Abinger Parish Council
Parish Council formally responds to boundary proposals
Abinger Parish Council
MODEST EXPANSION OF EXISTING VILLAGES
Abinger Parish Council has delivered its formal response to Mole Valley District Council regarding the proposals to introduce village boundaries at Abinger Hammer and Abinger Common as part of the District Council's strategy to make modest extensions to existing villages.
The Parish Council's response began by referring to the public meeting at Abinger Hammer Village Hall - held on 17th September and attended by almost 100 residents from the two villages - and is reproduced below:-
At the end of the meeting votes were held as follows:
- Was the principle of a village boundary for Abinger Hammer a good idea? There were 22 votes that the principle was not a good idea, and no votes that it was a good idea.
- Was the principle of a village boundary or village boundaries for Abinger Common a good idea? There were 50 votes that the principle was not a good idea, and no votes that it was a good idea.
In view of the result of the voting on the first question no votes were taken on the second question - Were the boundaries proposed in the right position? Those present did not wish to address this question with its implication that boundaries were to be imposed.
Abinger Parish Council met on the 24th September to consider its response to the questions posed by Mole Valley District Council. The Parish Council noted that the Mole Valley 2008 Settlement Hierarchy classified the various settlements in Mole Valley by criteria which reflected their social, economic and environmental factors and which ranked the settlements accordingly. Abinger Hammer and Abinger Common (and the other villages in Abinger Parish) were ranked as ‘other rural communities’.
Given the changes since 2008, both communities would on the 2008 criteria now rank still lower in the settlement hierarchy. The classification criteria used by Mole Valley in 2018 for the purposes of the ‘Modest Expansion of Existing Villages’ to draw village boundaries were ‘compact, substantially developed areas’. The Parish Council considered that these criteria are unduly subjective and, moreover, that they take account only of physical characteristics, and not of the social, economic and environmental factors required by the National Planning Policy Framework.
The Parish Council also noted the views of residents as expressed at the meeting on the 17th September and in the petition submitted on behalf of residents.
Accordingly, the Parish Council’s response to the question - Was the principle of a village boundary a good idea? – is that this is not a good idea even though the villages are to remain washed through by the Green Belt. The Parish Council is opposed to defined boundaries in Abinger Hammer and Abinger Common, whether two boundaries for Abinger Common as proposed or a single boundary.
In the circumstances the second question - Were the boundaries proposed in the right position? – does not call for an answer.
Paul Richards (acting Clerk)
- 07824 312070
Find Abinger Parish Council
Rose Cottage, 11 Cotmandene, Abinger Hammer, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 2BL