I was appointed by Guildford Borough Council on 13 March 2018 with the agreement of West Horsley
Parish Council, to carry out the independent examination of the West Horsley Neighbourhood Plan
The examination was completed solely on the basis of the written representations received, no public
hearing appearing to me to have been necessary. I made an unaccompanied visit to the area covered by
the Plan on 17 April 2018.
West Horsley is a rural parish between Guildford and Leatherhead, with a current population of around
2800. It is in an attractive and accessible location, and is at the present time “washed over” by the
Green Belt. That situation may change as a result of proposals in the new Local Plan being prepared by
Guildford Borough Council: as the appropriate qualifying body for the preparation of the Plan, the Parish
Council have (to quote the introductory remarks of the Chairman of the Steering Group) “chosen to
align” the Plan with the emerging Local Plan, in effect accepting that a significant degree of change is
likely within the Parish over the next few years.
With this in mind, the Plan’s vision is “to achieve the incremental and well-planned sustainable
development of West Horsley, which respects the rural nature of the Parish, its architectural heritage, its
special character and its environmental assets, and which offers housing and community facilities that
meet the needs of all generations”. The Plan contains detailed policies which are designed to realise that
vision, and I am satisfied that, in so doing, it accords in principle with relevant national and local
planning policies, while at the same time reflecting the result of the comprehensive local consultation
exercises which the Parish Council carried out before settling on the final draft of the Plan.
Subject to a number of recommendations (the most significant of which being the need to clarify the
approach of the Plan to the Green Belt / village inset boundaries), I have concluded that the West Horsley Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements at this stage of its preparation, and consequently am pleased to recommend that it should proceed to referendum.
David Kaiserman BA DipTP MRTPI