Surrey

Plans for 4,000 homes in 'garden village' style development

Tandridge council leader Martin Fisher
Image caption Tandridge council leader Martin Fisher has given planners a shortlist of five greenbelt areas

Four thousand new homes could be built on greenbelt land in a new garden village development for Surrey.

Tandridge District Council leader Martin Fisher gave planners a shortlist of five areas for such a scheme.

He said one new Surrey village is better than "scatter-gunning" homes and cramping the current infrastructure.

But Andrea Watson from Lingfield Parish Council said it will not solve infrastructure problems and there has been "poor local consultation".

Areas around Godstone, Blindley Heath, Redhill Aerodrome, Chaldon and Lingfield are all in the running under the new Local Plan.

The district is 94% greenbelt and Mr Fisher said the council cannot meet the government's housing targets without building on some of it.

In January, the government announced Longcross as the site of one of 14 garden villages across the country.

Image caption Redhill aerodrome is one of the areas being considered for a garden village

Councillor Fisher said: "The key is infrastructure. If you do the scattergun approach you may put 300 houses somewhere and that might deliver you half an extra classroom.

"Whereas if you put 4,000 house in a new village you can actually plan the proper infrastructure in for the village [and] it's relieving the pressure on the health centres and the schools in other parts of the district."

But Mrs Watson claimed most people interested in the new homes will be London commuters, where the most pressing housing shortage lies, and so "London needs to solve the problem it is now trying to devolve to us".

She added: "The new settlement will not solve the infrastructure problems, and the infrastructure will not come until many houses have been built, if it comes at all."

The site chosen will depend on which can deliver the best mix of able housing, infrastructure gains and highways opportunities.

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