By Cllr John Moffatt, planning committee chairman of Whyteleafe Village Council
If you have been waiting for a planning application decision lately, you will be very aware of the recent delays at Tandridge District Council (TDC), our Local Planning Authority. This is partly due to resource constraints – staff shortages – and partly due to computing and processing issues. This is not a political comment, just a fact of life. In an attempt to remedy the situation, TDC have made several changes to work practices and we hope that their service continues to improve week by week.
What this means for us on the planning committee of the village council is a backlog of applications and decisions. There have been some notable applications recently and we, as a council, are keen to support the protection of the green belt. We are also keen that TDC ensures there is adequate amenity space within any residential development. And, of course, we are also mindful that development should not exacerbate road congestion or add to the threat of flooding.
Set against that, we cannot say no to everything: people should have access to, and be able to live in, a property that meets their needs. We also want to support the local economy and ensure rejuvenation of the parish so that we have a sustainable community for decades to come.
We now have the Caterham, Chaldon and Whyteleafe Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2021 (for information visit: ccwnp.org.uk), which forms part of TDC’s development plan. Members of the village council participate in meetings of the plan’s Implementation Group but we must all remain vigilant and utilise our role as consultees to help TDC make planning decisions that incorporate local knowledge.
So do let us know your views on cases that impact you – either via our website or by attending one of our Planning Committee meetings. The dates and agendas for all village council meetings are detailed on our website: whyteleafevillagecouncil.gov.uk.