Having recently raised concerns over the current Surrey Minerals Plan and its potential impact on local planning decisions, I was delighted to learn that a review of the Minerals Plan by Surrey County Council is now underway, and this will be combined with a new waste management plan.
Surrey’s Minerals Plan was originally published in 2011 and developments in planning regulations, as well as progress on a number of significant infrastructure projects such as the River Thames Scheme and Esso pipeline, mean the plans that were appropriate for a decade ago may no longer reflect our needs today. I highlighted this issue with the Council in my response to planning application for gravel extraction at Whitehall Farm, and raised the need for a an updated Minerals Plan on which to base local decision-making. I am delighted that this review is taking place, and combining this with Surrey’s Waste Management plan will mean Surrey can deliver improvements which benefit our economy and our environment.
The review of the Minerals Plan is expected to be put to public consultation later this year. In light of the impact this could have on applications such as Whitehall Farm, I have re-iterated my call for applications based on the 2011 plan to be suspended until this review has taken place, to ensure decisions which will impact on our communities are based on the latest and most relevant information.
This position is also supported by Surrey County Councillor Jonathan Hulley, who said:
In determining this application it is essential we do not put the gravel extraction cart before the planning policy horse. I fully support efforts to delay determination of the Whitehall Farm application until this policy review has been completed, and will continue to work with Ben and Surrey colleagues to make sure residents’ voices are heard.