The Camberley Society recently responded to the consultation by Surrey Heath Borough Council on their Draft Local Plan. It was a very large document with a lot of supporting paper, so the task was not at all easy.
The Borough have an unenviable task.
- On the one hand they must respond to Government demands for more housebuilding or they will lose local control over planning decisions that should be made locally giving developers a more or less free hand to do whatever they want.
- On the other hand the space for more housing development in Surrey Heath is very limited and development here is no longer a sustainable option. Surrey Heath have been forced to rely on neighbouring authorities to provide some of the required development.
However, we believe that SHBC could improve their plan in some respects
- The character of the High Street could better show its Victorian/Edwardian character if more of the properties were protected and if more efforts were made to restore, rather than just conserve.
The small pieces of woodland in the Western half of the Borough deserve more active protection and this should be stated in the plan.
The whole of Camberley deserves a Neighbourhood Plan with a focus on improving the Neighbourhood Centres.
We should be preserving our street trees and planting more - especially native broadleaf trees.
We need to ensure that small developments are high quality and to a high standard of design and environmental performance - not just the large developments.
We will be following the progess of this plan carefully. If you wish to see what the Surrey Heath Borough Council has to say click her