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Charterhouse school to sell off playing fields

Save Broom and Lees

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 12:54pm 6th September 2018.

By Rebecca Curley

 

A campaign has been launched to stop prestigious independent school Charterhouse selling off playing fields for housing.

Save Broom and Lees has been formed to protect green belt land owned by the school, which revealed plans to sell the Godalming field to developers for more than 130 houses.

Charterhouse said it had taken the decision to sell Broom and Lees Playing Field in Hurtmore Road to help fund a major improvement and expansion of the school.

The proposals were part of a public consultation carried out by Charterhouse in June, but since then opposition has been growing within the area.

An exhibition unveiling the plans said the expansion could generate an additional 80 jobs and an extra £4.2million to the local economy as well as 110 construction jobs per year over seven years.

But residents fear the suggested 132 houses planned for the field by property developer Savills would impact the local roads and infrastructure and that if permission is granted to develop on the Green Belt this could encourage more land owners to do the same.

Calling for people to help stop the proposal, campaigners say on the flyer: “This proposal is in addition and beyond what has been identified within the Waverley Local Plan as needed by the council to meet its housing needs.

“Proceeds from the sale of green belt land will go towards Charterhouse facilities and benefit the few attending the school, with little overall benefit to the wider community.”

A statement released by the school said: “Concerns over development in the green belt, traffic, access and infrastructure were all issues raised at the public exhibition and noted in the feedback forms.

“The project team will consider all these issues very carefully prior to developing the proposals.”

Waverley Borough Council confirmed the site does fall within green belt land and has not been designated as a potential housing allocation site as part of the Local Plan Part 2.

They added that the school is not required to remove the land from the green belt if it sold it to a developer, but the impact of it being in the green belt with any proposed development would form a material planning consideration should an appication be submitted.

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