CCWNP Pop-up shop – November 2021

1st Mar 2022

The Neighbourhood Plan is a made up of 19 policies which support the development
of Caterham, Chaldon and Whyteleafe. It is the only legally adopted part of Tandridge
Council’s development plan in Tandridge, along with Neighbourhood Plans in
Limpsfield and Woldingham. As many are aware, in spite of a lot of time and money
spent, the Tandridge Local Plan, which sets targets for housing is not agreed.
This means that older Tandridge Core Strategy policies are used and puts an onus on
Parish and District Councillors to be vigilant in ensuring plans for new housing meet
legal planning requirements and that infringements are dealt with.
But, as Caterham along with Oxted and Warlingham is classed as a “category 1”
settlement there is an expectation that we will take the majority of new housing
development in Tandridge.
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group took a Pop Up shop in Church Walk in
November to inform residents about the challenges we are going to experience with
housing demand colliding with environmental and climate change issues to test
Community resilience.
In January’s CR3 Magazine we publicised the interim results of the survey that we
carried out through the Pop Up shop. Following this we carried on by surveying the
views of people who manage businesses in the Hill and Valley and also put copies in
Libraries.
What was interesting was that no matter how many extra surveys we did (and we
called a halt at 200) the public’s three priorities stubbornly refused to change. It is
clear to me that the message decision makers and public representatives are being
given is: “We like living here but, to keep it a good place to live ,you need to do more
about leisure and community issues; do something to improve our infrastructure; and
stimulate the local economy.”

3 things to improve

Taking each in turn:

  1. Leisure and Community: This is about improving facilities such as our parks and play areas and keeping the streets clean and beautiful, by providing areas of green and ensuring we have colour all year round. It is also about safeguarding some great organisations we already have which have been dealt a blow as a result of Covid. New people are arriving here all the time and must be made welcome and encouraged to take part in making the place “tick”. There is a shortage of people who want to take part in shaping the community either as leaders of local organisations or as elected representatives. In spite of the Omicron variant which took hold in December , hundreds of people attended Christmas themed events.
    The potential is here.
    2. Infrastructure: Everyone knows that the Neighbourhood Plan Area is more congested than formerly. For instance, strong rain leads to more surface water flooding than before. People in Whyteleafe and Croydon know that rain here can cause flooding there. We have a 20th Century Infrastructure trying to cope with 21st Century needs. Surrey County Council is the flood authority and has been working on projects to improve our flood residence. However, we need to become more prescriptive in ensuring new development will add to the problem and if so what action we can take. Therefore, a group of volunteers is being formed to write a Supplementary Planning Document so that developers can be made more clear about their responsibilities regarding minimising surface water run-off and understand that “green sponges” are needed to deal with the downpours that will become increasingly frequent. There is not the money to dig up the streets and start again but we should be able to design buildings that deal constructively with water issues. A “Caterham Crew” has been formed by Surrey to address and coordinate action on infrastructure issues. For example, I would personally like to see future traffic congestion and associated issues anticipated and solutions found rather than simply play catch up later.
    3. The Local Economy:
    We have a remarkable variety of businesses in the Town but residents are concerned that they may have to go elsewhere to shop for certain “essentials”. We also have to find ways of retaining small businesses that want to stay in the town. I was interested to find that one business is moving because they
    feel they cannot expand anymore here. The Business Improvement District, which covers Caterham Valley, and Tandridge have therefore taken the initiative in buying Quadrant House in the Valley and refurbishing it. The Community has also secured £1.5m to improve the Croydon Road Shopping Area and some of this money will be used for flood alleviation projects. So, things are happening. All four Parish and Village Councils are alive to their responsibilities and will, hopefully, be coming together in a Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Group which will use their collective abilities to tackle and find solutions to the issues we face.

Jeremy Webster
Caterham Chaldon and Whyteleafe
Neighbourhood Plan.

Do any of these images interest, or concern you?

Caterham regeneration thumbnails

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This