Woking’s draft Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD), which identifies potential urban and Green Belt sites for future housing, employment and infrastructure development within Woking Borough until 2027, will be considered by Council at its meeting on Thursday 20 October 2016. As part of this process, land has been identified within the Green Belt for residential development that will make a significant contribution towards the Borough’s housing requirements. In accordance with National Planning Policy (NPPF), the Council has also made the decision to safeguard land within the Green Belt to meet future development needs between 2027 and 2040. During summer 2015, the Council conducted an initial consultation on its proposals, which attracted 32,712 individual responses, many of which concerned these ‘safeguarded’ sites. These responses were reported to the Local Development Framework (LDF) Working Group, the cross-party panel appointed by Woking Borough Council to consider and make recommendations on the local plan making process. Cllr Ashley Bowes, Portfolio Holder for Planning Services and Chairman of the LDF Working Group, said: “When considering the huge number of responses received, the LDF Working Group were not satisfied that the identified safeguarded sites were the most appropriate when judged against reasonable alternatives and, therefore, did not justify, at this stage, revision of the Green Belt boundary in the Byfleet, Hook Heath and Pyrford locations. “The Working Group is instead recommending a strategic site to the east of Martyr’s Lane and A320. “This recommendation, which I hope Council will support at its meeting on 20 October, demonstrates that where concerns are raised by the public, which are justified on the evidence, the Council will listen and proactively present an alternative to the public for their view.” If the recommendation of the LDF Working Group is approved at Council on Thursday 20 October 2016, a further public consultation on the draft Site Allocations DPD will commence in early 2017. ENDS

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