Chipstead Village


21/02000/F – Land to the rear of 260, 262 and 264 Chipstead Way

Land to the rear of 260, 262 and 264 Chipstead Way and to the rear of Kita, Sunnyfields and Paddock - Redevelopment of the site to deliver 7 residential units (5 x 4 bed and 2 x 3 bed) with associated landscaping and private gardens, parking and internal access road. Amended plans submitted 30 August 2020. Deadline for comments 21 September 2022.

The CRA objects to the further revisions to this application and request all our previous objections be taken into consideration.   The revisions lack any material reduction to the overall adverse impact of the development and this remains overdevelopment of a back-garden site.  Our objections to the current changes are as follows:

(1) New development should provide an appropriate environment for future occupants whilst not adversely impacting upon the amenity of occupants of existing dwellings.  This revised application does not do this – it is still inappropriate overdevelopment of a back-garden site that does not reflect or complement the local area and will have an adverse impact on existing dwellings.  It is harmful to the visual amenity and character of the area.  Infill development is not characteristic of Chipstead Way and intensive development is inappropriate in this area so close to an SSI.

(2) There is no proper footpath on the site, the access to be used cannot accommodate vehicles entering and leaving at the same time plus pedestrian traffic who may want to enter or leave at the same time.  The Manual for Street advises that streets should not be designed just to accommodate the movement of motor vehicles. It is important that designers place a high priority on meeting the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and other users especially the disabled, a category that includes not only mobility challenged people but also those with sensory or cognitive impairment.   Although Surrey Highways advise that this type of development is suitable for a vehicle/ pedestrian shared surface because it will be a cul-de-sac; will generate less than 100 vehicle movements an hour and parking arrangements are designated.  However, the Manual for Streets adds that the use of shared surfaces should be subject to there being suitable provision for disabled persons. The Manual suggests: "a protected space, with appropriate physical demarcation, will need to be provided, so that those pedestrians who may be unable or unwilling to negotiate priority with vehicles, can use the street safely and comfortably”. It does not appear that a protected area for pedestrians has been included in the latest amendments. It seems unlikely that the new 2m driver/pedestrian intervisibility splays and tactile paving just added actually provide a protected space at the road access for pedestrians, disabled or able-bodied, or a clearly delineated refuge area and a safe corridor for foot traffic.

(3) The existing driveway of 264 Chipstead Way is being used as the access point for the proposed estate road.  Although the applicant notes that as this is an existing access the Road Safety Audit is not needed prior to a decision being take, this is an inappropriate comparison as the development proposal is to utilise this driveway of the retained property for the estate road access for 6 new family homes as well as accommodating the refuse collection point and bin area for the development - that is not the same use as an existing driveway for one property. A Road Safety audit after the event does not give any assurance that all safety concerns have been adequately assessed before permission is granted for this development.  To maintain local confidence that all potential safety risks have been adequately assessed, a road safety audit should be carried out before any decision is taken.

(4) It is noted that the “vehicle swept path” analysis of vehicles entering and leaving the development does not show how the vehicle movements would flow to accommodate the newly added tactile paving and 2mx 2m driver/pedestrian intervisibility splays. It seems unlikely that all these movements in the analysis can all be safely accommodated in the ex-driveway of 264 Chipstead Way and without causing other highway issues on Chipstead Way itself.

(5) Surrey Wildlife Trust note that the ecological material submitted with the application is now out of date being from May 2021 and is not in line with the current amended application. They note that no assessment has been made of the impact of this development upon Chipstead Downs SSI and particularly they draw to RBBC’s attention that an assessment for the habitat of the Stag Beetle has not been made.  As this is a species of principle importance the LPA should have regard for this species when determining a planning application.

(6) The RBBC planning policies state that they look for development to conserve biodiversity and if not improve it certainly not damage it.  This proposal bringing with it the impact of the built form and the pressure from 48 additional human beings, will increase not only the recreational pressure on the SSSI at Chipstead Downs but also will impact adversely on local wild life and its habitat.  There are no detailed environmental benefits shown as being generated by this development in this location that clearly outweigh the adverse impacts that it will have on this rural location and nothing to show how the adverse impacts will be mitigated. There is no information on how or if this development could provide any biodiversity net-gain.  The site is a green space that provides a valuable corridor for wildlife in the area. A few additional ornamental plantings will not preserve the biodiversity that is currently on the site nor mitigate the damage that this development will cause.

It is the CRA’s view that this proposal would result in an unduly intense and uncharacteristic form of infill development, harmful to and out of character with the grain and surrounding pattern of development in Chipstead Way.  It does not maintain or enhance the built environment or promote or reinforce the local distinctiveness of the area. It creates an unsafe access/egress point and there is no biodiversity support or advantage only damage.   The CRA’s view is that this application should be refused.

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