Wednesday 26 January 2022

Brays Farm - Countryside Restoration Trust member

Brays Farm is a 52 Acre farm in South Nutfield and the land was part of the estate gifted to by the late John Collett who was passionate about sustainable farming and conservation issues.

The farm is now tenanted by Matthew Elphick and his partner Betsie who use many nature-friendly methods on the farm and hope to do even more in future to help wildlife - with the support of the Countryside Restoration Trust.

Matthew commented “We carry out a low-input style of farming - we’ve chosen dairy shorthorn cows because they are a good traditional breed that are hardy and will happily graze. You don’t have to grow lots of crops or feed them heavily for them to produce milk. We are going for quality rather than quantity, which means we don’t have to ask as much of our ground. We don’t put lots of fertiliser on the fields, we leave clumps of nettles here and there and we minimise the cutting of hedges. “We have a good population of swallows and little owls and kestrels on Brays Farm. We did have barn owls but a drought a couple of years ago hit them hard, so they haven’t nested since. We plan to plant more hedgerows, sow herbal leys and legumes to help pollinators and improve soil structure, and I would like to install nest boxes to encourage barn owls to settle on the farm again.”

Brays Farm is such an asset and residents are fortunate that this is continuing to add such rural value to the village. The farm also bring the added benefit of farm fresh foods - see the website Nutfielddairy/shop

Monday 17 January 2022

TANDRIDGE LOCAL PLAN - update March 2022

March 2022:  NCS continue to monitor progress of the TDC Local Plan. The latest meeting of the Planning Policy Committee (PPC) took place on 10 March. Readers may recall that, following the Inquiry and expressions of concern from the Inspector regarding the viability of the plan, there has been an ongoing exchange of communication between TDC and the Inspector.  At this point TDC are proceeding with the plan as originally presented. It was clear from the meeting that it is by no means certain this approach will prevail.

Cliff Thurlow (TDC interim Chief Planning Officer) provided a report. In summary, the Inspector continues to express concerns and requires further work to assist him to make a final determination. The volume of work is very high and will demand significant resources (human and financial), from within TDC and via consultants. TDC will need to assess the resourcing issues and devise a suitable technical work programme on a critical path in advance of December 2023 (the deadline for government to adopt the local plan). Certain aspects of this are underway however TDC require clarifications from the Inspector regarding some of the issues raised. It is hoped that such clarification may reduce the potential workload. Regarding the garden community proposal, TDC are specifically seeking how far the Inspector requires them to go regarding the production of an area action plan in order to progress the plan for the South Godstone site.

Mr. Thurlow emphasised the point that the Inspector was likely to be very stringent and if he considers the plan is faltering he would recommend TDC withdraw it.  

A letter to the Inspector seeking the clarifications was sent TED54 and the Inspector has replied (ID21) to clarify his position.

The next meeting of the PPC is scheduled for 23 June. Full details of the meeting may be viewed on TDC website

February 2022: The Local Plan Inspector sent a new letter to the TDC about the Plan.  He once again stated that there is no certainty the Plan will be approved but that, if the Council wished to proceed and not withdraw its Plan, he will need additional information supplied to a strict timetable and with monthly updates on progress. The Council is now considering the options. NCS will continue to monitor developments. The Inspectors letter is at TED51

January 2022: NCS monitored the (additional) meeting of the Planning Policy Committee (PPC) on 5 January, held to consider the findings of the consultants retained to review junction 6 mitigations and to enable a response to the Local Plan Inspector's concerns. The consultant’s findings have identified a number of mitigation measures which National Highways and SCC have indicated appear appropriate - however there are funding and timing issues to be resolved. The PPC have sent a response to the Inspector on 6 January (seeTED50 ) along with the consultant’s findings and copies of communications with other agencies which can be found on the Tandridge website. TDC are now awaiting a response from the Inspector which will be considered at the next PPC meeting scheduled for 20 January 2022. NCS will monitor the meeting and report as appropriate. Clearly TDC are working to keep the current Local Plan alive - although we must be mindful that the J6/A22 issue was one of several concerns expressed by the Inspector - so his next response may well be very significant for the progress of TDC Local Plan.

July 2021: Tandridge wrote to the Inspector (TED47) to update him on the Council’s thoughts on how to progress the Local Plan Examination. They also provided him with a Statement which outlines the initial findings of the assessment of potential mitigation measures for Junction 6 of the M25.

June 2021Tandridge sent a response outlining the progress of the high-level transport modelling work and the decision-making process TED46 Update to Inspector.