RBC have published their observations as to whether the application complies with the policies as set out in the Local Plan and are asking for your response (see here). BRAG's observation is that RBC is interpreting the policies benevolently towards the developer. We have been told that there is always some give and take in these things and as long as everything works "in the round" then a slight non-compliance here and there is fine. Problem is the consideration seems to be a one way street. RBC are fixated on the keeping to the LP density targets - no wriggle room there towards opinions of existing residents! RBC are under pressure from central government to meet their housing targets so perhaps it is understandable if they are a bit soft on some of the policies to get the application over the line. One of the ways that the applicant is maximising profit is to inflate the number of bedrooms per dwelling. The local plan set the number of dwellings and also the housing mix of 1, 2, 3, 4, bed properties to reflect that number of dwellings. However the applicant has inflated the number of 3, 4 and 5 bed houses and reduced significantly the number of 1 and 2 bed dwellings. So the built footprint is much bigger for the same number of dwellings and the developer maximises their profit. Clever eh? No wonder the site looks so dense! RBC are saying this is OK because Runnymede in general has too many 1&2 bed dwellings so Ottershaw can make up the shortfall of larger houses. However this ignores the fact that our local population can't find 2 bed dwellings and our older residents can't downsize and still stay in the village. Did you know that 47% of Ottershaw residents have 2 or more spare bedrooms and 75% have at least one spare bedroom? We don't need anymore 4+ bed houses. Ottershaw has hardly any 2 bedroom apartments and those we do have are in places like Ottershaw Park which are totally unaffordable. Our young residents have no gateway to home ownership because of insufficiency of 1-2 bed properties.
Please send your objections to this latest consultation round to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting ref. RU.22/0454 and don't forget to add your address and postcode. Please see our presentation which outlines these issues to help you with your letter