)
  3. Between Glenfield Close and Ridge Close, Strood Green, Brockham (3.2ha/8.0 acres)
  4. Marley Mead, Ridgeway Road, Dorking (1.3ha/3.2 acres)
  5. Rear of Springfield Road, Westcott (2.2ha/5.4 acres)
If as a result of monitoring, a deficit is anticipated, then the sites will be released so far as possible in proportion to that deficit, but with a safety margin in favour of exceeding the requirement as follows:
Anticipated Deficit
Sites to be released (nos)
25-50
1
50-75
1 and 2
75-100
1, 2 and 3
100-150
1, 2, 3 and 4
Over 150
All
 
Until the sites are needed to meet possible longer-term development requirements, they will be safeguarded from premature development. Proposals which would affect the open character of these sites or prejudice their use for possible longer-term development will not be permitted.

6.31 At a gross density (including roads) of approximately 25 dwellings per hectare, these sites might accommodate up to about 260 dwellings. Density levels may vary however and 25 dwellings per hectare is not expected to be achieved at all sites.

6.32 The order for release of the sites listed under Policy HSG6 has been arrived at taking account of their locational characteristics and respective relationships to the District's major urban centres, as well as their size and potential contribution to affordable and other identified housing needs. Together with sites listed under Policy HSG5, it is also designed to achieve a reasonable distribution of identified sites across the District.

6.33 Plans of these sites and a brief assessment of the main planning constraints affecting them are set out in Appendix 12. The detailed planning of the sites would be subject to full consideration at the planning application stage. Their layout should be planned to be energy efficient and particular attention should be paid to the orientation of buildings, their overshadowing effects and their protection from prevailing winds. The comments in Appendix 12 and the approximate density figures are without prejudice to the consideration of formal planning considerations.

HOUSING NEEDS

6.34 In making provision for additional housing in the District, in accordance with the above policies, the Council will seek to encourage dwellings which contribute to meeting the demands for accommodation from:

  1. Single people, young couples or newly formed households;

  2. Those people whose incomes generally deny them the opportunity to purchase houses on the open market;

  3. Those people with disabilities;

  4. The elderly.

Dwellings for Small Households

6.35 The average size of households within the District is falling, largely as a result of the increase in the number of one and two person households. Over the period 1981-1991, 2560 one and two bedroom dwellings were constructed in the District which is 64% of the gross completions during that period. However, during the same period, the number of small households comprising the single, lone parents and others increased by 2900. It is estimated that an additional 2230 one person households will be formed in Mole Valley between 1991-2001 and the demand for smaller dwellings is likely to continue up to the end of the Plan period. The Council consider that it is important to encourage the provision of dwellings suitable for small households in appropriate locations so they have a reasonable choice of accommodation in new housing developments. There is also a requirement for the provision of small three bedroom dwellings to meet the needs of expanding families.

POLICY NOT SAVED
POLICY HSG7 - DWELLINGS FOR SMALL HOUSEHOLDS
The Council will encourage the provision of one, two and small three bedroom dwellings suitable for occupation by single people, young couples, newly formed households, expanding families and the elderly in suitable locations, particularly in and close to town centres and other appropriate locations close to shops, schools, public transport and other amenities.

6.36 The provision of dwellings suitable for small households may also be achieved through the conversion of large dwellings into smaller units, the re-use of redundant offices no longer likely to be required for that purpose and by the use of accommodation above shops in Dorking and Leatherhead town centres and in the District's local centres.

Subdivision of Dwellings in Built-up Areas

6.37 The subdivision of dwellings is another source of smaller dwellings and involves less physical change than their redevelopment.

POLICY HSG8 - SUBDIVISION OF DWELLINGS IN THE BUILT-UP AREAS AND VILLAGES

The subdivision of dwellings in the built-up areas and within the boundaries of those villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 will be permitted provided that:
  1. the number and density of the new units would not be such as to have a harmful effect on the character of the building itself, the surrounding area, and the residential amenities of adjoining properties;

  2. the proposed dwellings have a satisfactory internal layout the arrangement of which would not be prejudicial to the amenities of the occupants of adjoining properties;

  3. the dwelling to be converted has more than 7 habitable rooms;

  4. parking provision is made to the currently adopted standards in a manner which is not detrimental to the character or appearance of the surrounding area or the residential amenities of the proposed dwellings and surrounding properties.

6.38 In considering proposals for the sub-division of houses, the Council will seek to ensure that any external alterations reflect the character and appearance of the building and do not prejudice the residential amenities of adjoining properties. An adequate number of car parking spaces should be provided, but it will be necessary to ensure that this is balanced with the provision of amenity space in the interests of the setting of the building and the amenities of adjoining properties.

