Refusal of parcel depot at the 7th March Tandridge Planning Committee Meeting

Residents objecting to the parcel depot application turned up in their dozens and watched from the public gallery. There was a two-hour debate of the fors and againsts, with councillors, a spokesperson for Roxhill Ltd, the Tandridge planning officer and Surrey Highways in attendance.

Cllr Farr (Independent) proposed two motions, the first, concerning the harm the proposed development would do to the openness of the Green Belt at the site. This motion was carried by 6 votes to 5, and served to compel the committee to reject the application.

Cllr Farr’s 1st motion:
The proposed development would constitute inappropriate development in the Green Belt, causing significant harm to the openness and visual amenities of the Green Belt by virtue of the bulk, scale and mass of the scheme. With insufficient “very special circumstances” that would clearly outweigh the identified harms. This would be contrary to the provision of Policies DP10 and 13 of the Tandridge Local Plan Part 2 and Detailed Policies Part 2 and the NPPF.

Arguments that contributed to this result:
The development is inappropriate because it would cause significant harm to the openness of the Green belt due to its scale, bulk and mass, with insufficient special circumstances to clearly outweigh that harm.
NPPF Paragraph 145 g) new buildings should… “not have a greater impact on the Green Belt than the existing development”. This one is 7% larger. (Cllr Sayer)
There’s nothing in the application that outweighs this. The jobs are low paid; it operates 24/7; the lighting cannot be mitigated ( Cllr Lockwood).

The 2nd motion concerned the harm the development would cause to the AONB and the lack of very special circumstances that might outweigh this harm. The second motion was defeated by 7 votes to 4.

Cllr Farr’s 2nd motion:
The proposed scheme, as a result of the scale of the development propped and associated levels of activity would result in significant harm to and have an urbanising effect upon the Surrey Hills AONB, failing to conserve and enhance its special landscape character, contrary to the provisions of Polices CSP18, 20 and 21 of the Tandridge Core Strategy 2008, contrary to the Local Plan Part 2, Detailed Policies 2014, Policies LU1, LU2 and LU3 of the Surrey Hills AONB Management Plan 2014-19 and the NPPF.

You can view the camcording of the discussion and the vote by clicking on this link. Please note: this is 2 hours long. There is a summary below.

Here is the detailed summary with the camcorder timings.

You can read Tandridge’s refusal letter here:

You can read Westerham Town Council’s statement, as read out by Cllr Sayer, here
Statement to TDC Planning Committee 0080319

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