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Planning Application TA/2007/1449: 23 - 27A Church Lane, OXTED

Planning Application TA/2007/1449: 23 - 27A Church Lane, OXTED

Letter to Oxted residents No.8                             Friday 14 March 2008

23 - 27A Church Lane: Wren Homes goes to appeal

We are writing again in connection with the planning application (TA/2007/1449) to demolish 4 houses in Church Lane (23, 25, 27 & 27A) and build a 3-storey apartment complex with 55 "extra care" flats for the elderly. This was refused by the Council on 13 December 2007. As many of you will know, Wren Homes has appealed against this refusal and we have until 27 March 2008 to submit any further comments directly to the planning inspectorate.

The principal objections to the proposed development, which you may wish to reiterate to the planning inspectorate, are as follows.

(i) Over development  The proposed buildings constitute over development of the site by reason of their scale, height and bulk. The density - 118 dwellings per hectare - is far too high and not appropriate to the character of the surrounding area.

(ii) Does not respect character The proposed development does not respect the character of Church Lane or the setting of Master Park. The buildings will be unduly prominent in the street scene due to their increased height, the unbroken frontage line and the significant loss of boundary hedges. The buildings will significantly harm the setting of Master Park, appearing unduly prominent during winter and early spring in views across the park from north and east. A lot of mature trees will be lost.

(iii) Not supported by Council's housing policy  The developer has avoided the normal requirement to provide up to 30% affordable housing by the device of omitting kitchens from the flats. As a consequence the scheme provides no general social benefit and the flats do not meet the Council's criteria for "extra care" housing. There can therefore be no presumption in favour of this scheme on grounds of housing policy.

Whilst any comments you made on the original application are on record and will be taken into account we would urge all of you to write again by 27 March 2008 to:

The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/20 Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, BRISTOL BS1 6PN
quoting the appeal reference number, APP/M3645/A/08/2066489/NWF, and the site address, 23 - 27A Church Lane, OXTED.

We are all bitterly disappointed that the Council approved Wren Homes' application for 19 retirement flats at 26 & 28 Church Lane (TA/2008/19) in the face of residents' widespread concerns, demonstrated by an enormous turnout at the committee meeting on 21 February 2008. However this is not the moment to give up but to redouble our efforts. Local people are banding together into an Oxtcd & Limpsficld Residents group. If you would like to join and get information on other developments that may concern you please send an email with your contact details to or write to Catherine Sayer, Oxted & Limpsfield Residents, PO Box 233, Oxted Post Office, Station Road West, OXTED RH8 9EH. There will shortly be a website at where you will be able to find out what is happening and what you can do to help.

There are plans to build on Green Belt fields in Oxted. One scheme is for 400 houses on the field at the end of Wheeler Avenue which is designated as part of an "Area of Great Landscape Value". For details go to: (no need for www)

Another is to build 250 houses on the field at the back of Bluehouse Lane and Chichele Road. For details go to: For info contact Oxted & Limpsfield Residents - details on attached sheet

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PRESS RELEASE from PETER AINSWORTH MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
20th March 2008
Press contact: 020 7219 5151

Developers Come out of the Closet

Responses from building companies to the Tandridge District Council Consultation on the Local Development Framework have revealed the extent of their ambition to build on the Green Belt and add to the pressure on local services.

Village Developments plc have their eyes on two sites in Oxted, which together would lead to the building of 650 new homes on Green Field sites.

  • Asprey Homes are eyeing up the Occasionally Yours garden shop in Lingfield Common Road, Lingfield, with a view to replacing a popular local facility with 45 more houses.
  • Clifford W & R C Shrimplin, the planning consultants, and their as yet undisclosed clients, have also made it known that they are interested in the possibilities of developing Redhill Aerodrome.
  • Arena Leisure, owners of Lingfield Racecourse, are arguing that Tandridge Council's proposals are flawed because they do not earmark Lingfield for more housing.

East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth comments:

"It is important to remember that what we have here is a wish-list from the building industry; these are not planning applications. However, it would be easy to get the impression that the building industry is trying to arm itself for a full scale blitz on the local environment.

What the builders need to understand is that our schools are full; our roads are full; there is growing difficulty with parking; our local NHS services are struggling to cope. The Green Belt was established to protect open land around London; exactly the kind of land that these people want to cover with asphalt. We all recognise the need for affordable homes for local families; but how many of the new homes these companies want to build will fall into that category? I want to see homes built to meet genuine need, not greed. And it is vital that the Green Belt is respected.

t least by declaring their hand, the builders have come out of the closet. I am sure that Local Councillors will join with me and a huge majority of residents in wanting to see them pushed firmly back inside. It is essential that the Government appointed Inspector who will examine Council's balanced and reasonable strategy is left in no doubt about the strength of local feeling on these issues."

Any residents with concerns should write to:
Bob Evans, Director of Planning, Tandridge District Council, Station Road East, Oxted Surrey RH8 0BT

Core Strategy Public Examination:

In December 2007 the Council submitted the Core Strategy Development Plan Document to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has appointed an independent Inspector
Mr David Vickery Dip TP MRTPI to conduct a Public Examination to consider the soundness of the Plan.

Two initial meetings have been called by the Inspector before the actual hearing sessions, which are scheduled to take place in June/July 2008. The first is an Exploratory Meeting (EM) on 3 April 2008 and the second is a Pre-Examination Meeting (PEM) on 22 April 2008. These are explained in more detail below so that you can decide whether you wish to attend them.


List of building companies looking to build in the Tandridge area:

  • Strutt and Parker
  • Felbridge
  • Near Ash Farm
  • Greenfield
  • No house numbers


  • Asprey Homes Limited
  • Occasionally Yours, Lingfield Common Road, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6BZ
  • 1.5 Hectares
  • 45 homes Small/large family sized houses and flats available to local residents.
  • Brownfield


  • Village Developments Plc
  • Land adjacent to the Graveyard and St. Marys Church, Barrow Green Road, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 9NE
  • 10.7 Hectares
  • 400 Small/large family sized houses and flats suitable for people with special needs.
  • Greenfield


  • Village Developments Plc
  • Land adjacent to the Oxted St. Mary's Junior School, Chichele Road and Laverock School, Bluehouse Lane, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0AA
  • 6.4 Hectares
  • 250 Small/large family sized houses and flats suitable for people with special needs.


  • Arena Leisure Plc
  • Owners of Lingfield Racecourse
  • Land around Lingfield Racecourse
  • Greenfield
  • No house numbers


  • Clifford W & R C Shrimplin
  • planning consultants
  • undisclosed client
  • interested in the possibilities of developing Redhill Aerodrome




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