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Shaping a sustainable and thriving Elmbridge

Shaping a sustainable and thriving Elmbridge

Draft Local Plan

Update 17 May

Regulation 19 representation to open 17 June.

Update 23 March

On 22 March, the Elmbridge Draft Local Plan was agreed by Elmbridge Borough Council. Cllr Karen Randolph Portfolio Holder for Planning Services, explains the next stage in the adoption of a new Local Plan for Elmbridge.

“Now that Elmbridge Borough Council has agreed the Draft Local Plan for Elmbridge, the vital next step is engagement with our residents, businesses and developers through the Regulation 19 representation period.

“Programmed to start in June, Regulation 19 is your chance to be part of Elmbridge’s sustainable and thriving future and we want to hear your views as we all come together to shape Elmbridge.”

  • You will find more information on the Regulation 19 representation on our website.
  • All of the consultation documents, technical evidence and guidance notes will be available on our website at that time.
  • During this representation period, views will be collated and reviewed by the council.
  • All representations will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate alongside the draft Local Plan, evidence base and any proposed modifications in the autumn”.
  • If you would like to be notified when the Regulation 19 representation is live, please register on our consultation portal.

Update 17 March 2022

At a meeting of Elmbridge Cabinet on Wednesday 16 March, the Draft Local Plan was recommended to Full Council on 22 March to be published for public representation under Regulation 19.

Cllr Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning Services added;  “It is great that Cabinet colleagues have recommended the draft Local Plan to Full Council. We are on our way towards creating a thriving and sustainable future for Elmbridge and I look forward to the journey ahead.”

The Elmbridge Draft Local Plan is ready for consideration by Elmbridge Cabinet 

On 16 March 2022, the Elmbridge Draft Local Plan is being debated at a meeting of the Elmbridge Cabinet. The recommendations of the Cabinet will be presented to a Council meeting on 22 March 2022.  If approved by Council, the next stage on the way to adoption is a ‘Regulation 19 representation’, after which the Plan will then be passed to the national Planning Inspectorate for examination.

This final stage of the Draft Local Plan process has been at least six years in the making. A Local Plan is considered an incredibly important and challenging document to develop. It is not just a collection of policy reports detailing housing development, it is instrumental in the shaping of an area, involving much consultation and debate, with legal and political views requiring consideration, and in the last couple of years, COVID-19 has also impacted both the process and the thinking behind the Plan. However, when approved by the national Planning Inspectorate, it is fundamental to an area – determining how sustainable communities are given the fundamentals to thrive – green spaces, transport network, schools, medical practices, high streets etc..

Protecting and enhancing the character of Elmbridge

Councillor Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning Services, has been on the Local Plan journey for many years and is proud to deliver the Draft Local Plan to Elmbridge Borough Council’s Cabinet meeting on 16 March 2022 for their consideration:

“The Elmbridge Draft Local Plan aims to enhance the character of borough; to take all that we love about Elmbridge – the 550 hectares of green space, commons and woodlands, the parades, the high streets, the sense of community - and find a way to enhance it, not only for the world we live in now, but also for the next 15 years.

“We know climate change and sustainability are important to our residents and the good design principles outlined in the Draft Local Plan will help us live more sustainably through improved walking and cycling infrastructure, increased numbers of electric vehicle chargers and improved air quality in our homes. The Plan offers Elmbridge the opportunity to embrace sustainable living and net zero more than ever.

“It also brings that sustainability to our high streets and parades, acknowledging that our they are evolving beyond being places to shop. To thrive, they will need to offer retail, entertainment and socialising experiences. Meeting your friends for a coffee, do some shopping and then go to the cinema for example, all in the same space. More than ever our commercial centres will provide that community buzz, that sense of togetherness and socialisation that makes Elmbridge a place people want to live, work and visit.

“For many years the focus of concern around the Draft Local Plan has been green belt and whether green belt should be released for new homes in the borough. I am delighted to confirm that the Plan is going forward to Cabinet, has no such option. What it does offer is a way forward for Elmbridge, a way to deliver a wide choice of high-quality homes based on the differing needs of our community; this of course includes more affordable homes. It offers this development path in line with our infrastructure requirements, such as transport network and education, without the need to build on green belt.

“In order to provide a robust Draft Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate, our officers have consulted with residents and developers, they have investigated all land options and they have assessed every possible scenario, weighing national guidelines and planning legislation against the needs of Elmbridge and our residents. This Draft Local Plan represents that work and has the best interests of Elmbridge as its heart.”

A Plan for all residents and businesses

Ensuring the Draft Local Plan is one for all residents and businesses in Elmbridge has been vitally important to Councillor Chris Sadler, Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council.

“Our residents need us to deliver a Draft Local Plan that not only encompasses their views from the rounds of public consultation over the years, but one that addresses their needs now and in the future. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our residents are evaluating their needs - their need for work / life balance, their mental and physical health needs and their impact on the Planet. The Plan supports the changing lifestyles accelerated by the pandemic and I hope our residents agree that after the debates of the last few years especially those around green belt and our need for homes, the Elmbridge Draft Local Plan presents the Planning Inspectorate with an exemplar way forward for the next 15years.”

Delivering a robust Plan for Elmbridge

A key contributor to the development of the Elmbridge Draft Local Plan has been the Local Plan Working Group chaired by Councillor Barry Cheyne. Their role has been to advise throughout the process of developing a new

Local Plan for Elmbridge. The Working Group was determined that the thoughts and views of residents, businesses and Councillors shaped the Draft Local Plan.

“As Chair of the Local Plan Working Group, I was determined to work with Councillors from all sides of the Council and officers to ensure the Draft Local Plan was positively prepared and in doing so was as sound and robust as we could have it, while also reflecting the views of our residents and businesses. The Plan is vital to the future of the borough and as such it deserved the time and analysis the Local Plan Working Group brought to the process.”

Key points of the Draft Local Plan being presented to Cabinet on 16 March 2022

1. The Plan allows for 465 homes per year over 15 years, which is an additional 100 homes per year approximately.

2. The Plan will protect the green belt and enhance green infrastructure and biodiversity in the borough.

3. The Plan will shape development in the urban area to meet the needs of our communities, respecting and enhancing the unique characters of our towns and villages.

What’s next?

If approved by Cabinet and Council, a Statutory Regulation 19 representation period will take place among residents, businesses and developers in the coming months, during this time we would like to hear your views on whether the Draft Local Plan is sound and legally compliant.

All of the consultation documents, technical evidence and guidance notes will be available on our website at that time.

During this representation, views will be collated by the council and submitted directly to the Planning Inspectorate alongside the draft Local Plan and evidence base

More details and information will be made available in May 2022 (after the Elmbridge council elections in May), via our website and social media channels. 


You may be interested

Head of Planning Services and Environmental Health at Elmbridge Borough Council, Kim Tagliarini, writes in The Planner about the Draft Local Plan for Elmbridge.




Date published: