Draft Settlement Investment and Development (ID) Plans-Esher


What is this consultation all about?

“Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local organisations and businesses is essential. A wide section of the community should be proactively engaged, so that local plans, as far as possible, reflect a collective vision and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of an area”                  

Paragraph 155- National Planning Policy Framework

There have been many changes to the planning system over recent years. The Government is now promoting the production of a Local Plan, a single document that deals with all matters relating to the management and planning of development. However, Local Authorities do have the option to develop their Local Plan through a series of separate related documents. Given that the Council’s Core Strategy is up to date, compatible with the Government’s planning framework [1] , and has its own locally assessed housing requirement, continuing to develop the Local Plan as a portfolio of documents is the most sensible way forward. In completing our Local Plan portfolio we want to work closely with the community in order to reflect local needs and aspirations as far as possible, with the aim of providing clarity and certainty for those who wish to develop within the Borough. The delivery of our strategy will only be successful if we engage with all those who are affected by new development, infrastructure and services, and all those who provide it. The Council is committed to taking a strong leadership role, co-ordinating skills, resources and knowledge. We will adopt a proactive approach to the planning and management of development in order to ensure that the aims of the Core Strategy are delivered where, when and how we intend.

The aim of Settlement Investment and Development (ID) Plans is simply to plan for investment and development within local areas in partnership with the local community. Elmbridge has 8 distinct settlements, which have very different characters and communities. Recognising these differences, and working together, drawing on the opportunities that arise and addressing the challenges that new development may bring, is key to maintaining local choice, control and ownership. It is the Council’s view that to ‘do nothing’ and sit back and wait for development to happen is a poor way to plan for the future of the Borough. Settlement ‘ID’ Plans will make a significant contribution to the delivery and management of development that provides for the level of growth set out in the Core Strategy, supported by improved infrastructure and services.

Settlement ID Plans identify;

  • Open spaces that need to be protected and some earmarked for enhancement
  • Employment land that should remain as such because of its strategic importance
  • Schools and colleges where there are opportunities for expansion
  • Key sites for the delivery of housing, commercial and community development
  • Pitches for Gypsies and Travellers
  • Infrastructure improvements and priorities

This document is for consultation purposes only. The Council has already directed a significant amount of resources into holding workshops with the local community, landowners, businesses and potential developers. They have provided useful forums to openly discuss needs, aspirations and intentions, but these were just the start of the process. The document presented here is for wider consultation. The aim is that the final version of the plans will truly reflect local aspirations, while acknowledging that landowners and developers are key to delivery.

1. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) [back]