Villagers ‘under siege’ by developers

NEW proposals for yet another housing development in West End have sprung into life, this time for about 100 new homes off Benner Lane.

A public consultation exhibition has been arranged for Tuesday, February 3, at the village Sports Pavilion, from 2.30pm until 6.30pm, where residents will be able to see what the developer proposes.

THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LANE - but not for much longer, fear West End residents
THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LANE – but not for much longer, fear West End residents

The site of the new housing estate is the fields surrounding Malthouse Farm on three sides, bounded on the north by Fairfield Lane and on the south by Holy Trinity School.

The original proposals by Southern Heritage Developments were sketched out by the West End Action Group at a packed public meeting at the end of July last year. They showed 100 houses served by a horseshoe-shaped access road with two entrances on to Benner Lane: one almost opposite the mouth of Malthouse Lane, the other next to the school.

It is possible the forthcoming proposals may have been modified, but the Heritage estate is in addition to the 85 already earmarked by Taylor Wimpey on land north of Beldam Bridge Road, and the 84 proposed by William Lacey on land south of Kings Road.

The Action Group are still waiting for the date of the meeting of Surrey Heath’s Planning Committee to consider the latter two applications.

Meanwhile, the group are urging residents to visit the Southern Heritage exhibition to make their views known. The developers say they will consider all comments, and revise their plans as they see fit, before submitting an application to Surrey Heath.

Diane Doney of Kings Road  says the village can’t cope:  “First there was an innocuous-looking application for three houses on the corner of a horse field bordering the green belt, submitted by Redrow Homes.

“Then there were another 84 homes proposed for Hay Meadows to the south of Kings Road for William Lacey Group, and 85 homes on woodland at a former tree nursery for Taylor Wimpey.

“Now, ahead of  the three applications even coming before the planning committee, villagers face a consultation by Southern Heritage for yet more housing on the fields, around the Grade II listed Malthouse Farm and its granary building.

“The developments total around 270 new homes, all to be built on greenfield sites outside the settlement area of the village.

“Little consideration seems to be given for the new housing allocation in the Surrey Heath Local Plan (Core Strategy) for West End, for the period 2011 to 2025, which is for just 25 new homes, when the number proposed is actually 270.

“Many residents feel under siege by developers who, even if they consider that they have ‘consulted’ first with the villagers over their proposed devel-opments, have clearly taken little, if any,  notice of what they want or need when submitting their applications.”

Around 800 people signed each petition against the large development applications submitted by Taylor Wimpey (85 homes) and William Lacey (84 homes) to meet the comment closure date advised by Surrey Heath Borough Council.

Diane added: “West End has no railway station, and no direct bus routes for the commuter, meaning most people will need to use a car.

“The A322 is already at or near capacity at some junctions nearby, schools are already at capacity and the doctors’ surgery – which is shared with Bisley and Chobham – have said they will close their books to new patients, leaving new residents to travel elsewhere for health treatment.

“Nearby hospitals are already overstretched, there is no dental surgery or vet’s.  How is our village supposed to cope with this massive bulge in its population?

In short, it can’t.  Any fee payments made by the developers will not cover all of the infrastructure required to support the new developments.”

ANYONE who would like to be kept informed should email or visit the group website at


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