Letter from Wolfs Hill Action Committee.
Your readers cannot have failed to notice recent extensive national media coverage of 'back garden' development.
These new large-scale operations see developers make a group of house-owners an offer for their properties, which will then be demolished and the resulting space used to build a far greater number of 'units' - in many cases, blocks of flats.
Such developments have a particularly negative effect on the immediate and wider locality because they appear to be taking place without any provision for additional supporting infrastructure. The new occupants will join those already struggling to find school places and health facilities and make additional demands on water supplies, whilst their cars will add to traffic and parking problems of the area. The character of the area will change significantly and the community at large will lose many trees and much green space.
One such development is threatened for Hurst Green, where developers are eyeing the area between Wolfs Hill, Greenhurst Lane and Paddock Way & Close. In one scenario, just seven substantial detached houses would be demolished and replaced by over 40 new dwellings. This development would affect virtually all Hurst Green residents on account of the extra traffic on the already inadequate, dangerous and
narrow roads (parts of which have no, or only narrow footways) linking it to Qxted and the A25.
Whilst current planning law requires local authorities to have regard to various environmental and infrastructure constraints, government pressure for a mind-numbing quantity of new houses in the south-east loads the dice in favour of the developers - especially when refused planning applications go to Appeal. The problem is compounded by the fact that gardens, quite inappropriately and despite government claims to the contrary, now appear to be afforded the same status as 'Brownfield' sites - as if they were disused factories or derelict land.
What irks especially is the way builders and developers can get control of an area or entire street even though a majority of residents oppose the development. The undersigned have formed an action group to oppose the Wolfs Hill development. We are gathering support from local residents and will be holding a second public meeting in Hurst Green on 17 November (for details, tel. 01883 714625) to develop an appropriate response to this threatened blight on our community.
Members of the Wolfs Hill Action Committee: David Smith, Cartreff, Rockfield Road Oxted Mark Fone Home Place Cottage, Wolfs Hill Oxted Stephen Cruickshank Paddock Close Oxted John Hope Rockfield Close Oxted Tony Stone (Secretary), Home Park Oxted