Woking Borough Council

Green Belt Boundary Review

Woking Borough Council has received the consultants' report on the Green Belt boundary review. A copy of the method statement, the consultants main report and the Council's non-technical summary can be accessed below:

The Green Belt boundary review is necessary to enable the Council to identify sufficient land to meet its future housing requirement and other development needs. The Borough is at risk of unsustainable development if the Council fails to identify sufficient land to meet its housing requirement. The need for the review is already established in the adopted Woking Core Strategy.

Before the Green Belt boundary review was published, the Council assessed the implications of a number of recent Ministerial Statements and letters about the protection of the Green Belt, and took into account the National Planning Practice Guidance published in March 2014. Based on this assessment, it was recommended that the Green Belt boundary review should be published. The assessment report can be found here.

Since publication of the Green Belt boundary review, a further statement has been issued by Eric Pickles MP with the publication of updated national planning policy guidance about how councils should use their local plan, drawing on protections in national planning policy, to safeguard their local area against urban sprawl and protect the green lungs around towns and cities. The Council has assessed the implications of this statement and the updated guidance for its plan-making process. A note explaining this assessment can be read here.

The Green Belt boundary review report is a technical consultants report prepared to inform the Council's Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). The brief for the Green Belt boundary review is available here. It will not be subject to any form of public consultation. At this stage, the Council has not made any decision about how it wishes to take forward the recommendations of the report. It will do so as part of the Site Allocations DPD process that will allocate specific sites for development. It is important to note that the Green Belt boundary review report does not allocate any land for development. It makes recommendations to the Council about land that could be taken out from the Green Belt to meet development needs, which the Council will consider in due course as part of the Site Allocations DPD process.

Work on the Site Allocations DPD has started. Public involvement will be an essential part of preparing this document. It is anticipated that it will be published for full public consultation during Summer 2015 to give the general public the opportunity and sufficient time to comment on the Council's proposal on the sites that it wishes to allocate for various types of development. There will be further on-going stakeholder involvement before the draft Site Allocations DPD is published for consultation. Frequently asked questions about the Site Allocations DPD and Green Belt boundary review can be found here.

The Site Allocations DPD will be subject to Independent Examination by an Inspector of the Secretary of State. Any body that supports or objects to the Council's proposals during the consultation of the Site Allocations DPD will be invited and given the opportunity to be heard by the Inspector. The Examination will provide an additional means for the public to be involved if they should feel that their concerns have not been addressed by the Council, or if they should wish to support the Council's proposals. It is only after the Council has taken the Inspector's recommendations into account that the Site Allocations DPD will be adopted.

There will be a revised timetable for the Site Allocations DPD contained within the Local Development Scheme when it is updated in the near future.

For further advice and/or clarification, please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01483 743871 or email: [email protected].