6.39 The Council wishes to ensure that the stock of smaller family dwellings, particularly in areas close to Leatherhead and Dorking town centres, is maintained since such accommodation is in limited supply. Houses with 6 or less habitable rooms are rarely of sufficient size or appropriate design to enable the satisfactory provision of self-contained flats. Problems of noise and loss of amenities and character can result. Also, the provision of parking spaces on front gardens opening directly onto the highway can lead to a cumulative deterioration in the quality of the environment. Demand for on-street spaces is already excessive in many situations and the provision of further flats will exacerbate problems of car parking. The Council will look critically at the proposals for car parking and will have regard to the availability of both on-street parking and off-street car parks.

Affordable Housing

6.40 Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 - Housing indicates that a community's need for affordable housing is a material planning consideration which should be taken into account in preparing planning policies. Further advice on planning and affordable housing is provided in Circular 6/98.

6.41 In April 2000, there were 1080 households on the Council's Housing Register. The Council considers this gives a broad indication of the scale of need for affordable housing in Mole Valley. While the nature of the need for affordable housing may alter over the Plan period, an analysis of the current Housing Register indicates the greatest need is for three bedroom family dwellings. The information contained in the Housing Register will be supplemented by the findings of a housing needs survey.

6.42 The Council will therefore seek to ensure that a proportion of new dwellings provided during the period of the Plan are made available principally to residents of the District who are on lower incomes, in housing need and unable to afford housing at the prevailing market price.

POLICY NOT SAVED

POLICY HSG9 - AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE BUILT-UP AREAS

The Council will negotiate with landowners and developers for the inclusion of a proportion of affordable housing on suitable sites in the built-up areas of Mole Valley which have a capacity of 25 dwellings or more or are 1 hectare or more in area irrespective of the number of dwellings. Proposals for residential development of sites above these thresholds will also be subject to the environmental and other relevant policies in the Plan.

6.43 For the purposes of this policy, affordable housing is that which is available for rent or shared ownership through a Housing Association or other Registered Social Landlord, or for sale at a price which those identified by the Council as being in housing need can afford to pay.

6.44 Policy HSG9 will be applied to sites that come forward for residential development in the built-up areas of Ashtead, Bookham, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Dorking and North Holmwood.

6.45 The Council appreciates the need for care in determining the proportion of affordable housing in the overall number of dwellings proposed on sites above the threshold set out in Policy HSG9. When negotiating the provision of an element of affordable housing the Council will take into account the following:

  • the character of the surrounding area and appropriate density of development for the site;

  • the existing use of the site;

  • the proximity of local services and facilities and access to public transport;

  • whether there will be particular costs associated with development of the site;

  • whether the provision of affordable housing would prejudice the realisation of other aims and objectives of the Plan that need to be given priority in development of the site; and

  • the need to achieve a successful housing development.

The precise amount of affordable housing to be provided on sites above the thresholds set out in Policy HSG9 and the detailed mix of affordable housing types appropriate to the site will be a matter of negotiation between the Council and the developer, having regard to the outcome of the Council's Housing Needs Survey.

6.46 The Council will require that a proportion of the dwellings provided on the site at Starhurst School, Dorking which is allocated for development in the period 2001-2006 under the terms of Policy HSG5, should be in the form of affordable housing. Also, if the Council is satisfied that it is necessary to bring forward the reserve housing sites to meet the requirements of the Surrey Structure Plan in accordance with the requirements of Policy HSG6, the Council will negotiate for a proportion of the development on each site to be in the form of affordable housing.

6.47 The precise nature and mix of the affordable housing on the Starhurst School site and the reserve housing sites will be a matter for discussion and agreement between the Council and the developer and will depend on the nature of the housing need at the time of the development.

6.48 The Council will also negotiate with developers to secure an element of affordable housing on residential development sites in the District's villages (see paragraph 5.38), but only where the principle of residential development is acceptable and the sites are large enough to be able to accommodate a mix of market and affordable housing that is satisfactory in terms of site and market conditions. In considering the suitability of an element of affordable housing on such sites, the Council will also take account of the criteria set out in paragraph 6.45.

6.49 The Council's approach to the provision of affordable housing on 'exception' sites in rural settlements is set out in paragraphs 5.31-5.39 and Policy RUD5.

6.50 It will be an essential requirement that low- cost affordable housing provided under the terms of Policy HSG9 remains available for successive as well as initial occupiers of the property. Encouragement will be given to the involvement of Registered Social Landlords providing housing for rent or shared ownership, as this will ensure control over subsequent changes of ownership or occupation. Where a Registered Social Landlord is not involved, the Council will impose planning conditions to ensure a proposed affordable housing scheme accords with Policy HSG9 and that occupancy of the dwellings is limited in perpetuity to those in need.

6.51 This approach complements the measures being taken by the Council through its role as housing authority, to address the need for affordable housing. These include close liaison with Registered Social Landlords, participation in equity-sharing schemes, leasing property in the private sector, ensuring optimum occupancy of its own dwelling stock and a range of financial measures.

