THE DRAFT FUTURE MOLE VALLEY PLAN

 

This MV Council plan sets out proposals for development in Mole Valley and includes several suggestions which would have a major impact on our community. The Council is currently carrying out a public consultation exercise to gauge local feeling about the plans.

This is your opportunity to present an argument for or against the proposals.

 

NB:  ALL RESPONSES HAVE TO BE IN BY March 23rd. - click here for suggested letter format

REVIEW OF 5 SITES WHICH COULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE PIXHAM COMMUNITY

 

‘The long read’.

by

Pat Smith, Chair of the Pixham Residents’ Assn. Committee

 

Feel free to use pieces of this information in your responses to MVDC

Documents are hard to find:  Go to Future Mole Valley – Draft Local Plan – Evidence documents (at top) – Land Availability Assessments – Vol 4 for Chalcraft & The Depot:  Vol 1 for other sites..

 

  1. OLD CHALCRAFT NURSERY SITE

http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/media.cfm?mediaid=55256

Page 35/60

Included for the sake of completeness. No-one as far as we know is objecting to this.

The only possibility is whether there is a better location for it – possibly on the Aviva site where the children would have access to the playing fields & some sort of liaison could be possible with Patchworking Gardens. Vehicle locations would also be better. There might be the chance of using some of their facilities for the community.

Alternative use would be restricted because of its location – a) access for traffic and b) clearly visible from Box Hill.

   2. THE DEPOT PIXHAM LANE: http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/media.cfm?mediaid=55256

Pages 13-17

 1.  The 2 companies who are there have contracts until 2027. Yet the detailed site assessment p13/60  states use for travellers will be feasible between 1-5 yrs from start of plan (which began in 2018), so 2023. MVDC could wait until present contracts expire, not renew them and create a much larger traveller site.

2.  Between them the companies employ c20 people at the site; most are local.

3.  Advanced Tree Services use much of the site.  Heavy lorries & trailers are constantly reversing etc.  It is dangerous & not publicly accessible. It would be very hard for them to find alternative premises due to their very specific needs and we need to be encouraging local businesses.

4. There is also the matter of security if people were allowed access through the day - and at night when the premises are normally locked..

5.  A  traveller pitch has to include space for a mobile home, a caravan, a car and wash-hut.

6. There is no easy way to limit the 'spread' of pitches and prevent access to the River Mole without fencing or walls as, apart from the concreted area, there are no clear 'zones' on the land.

7.  The site would be visible from the other side of the River Mole which is a National Trust footpath. Also from the Box Hill viewpoint.

8.  If housing was planned on the site, would it be allowed?  On grounds of access / Green Belt etc.

9.  It is a Flood Risk 2 designated area.  With climate change & increased flooding risk the travellers would be vulnerable.

10. It is located immediately adjacent to the operating part of Pixham Sewage works and exposed to odours and noise from this - it is questionable whether any other sort of dwelling would be considered in such a location 

11. The site assessment states there is open land to the N & E which is under the same ownership as the Depot (ie owned by Mole Valley.) Is this correct?

12.  It is Green Belt land. Ref: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/457420/Final_planning_and_travellers_policy.pdfPolTraveller sites in Green Belt

16.Inappropriate development is harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved, except in very special circumstances. Traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development. etc.

MVDC can make a case that the concreted area is brownfield but the majority of it is Green Belt.

 

   3. PIXHAM END & STATION SITES

 

Points to consider:

  1. The sites will be re-developed as an essential part of MV’s Plan to provide housing. This is a given unless alternative uses outweigh the need for more houses.

  2. The buildings at Pixham End will be demolished to use the space more effectively.

  3. It is brownfield and housing built on it will save encroaching into the Green Belt.

 

  1. The number of cars will be a problem:  can MV insist there’s a restrictive covenant on all houses?

  2. Increased traffic on all local roads, esp Pixham Lane and the A24 needs to be carefully considered.  (See section 5)

  3. Increased pressure on all areas of Pixham through ‘overflow’ parking from the proposed new areas:  Swanmill residents already have restricted parking because of commuters who access the station by footpath. 

  4. MV have as a policy with all 3 sites that people will not have to use cars because of excellent public transport links v close to the new housing – this doesn’t take into account that many journeys will be to places without excellent public transport links, so people will need cars.

