The announcement by Tandridge District Council this week setting out that they plan to proceed with South Godstone as the location for their new Garden Community within their new Local Plan does not acknowledge the unanswered problems of this location.
According to Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council, Junction 6 on the M25 is expected to hit capacity in 2019 without additional homes in South Godstone. How will the extra 4000-plus homes and related car movements be sustainable without over £100 million investment? How quickly could these vital improvements be delivered, and who will pay for them?
Work has not been completed by Highways England and Surrey County Council to establish what is needed to stop Junction 6 from grinding to a halt from the additional traffic generated.
The lack of a direct train line from Godstone to London and existing road pressures will only exacerbate local traffic conditions. The reality is that the traffic gridlock caused by this decision will further blight the communities of Godstone, South Godstone, Blindley Heath, Limpsfield, Bletchingley, New Chapel and Oxted, dramatically reducing air quality and causing extreme traffic levels.
There is also no evidence that either the land is secured or that the owners have agreed to fund any of the vital infrastructure needed to make this decision viable.
Cllr Keith Jecks of Tandridge District Council said: “It is very likely we will be challenged about our much lower figure during the inspection process, by the government and by developers.”
This is true, but we can confirm that that we are working hard, producing evidence to show we can provide the sustainable solution to the housing needs of Tandridge at Redhill Aerodrome. While some green belt needs to be released, we believe it should be in return for a world-class, groundbreaking, healthy living community that will not harm the communities of Godstone, South Godstone and Oxted.
Our plans will deliver sustainable transport links, including a new metrobus fastway guided bus service, capable of travelling to Gatwick in under 20 minutes, as well as a new M23 motorway junction and link road. This will relieve pressure on busy local roads.
The benefits of the Redhill Garden Community will do more to protect the existing communities from overdevelopment than any other solution currently available.
Rob Boughton of Thakeham said: “This announcement by Tandridge District Council doesn’t represent the needs of our young people, our key workers who keep our hospitals open, teach our children, patrol our communities or sweep our streets.
“Redhill Garden Community will provide an infrastructure-led solution that we can demonstrate is viable, sustainable, healthy and fully funded. It would be wise to include us within the Local Plan to ensure the very communities that said no to development last month can be assured they are safe with us.
We are looking forward to working with the council and communities across Tandridge as the benefits of our plans become evident. We are most definitely part of the Tandridge housing needs solution.