6.52 There may be occasions where the developer and Council both consider that, on particular sites where a requirement for an element of affordable housing would be appropriate, that it is nonetheless preferable for a financial or other contribution to be made towards the provision of the element of affordable housing on another site in the Council's administrative area. Such arrangements should actually result in the provision of affordable housing (whether via new build or conversions) that would not otherwise be provided in the Council's area. In these cases a legal agreement or planning obligation to secure these ends will be a prerequisite to a planning permission for the development of the site.

Housing For The Elderly

6.53 Population forecasts to 2006 indicate that the number of pensioners in the 85+ age group is expected to almost double and that the number of younger pensioners between the ages of 60 and 84 is also likely to increase.2

6.54 There is likely to be a continuing need for additional accommodation for the frailer elderly and proposals for nursing homes and similar residential institutions will be considered in the light of Policy CF2 - New Community Facilities. While the need for sheltered elderly person housing is not so great as in the past, opportunities may arise for additional accommodation in appropriate locations. Such proposals will be considered in the light of Policy HSG10.

POLICY NOT SAVED

POLICY HSG10 - HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY

Within the built-up areas and within the boundaries of the villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3, new dwellings designed for the elderly will normally be permitted provided:

  1. shops, health facilities, public transport and other community facilities are available and reasonably accessible;

  2. in the case of sites within the boundaries of villages defined in accordance with Policies RUD1, RUD2 and RUD3 the requirements of Policy RUD4 are met.

6.55 As with other housing development, housing for the elderly should accord with the relevant environmental protection policies set out in Chapter 4. The Council will seek to ensure that accommodation designed for the elderly remains available for occupation only by them, if necessary by way of a planning obligation.

Gypsy Caravan Sites

6.56 The County Council has provided 15 pitches for gypsy caravans on four sites in Mole Valley.3 The sites are owned by the County Council and managed by the District Council. In addition, there are two private sites in the Hookwood area each providing two pitches. Based on an assessment of needs, including a projection of new generations of families on existing sites in the District, it is considered the existing level of site provision is adequate and the Council will normally look to the use and turnover of pitches on existing sites and moves to traditional housing, together with any sites which may come forward and which satisfy the requirements of the following policy.

POLICY NOT SAVED

POLICY HSG11 - GYPSY CARAVAN SITES

Proposals for gypsy caravan sites will only be permitted provided:

  1. the development would not conflict with the policies for protecting the Green Belt (ENV2), the countryside beyond the Green Belt (ENV3) and other relevant policies for protected areas or the policy for new housing in villages (RUD4);

  2. the site is small in size and normally comprises 1 or 2 pitches for recognised gypsy families;

  3. the site only provides residential accommodation and ancillary facilities, unless the particular circumstances of the site would enable work space to be accommodated satisfactorily in terms of noise, safety, traffic movements and visual intrusion;

  4. the development would not have a significant impact on the environment or character of the locality including impact on the water environment, pollution, areas subject to flooding risk, high grade agricultural land, agricultural businesses and the amenities of neighbours in particular from vehicular movement or activities on the site;

  5. the development can be made compatible with the character and appearance of the surrounding area through appropriate landscaping and screening which can be subject to a planning condition or obligation over long-term maintenance;

  6. the site has safe and proper access to a suitable highway and adequate on-site vehicle parking in accordance with the requirements of the County Director of Highways and Transportation;

  7. the site is within reasonable distance of local services and facilities e.g. shops, hospitals, schools and public transport.

The Council will consider imposing conditions limiting the parts of the site which may be used for residential or other purposes where this is justified in terms of visual and other amenities.

6.57 In considering proposals for gypsy caravan sites, the Council will have regard to the advice in Circular 1/94 - Gypsy Sites and Planning.

Travelling Show People

6.58 Show people are self-employed and travel the country holding fairs, chiefly during the summer months. They require permanent bases, especially during the winter, for the storage of equipment and for residential purposes. Government advice indicates that sites on the outskirts of built-up areas may be suitable as bases for travelling show people.

POLICY HSG12 - SITES FOR TRAVELLING SHOW PEOPLE
Permanent sites for travelling show people will be permitted in the built-up areas of the District provided:
  1. the development would not have an adverse environmental impact on the locality including nuisance to neighbours from vehicular movement, the maintenance and testing of equipment and other activities;
  2. the development would be compatible with the character and appearance of the surrounding area;
  3. the site has safe and convenient access to a suitable highway and is reasonably convenient for schools and other community facilities;
  4. the development would not be visually conspicuous from or adversely affect the appearance of the Green Belt.
The Council will consider imposing conditions limiting the proportion of a site which may be covered by equipment or the hours during which equipment may be tested.
Permanent sites for travelling show people will not normally be permitted in the countryside or villages in the District unless they are in accordance with Policy RUD19 and accord otherwise with criteria 1-4 of this Policy.

6.59 There is one site in Mole Valley which is used by travelling show people as a base for their operations4. No additional sites have been identified in the Plan and the Council will consider proposals in the light of the criteria set out in Policy HSG12.

6.60 In considering proposals for sites for travelling show people the Council will consult the Showman's Guild of Great Britain in order to ascertain the level of need for such development.



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