  5. What developers are interested in the 3 sites? What are THEIR priorities?

  6. Flooding: surface water run-off must be mitigated & effects on nearby properties carefully analysed. Existing houses close to the proposed sites regularly flood and don’t always report it.  With increasing weather events due to climate change this situation will only worsen.

  7. Car parks MUST be several storeys & part subterranean, as with Waitrose.

  8. What’s our community vision for this area to make  Pixham End into an integral part of the Pixham community? 

  9. Considering the intensive nature of proposed development we must bear in mind that it also forms an important ‘first impression’ of Dorking. 

  10. Any proposed housing MUST prioritise carbon neutral buildings.  MV declared a Climate Emergency, as did SCC and the govt.  These buildings will be in place way beyond 2050. 

 

CLIMATE IMPLICATIONS: https://dorking-climate-emergency.net/7000-new-houses-mvdc-development-plan-our-response/

This is well worth reading. The response is generic and contains detailed and powerful points.  

 

TRAFFIC IMPLICATIONS

A ‘cut & paste’ version of the MV Traffic Analysis. There’s a lot of reading but it provides some useful stats.  

 

Existing Transport Trends & Constraints

http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/media/pdf/d/l/Existing_Transport_Trends___Constraints_March_2017.pdf

Dated March 2017.

Figure 1.1 clearly highlights that the preferred method of travel to work in Mole Valley is by driving a car/van, as 58% of the working age residents were recorded as using this mode in the 2011 census. 

1.4.3 The second most favoured mode of transport to the workplace by Mole Valley residents is train, with 13% of residents commuting by rail. 

1.4.4 Figure 1.1 also indicates that Mole Valley has a greater proportion of residents either working from home (10%) or travelling to work on foot (10%), when compared to the county of Surrey and the south east region. 

1.5.1 The average distance travelled to work (for all modes) by residents of Mole Valley, aged between 16 and 74, is 15.4km.

1.5.4 Driving a car/van is the dominant mode for all distances travelled to work, with the exception of workplaces situated less than 2km or 30 to 40km away. 48% of Mole Valley residents travel on foot when the distance to work is 2km or less, whereas 63% of trips travelling a distance of 30 to 40km for work purposes are made by rail. 

1.5.5 A substantially high proportion of residents that are travelling a distance of less than 5km to work are using the private car/van to do this. 73% of Mole Valley residents are using the car to travel between 2 and 5km to work, whereas 3% are travelling by rail, another 3% by bus, 5% are cycling and 6% are travelling on foot.

5.6 48% of the districts residents commute to work on foot if the distance to the workplace is less than 2km, which is slightly greater than the Surrey figure of 42%. However, 40% of Mole Valley residents still drive a car/van to work even though the distance travelled is less than 2km.

1.5.9 Switching to a non-car mode is highly dependent on the quantity, quality and accessibility to existing public transport facilities and infrastructure in the district. Key factors that can influence an individual’s decision about whether to switch from the private car to sustainable modes for commuting are distance, duration, comfort and convenience of the journey.

35% of households have access to two cars and 10% have access to three cars in Mole Valley.

2.6.3 Figure 2.6 indicates that the most popular mode of travel to infant schools in the district is by walking, with 35% of the pupils choosing to walk. 

2.6.4 Travel by car has been split into three categories relating to car driving, sharing and being a passenger. When combining all car categories, 26% of infant school pupils are travelling to school via the car, making it the second most used mode for this purpose. 

2.6.9 Driving to school via the private car is the mode that has experienced the greatest increase in number of pupils travelling to school. In 2015/16 5% of pupils were driven to school but in 2016/17 this increased by just over 10% resulting in 16% of secondary school pupils travelling by car to school.

 

PLANS

  1. A Transport Study of Dorking is being prepared with a brief currently being under development. The purpose of this study is to prepare a “bid-ready” package for Dorking for when Local Growth Deal 4 funding becomes available from the Department for Transport. This package would build on the existing 2014 sustainable transport project being delivered at the moment, but will focus on addressing highway congestion issues in the town. In particular it will consider locations such as Deepdene roundabout to address safety issues, Pump Corner, the junctions on the A25 with Vincent Lane and Station Road together with associated traffic queues, and the optimisation of traffic signals throughout the town. The package is expected to include a mixture of traffic management and larger schemes, and potentially a major scheme (£5million+).

 

I hope this is useful.

Pat

Pat2africa@yahoo.co.uk