2nd March 2012
Chairman's Corner

As we move further into 2012 there are already things afoot at the borough, county and national levels that we need to keep an eye on, I have listed some of the more important below.

  • Core Strategy
    The Core Strategy is the principal document in the Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF). It covers the Borough of Surrey Heath and sets out a long term spatial planning framework for the Borough up to 2028, see the SHBC Core Strategy Page.

  • Deepcut Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
    Over the next 15 years Deepcut is expected to experience significant change with the evolution of Deepcut into a sustainable, high quality rural heathland village. On the SHBC Deepcut Development Project Page, you will find further links to information about the development project including Deepcut planning policy, significant planning applications as well as news, events and Council activities relating to the Deepcut Project. On the SHBC Website, see the Deepcut Supplementary Planning Document.

  • PRB Consultation
    The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) have held two public exhibitions outlining their proposals for the development of the Princess Royal Barracks site in Deepcut. For more information on this, see the Deepcut Development Project Article in the left hand column.

  • Site Allocation DPD
    To support delivery of the recently adopted Core Strategy Surrey Heath Borough Council has begun the process of preparing a Site Allocations DPD under The Town & Country Planning (Local Development)(England) Regulations 2004 (as amended).
    Once approved, the DPD will allocate specific areas of land within Surrey Heath for development such as housing, employment and retail uses. The DPD will also consider open spaces, highway improvements and settlement and countryside boundaries. Further information can be found on the SHBC Site Allocations Development Plan Page.

  • Draft Western Urban Area Character SPD – Reg 17 Consultation
    The Western Urban Area of the borough has a distinctive patchwork of areas with specific character. New development has not always respected the character of the area it is located in. At times the Council has had difficulty in resisting development that is out of keeping with its surroundings because of a lack of detailed policy guidance on character issues.
    The Western Urban Area Character SPD has been prepared to fill this policy gap. Specifically, the SPD sets out to give guidance to the development industry, the Council and the public on how to ensure that local context has informed the design of new development in the Western Urban Area.
    The Council's Executive agreed on the 24th January 2012 that a Regulation 17 draft of the SPD should be released for a six week consultation purposes. The consultation starts on the 2nd February 2012 and continues until 15th March 2012. Further information can be found on the SHBC Western Urban Area Page.

  • Surrey County County Council plans for Community Partnered Libraries
    Surrey County Councils proposal to place local libraries into the hands of community volunteers or face potential closure. This has been challenged in the Royal Courts of Justice.
    On the 3rd February 2012 Judge Thornton QC concluded that the case against SCC had sufficient prospects of success to warrant the full scrutiny of the High Court. Further information can be found at slamupdate.wordpress.com.

  • Surrey County County proposal to raise council tax by 2.99 percent
    Surrey County Council has confirmed it is declining the Coalition's council tax freeze.At a meeting of the Full Council on 7th February 2012, it was agreed to increase the council tax by 2.99% in April.
    Surrey County Council leader David Hodge said: "For many other councils in the country, the Government offer is a good one. But after exhaustive analysis, my Cabinet and I believe that this one-off council tax grant is not in the medium to long-term interest of Surrey residents. "We must do what is right for the residents of Surrey over the long-term and not accept short-term assistance that will imperil our financial stability in years to come."
    A full transcript of Surrey leader David Hodge’s speech at Full Council: can be found at coalitions-council-tax-freeze-declined.

  • Council sets out its strategy to address failures of the previous administration
    The One County One Team Corporate Strategy 2012 to 2017 sets out the Councils vision to be the most effective Council in England by 2017 and the priorities and key areas that they feel they must focus on to realise that vision. Further information can be found on the SCC Our corporate strategy - One County, One Team Page.

  • Proposal to install a Puffin Crossing on Mytchett Road
    Notice is hereby given that Surrey County Council have notified the Secretary of State in writing that they propose to establish a Puffin Pedestrian Crossing on Mytchett Road (B3411), Mytchett. Further information can be found on the SCC Mytchett Road Mytchett Puffin Crossing Page.

  • The Proposed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
    The draft National Planning Policy Framework was published for consultation. This is a key part of the coalitions reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth. Further information can be found on the draftframework Page.
    It is thought that the NPPF will come into force sometime in March. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) need to ensure that any planning proposals respect the spirit and not just the letter of the NPPF intentions.

  • NHS Changes under fire
    The new Health and Social Care Bill proposed by Secretary of State The Rt Hon. Andrew Lansley continue to come under intense fire. The bill after amendments during the committee stage of its passage and as presented to the House of Commons can be found at the following link to a pdf file.
    The government have provided an online e-petition facility and on which a petition has been raised “Calling on the Government to drop its Health and Social Care Bill.” which can be found at petitions/22670.
    Current number of signatures: 174,462 Closing Date:16/05/2012.
    A threshold of 100,000 signatures may trigger a further parliamentary debate. Government e-petitions require 100,000 backers to be debated in parliament, although merely having secured the support is not a guarantee they will be debated.
    Many other petitions have been raised opposing this bill most notably the one organised by the campaign group 38degrees, the number of signatures on their petition currently exceeds a half a million. That petition can be found at Protect_our_NHS_Petition.
    The Information Tribunal has already told the Government that they must reveal the details of the Risk Register held about the Health and social Care Bill now under discussion in Parliament. The Government has refused, and is now appealing, hoping to get the Bill through before the appeal is heard.An e-petition has been raised stating “We petition the Government to disclose and make public the details in the Risk Register to enable public discussion before a final vote so that Parliament can make a fully informed decision in light of the information contained in the Risk Register”. Further information can be found at petitions/27426.

Kevin Daley    (Chair, MFGD Society)