Council unveils plan for 500 home development on allotments and greenbelt land (From This Is Local London)
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Mole Valley Council unveils plan for massive 500 home development near Leatherhead
A massive new housing development of 500 homes could be created on 32-acres near Leatherhead, some of it on allotments and greenbelt land.
Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) announced this afternoon that Barratt Homes is the preferred developer for the 9.5-acre Barnett Wood Lane Allotment site which it owns, plus the 22.7 acre adjacent site owned by Merton College, Oxford.
The council would receive £21m if the deal goes ahead but it is not yet known how much Merton College is set to earn. The total cost of development is believed to exceed £100m.
Allotment holders have been fighting hard to block any development on the site. The council announced that Barratt Homes would pay £550,000 to help relocate their allotments to two nearby sites.
Two hundred of the proposed homes would be affordable under the proposals.
It is thought that it could take up to two years for the scheme to get the green light because some of it is protected greenbelt land.
A council statement issued immediately after the press briefing said: "If this development goes ahead it could provide MVDC with a capital sum of around £21 million which, if invested appropriately, could bring the council approximately £1 million a year which would go a long way to making up the shortfall in order to protect existing services and ensure that it can continue to provide value for money to its residents."
Councillor leader, Councillor Chris Townsend, said "The recommendation made at the meeting of the council was met with overwhelming cross-party support, with 30 members voting in favour, four abstentions and no objections being recorded.
"The executive were in agreement that the proposal by Barratt Homes could help to meet the council’s Priorities of value for money and access to services, including providing more housing in the district as well as much-needed financial support for council services."
Councillor Charles Yarwood, portfolio holder for communities and assets, said "We are confident that this is the right decision for Mole Valley.
"However, the council does recognise that this proposal will impact on a number of residents and allotment holders.
"I and all members of the executive have given our commitment to engage and work closely with key stakeholders as soon as possible to minimise the impact of this process and to address their concerns wherever possible."
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