Be aware that, in common with a number of locations across the SE Districts, landowners are canvassing their property with various Housing Associations to get Rural Exception housing sites next to villages. SCC has a Core Strategy Policy, which seeks to enable such small-scale schemes on suitable sites and Felbridge is no exception.!
We understand that an housing association are going to put in a planning application to build houses on a field of considerable size in Mill Lane. and that Mona Johansson, the Surrey Rural Housing Enabler (funded jointly by the rural authorities in Surrey) from Surrey Community Action has recently renewed her approach to Felbridge Parish Council to asses the scope for a Parish-sponsored Housing Needs Survey. In tandem with this, Hastoe Housing Association has been responding to invitations from land owners to consider various sites (including one on the A22 – now ruled out – and apparently the Mill Lane site).
Mill Lane residents need to lobby the Parish Council to avoid getting sucked into this scheme.
This is a typical softly softly approach which some people may think is okay.
A similar thing happened at Lingfield. The Parish Council refused to participate in a housing survey needs. What happened is that the developer decided to carry out his or her own survey, and because it didn't come from the Parish council, it received a derisory response. What happened next is that the developer then proceeded to put in an application backed up by this housing need survey, and as they say, the rest is history and Lingfield now have the situation where they have been 'bounced' into this development.
Tandridge advice isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. Once a developer is armed with a housing need survey (however it is acquired), a planning application would be submitted and TDC would be powerless to oppose it, as has happened in Lingfield. Therefore, to say it would only gain support from Tandridge if Parish led is not correct, as has been seen by the Lingfield experience.
The bottom line is for Felbridge Parish Council not to get involved.
However, if a housing need survey is then carried out by a developer, as has happened at Lingfield, Felbridge residents must be made aware that to ignore any such survey and not to participate and say ‘No’, would let the minority in the back door.