Government backing has been given to pursuing a locally-led Garden Village at Longcross. Supported by the developer and by Surrey Heath Borough Council, Runnymede Borough Council has successfully secured recognition of the potential Garden Village at Longcross under this new national initiative.
Details of the Government aspirations for Garden Villages and Runnymede's intentions to meet them are contained below:
The backing of Government brings with it access to part of a £6 million fund over the next two financial years to support the delivery of this new opportunity. The funding is available to provide additional resources and expertise to unlock the full capacity of the site and Runnymede Borough Council hopes to be able to access this money to assist in assessing the infrastructure needed to support the new village to ensure any new development is sustainable and contributes to our local community.
Part of the emerging Local Plan
The proposal to develop at Longcross, formerly the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) site and currently home to Longcross Studios, forms part of the Preferred Approach of the emerging Runnymede Borough Local Plan recently consulted on in Summer 2016. The recognition of this project within the national Garden Village initiative will help support the refinement and further consideration of this option within the emerging plan as it progresses through additional public engagement and consultation in 2017.
New primary school, shops, cafes and restaurants
The current Preferred Approach proposals for Longcross, consulted on as part of the Local Plan, include approximately 1,500 homes and over 850,000 square feet of new commercial floorspace. The draft masterplan also envisions a new primary school, shops, cafes and restaurants in a new Village centre, in additional to the new commercial floorspace focussed around the existing Longcross railway station. That masterplan, however requires refinement and development as the Local Plan moves forward and as the developer progresses an application for planning permission.
Playing fields and allotments
In line with Garden Village design principles the proposals will also include significant areas of green space, recreation, playing fields and allotments. A new 'country park' of over five hectares, at Trumps Farm has already been granted planning permission and it is intended that the first phase, associated with the residential development of the previously developed land on the northern part of the site, will be delivered soon.
More information available
The owner and future developer of the site Crest Nicholson/Aviva have published their aspirations for the larger site, and provide on-line details of the consent development already under construction. Visit the Longcross Village website and Discovering Longcross for more information.