As part of the evidence base for the Local Plan, the council appointed Arup to review Green Belt boundaries in Runnymede. Two phases of review work have been undertaken; the first was a strategic level review in 2014, followed by a more finely grained assessment of land within defined buffers of the borough's urban settlements in 2017.
Green Belt Review part two (March 2017)
A number of the detailed representations received during the 2016 issues, options and preferred approaches consultation related to the matter of the Green Belt Review (GBR) completed in 2014 by consultants on behalf of the council.
Following this the council carried out further work in respect of the Green Belt.
Accordingly, an additional more finely grained assessment has been completed, the results of which will, alongside the conclusions of the council's amended Site Selection Methodology and Assessment (SSMA), inform the council's additional round of public consultation on the Local Plan, which is due to start on 12 May 2017 (Regulation 18).
The GBR part two complements and seeks to elaborate on the original 2014 version. The review considered only a relatively small part of the Green Belt in Runnymede, focusing on land within a specific buffer around the borough's settlements. The buffer zones are as shown on the map below.
In the majority of settlements, the zone extends 400 metres from the existing settlement boundary into the Green Belt; for the smaller settlements of Englefield Green, Ottershaw and Thorpe, the zone extends 250 metres.
The assessment of these smaller parcels of land within the defined buffers should ensure that no sites which perform poorly against Green Belt purposes - with consequent potential for consideration for removal from the Green Belt - have been omitted on account of the large scale of the parcels that were considered under the original 2014 GBR work.
It should be noted that where a site is shown in the GBR part two as a 'recommended area', which the council could consider for removal from the Green Belt, it should not be interpreted as meaning the site will necessarily be allocated for development in the emerging Runnymede 2035 Local Plan. The GBR part two is only one element of the council's extensive evidence base for the Local Plan. The council is currently considering the conclusions of the GBR part two alongside the sustainability credentials of all the promoted sites, before determining if any sites, additional to those already consulted on through the IOPA consultation, should be allocated through the Local Plan.
The GBR part two report can be viewed here.
The GBR part two annex report's can be viewed below:
Following the additional sites and options consultation, the council commissioned Arup to consider any detailed comments made on the Green Belt review part two in the representations received. Arup's summaries of the key points raised, and their responses, can be viewed in thedocument. Furthermore, based on the comments made in the representations received, Arup produced an addendum to the Green Belt review part two and a separate advice note to the council relating to the Pyrcroft Road site in Chertsey. Both of these documents can be viewed below.
Any questions about the GBR should be directed to officers in the council's policy and strategy team at email@example.com. Alternatively, please contact one of the officers using the details on the right of this page.
Green Belt review part one (December 2014)
In December 2014 Arup completed its independent review of the Green Belt in Runnymede. The review considered whether the it still meets in purposes and whether alterations to boundaries could be made. The main report and annexes can be found below.
Arup's report contains recommendations Green Belt land the council could look to return to the urban area through the Local Plan.
This would help meet identified development needs that cannot be met in existing urban areas due to insufficient capacity. Arup has split the borough's Green Belt into land parcels and then assessed on the following criteria before arriving at their recommendations:
- How well each performs against the purposes of the Green Belt as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework
- Whether it is subject to planning/development constraints
The land parcel (general area) boundaries and resultant land parcels as contained in the review can be seen on Maps (our online interactive mapping service).
Please note that given the early stage the council is at with the preparation of the Runnymede 2035 Local Plan, no decisions have yet been made as to which, if any, land parcels identified will be removed from the Green Belt.
Officers in the policy and strategy team need to carry out further work to scrutinise the suitability and deliverability of the sites recommended by Arup. Furthermore, other options that could meet development needs in the borough will be considered over the coming months as work on the Local Plan progresses, and will be subject to public consultation before the council's preferred strategy is decided.
Any question about the GBR should be directed to officers in the council's policy and strategy team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please contact one of the officers using the details to the right of this page.