East Grinstead Society

District Plan Consultation: Our view is ‘Extreme Disappointment’!

We have commented on both the original Draft Plan in November 2019 and subsequent variances the ensuing period to July 2020.

Our overall position is one of extreme disappointment at the lack of recognition of the points made in both our submissions. We note that this reflects the Town Council’s position on its comments. We share their concerns that ‘the points supported by the local residents as to the provision of road and community infrastructure have not been included in the plan.’ In essence, we consider it is vital that the final Plan guarantees adequate developer contribution for the provision of necessary sustainable community infrastructure.

We also wish to stress again our over-riding point of the long recognised issues around traffic congestion and an inadequate local road system. We repeat that SA35 is of particular relevance. This effectively concedes that the developments now proposed in the DPD will cause unacceptable road congestion throughout the East Grinstead area without major road improvements. It identifies the land that should be safeguarded to support the delivery of transport schemes, particularly the A22/A264 corridor upgrades at Felbridge, Imberhorne Lane and Lingfield Road. It goes on to suggest that there will be a need for further consultations between MSDC, WSCC and other relevant parties, presumably Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council but particularly East Grinstead Town Council.

Considering the long history of the congestion issue and its continuing impact on the issue of development in and around East Grinstead it is wishful thinking in the extreme to offer consultation as a key to unlock the issue without any evidence of any chance of success this time. Thus, until these consultations have taken place, a plan of action agreed and the remedial works commenced it would be imprudent to commence the housing developments envisaged in the DPD. The need for this is underpinned by the results of previous professional assessments such as road traffic surveys.