This is an article from the current issue of the Surrey Herald – note that the plan is to build on the green belt which is a site of special scientific interest with unique insects and plants and part of the renowned Chobham Common. Not only is this a travesty in itself but (see my bold text) the traffic is to be diverted via Chertsey!!!!! Chertsey does not deserve another Council/developers dumping
“Hundreds of concerned villagers attended an exhibition for plans to build Longcross Village – 1,300 homes on green belt land near Chertsey.
Around 600 people visited the three-day public display at Longcross Studios, starting last Friday, showing plans for the DERA site.
The presentation outlined plans by developers Crest Nicholson and Aviva Investors for the southern portion of the site, which would be known as Longcross Village, and would cater for more than 1,000 homes, plus a school and amenities.
A Crest Nicholson spokesman said: “We are not trying to persuade visitors. It is just a consultation to let them know our plans and it is really just an introduction to the site.
“I think people were pleasantly surprised about how much thought has gone into this and how much detail there is.”
The exhibition began with an overview of the history of the site, before progressing through the village plans, the green spaces, the ecology of the site – including wildlife of note – the masterplan, and an overview of the whole scheme.
The plans have been tailored to address many of the concerns the public had already raised.
The exhibition occurred just days before Runnymede planners confirmed their intention to remove the DERA site from the green belt for development after approving its local plan core strategy paper on Monday night, which will now be submitted to the Secretary of State.
Rather than having traffic going into the smaller villages, the development has been laid out with the aim of channelling the majority of traffic out at the eastern side, towards Chertsey, rather than to the west, towards Chobham and Windlesham.
It is hoped that the 30-hectare country park proposed at Trumps Farm off Kitsmead Lane will alleviate any pressure on Chobham Common, which many campaigners fear will be adversely affected by the proximity of the proposals.
Ray Walker, a Thorpe resident of 50 years, visited the site on Friday morning with his wife Marjorie.
He said the exhibition was well organised, but he doubted whether the plans were suitable for the area.
He said: “The purpose of the exhibition was clearly to try to reduce opposition to the scheme when it is submitted for planning permission.
“Unfortunately, Runnymede Borough Council seems to see this as an opportunity to satisfy all their obligations under national policies, such as affordable housing, on a single site and the developers are clearly going along with this in order to secure planning permission.
“This is likely to result in developments that are out of keeping with the locality.
“Satisfying government housing policies is unlikely to be in the best interests of Runnymede as a whole, or the locality in particular,” he concluded”
Previous information from the Surrey Herald March 2013———–
“Business leaders were shown a developer’s intentions for thousands of new homes in Runnymede at a breakfast forum last week.
The Runnymede Business Partnership’s well attended event was held at the Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel last Friday morning, where Crest Nicholson’s group board director, Chris Tinker, gave a presentation on the company’s plans for “a new Surrey village” at the former-DERA site at Longcross, near Virginia Water and Ottershaw.
Attendees were told a business park creating around 5,000 jobs and 200 homes would be built in the northern section of the site, which is bisected by the M3 motorway, with a further 1,300 homes in the southern section, that would have schools and community amenities.
Using a slide show combining maps, photos and artist’s impressions, Mr Tinker said the site would be split into distinct suburbs, depending on the existing characteristics of the area.
Some of those included “New Longcross” a family oriented area, “Longcross Avenue” running parallel to the motorway, “Surrey Views” an elevated section with split-level housing and the “Wooded Valley” where homes would be styled like German eco-houses. He said the whole site would feature energy-efficient low carbon buildings.
Mr Tinker said homes on the site would range from £250,000 to several million pounds.
He added: “It has got all the components of a sustainable community, with more frequent trains stopping, extra bus services. This site will be environmentally efficient by virtue of the buildings that go on it.”
Mr Tinker compared the development to the King’s Hill estate in Kent, and said as well as creating new jobs it would allow Runnymede Borough Council to fulfil a significant portion of its required target for new homes.
Nick Robinson is director of accounting company Power in Numbers, which is based in Kitsmead Lane, which borders the site.
He said he still had concerns over the effects of increased traffic, but had been quite impressed by the plans.
He added: “We would obviously prefer if there was not going to be 1,500 homes out the back of us there, but being as it is inevitable as it has been going on so long now, we were actually quite surprised by how well they had done it with the layout.
“It was not as bad as we thought it would be.”
The plans for the former tank testing site have been met with strong opposition from environmentalists due to the 310 acre area being very close to Chobham Common a National Nature Reserve, Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
James Osborne, chairman of The Chobham Society, was reluctant to comment on the meeting as he was not there, but said he and fellow protesters were using the council’s public consultation on its local development plan, which runs until Friday, to air their concerns over traffic, the effect on the environmentally sensitive common and the need to remove the site from the green belt for the development.
Finalised plans for the northern section of the site were submitted to Runnymede last November, and plans for the southern site are expected to be submitted later this year.”
I think new homes should be on brownfield land wherever possible, and although this is a former tank testing site, it is a bit of an imagination stretch to call the land ‘brown’. However, I know there is a huge housing shortage — and if Heathrow gets an additional runway, think what that would do to the demand for homes, and property prices, locally.