The Tandridge District Council Local Plan Preferred Strategy has been published by them. Although the GVA believes that their continuing statements that their housing numbers are correct and that they should no longer be challenged is wrong, it is now clear that the preferred strategy is a ‘New Garden Village’. Tandridge District Council state that they have made no decisions regarding the location of this development, but they continue to include both South Godstone and Blindley Heath as options despite neither being sustainable. It is of grave concern to residents of Godstone Parish that Martin Fisher, Leader of the Council, has made several statements about how ‘difficult’ it would be to work with other district councils on those land options that border two districts. This could be indicative that the South Godstone or Blindley Heath options are, in fact, the only ones the council is seriously considering.
A new ‘Garden Community’ scheme has been put forward for Redhill Aerodrome that appears a far more sensible option. The owners of Redhill Aerodrome have been saying for sometime that it is not a viable business without the addition of a hard runway. A hard runway has always been opposed by local residents and recent court judgements mean that they have now run out of options.
A new garden community at Redhill would be a very sensible option, subject to a few caveats. A new junction would need to be created on the M23 to provide access to it and to ensure that no traffic either during construction, or afterwards, used the existing overcrowded A25 and surrounding roads. The developers propose only pedestrian access between Nutfield and South Nutfield and the development, which would be necessary to eliminate any risk to this community.
There are bound to be other concerns, but if these can be mitigated, a Redhill Garden Community could bring many benefits to the area. Increased employment opportunities would be created, affordable housing would ensure that local people could take advantage of the development, new schools – both primary and secondary – would be built, new open spaces would be created that would be accessible by local people and improved public transport services would ensure that the development was properly served and reduce the need for reliance on cars.
None of these benefits would be realised on the South Godstone or Blindley Heath sites. The GVA believes that a new Redhill Garden Community is the most appropriate use of Redhill Aerodrome, it brings benefits rather than disadvantages, it is sustainable in line with the National Planning Policy Framework and, if created sympathetically, will bring benefits to surrounding communities.
There is a ‘Vision Statement’ that has been put together to explain more about the Redhill Garden Community which you can download and view by clicking on this link. There is also a website with more information about it at www.redhillgardencommunity.co.uk or you can email for more information at ku.o1503502583c.yti1503502583nummo1503502583cnedr1503502583aglli1503502583hder@1503502583ofni1503502583there is also a freephone number (0800 148 8911) for more information.
If you believe that the Redhill Garden Community is the right solution for the aerodrome and will be beneficial to the district whilst bringing a large number of new homes without destroying a village environment, you can make your views known to Martin Fisher by emailing him at email@example.comC1503502583 or writing to him at the Tandridge District Council offices.