Spelthorne Local Plan - Issues & Options

Spelthorne Local Plan Issues & Options consultation paper

Strategic Options

Option 1

Aim to meet all our need for housing, including affordable housing and Gypsy and Traveller pitches, employment and other development in the urban area without amending Green Belt boundaries by:

  • Significantly increasing densities of all potential housing sites, particularly those in town centres and near public transport facilities, including well designed high rise development
  • Prioritise meeting housing need and relax policies that protect employment sites to allow more conversions and redevelopment for housing schemes
  • Build on open space and re-provide sports and recreation facilities in the Green Belt

Bridge Street   Brooklands  



  • Focuses development within the urban area
  • Maintains and enhances the vitality of town and village centres
  • Supports access to the Green Belt for recreation purposes
  • Could meet housing need in full


  • May not meet employment need if housing prioritised over other forms of development
  • Loss of employment land could result in Spelthorne becoming a 'dormitory borough', where people live but work elsewhere
  • Whilst some locations such as Staines and Sunbury Cross already have high rise development, other locations would have their character damaged by high density development
  • Developments would mainly comprise flats without gardens and less opportunity for parking
  • Loss of open space within the urban area would adversely impact on quality of life for residents
  • Difficulty in securing new facilities and improvements to infrastructure and community facilities such as schools, healthcare and highways
  • Increase in pollution such as noise and poor air quality arising from additional congestion on the roads

Option 2

Release large areas of Green Belt for housing and other development by:

  • Amending the Green Belt boundary significantly to meet our housing and employment need
  • Safeguarding land in the Green Belt for future need beyond the plan period
  • Retaining Green Belt designation only for sites that are strongly performing and/or perform a strategic Green Belt function


  • Meets housing need in full and also potential to meet neighbouring authorities' housing shortfalls
  • Could meet need beyond the plan period
  • Preserves the character of towns and villages in the urban area, including open spaces
  • Allows for land to be built on for new schools, healthcare facilities and community uses
  • A greater mix of house types could be built, including family homes with larger gardens and parking spaces


  • Results in significant loss of Green Belt land, including 'moderately performing' land that still serves an important function
  • Loss of biodiversity habitats
  • Less incentive to develop brownfield sites in the urban area
  • Locations for new development potentially less sustainable and more pressure to deliver new infrastructure

Option 3

Focus new development opportunities in Staines-upon-Thames by:

  • Making use of a Master Plan approach for development that increases opportunities for new high rise residential buildings
  • Significantly increasing densities in the Staines area, not just within the central core, where easily accessible to the town
  • Prioritising housing need by allowing employment sites such as offices to be converted or redeveloped for housing
  • Allocate sites for housing elsewhere in the Borough but only at a density similar to surrounding development


    Charter Sq   Staines Central


  • Preserves the status of Staines as the Borough's largest town and increases the vitality of its shopping areas
  • Exploits growth opportunities arising from the nearby Heathrow Airport, especially once expanded
  • Less need for development in other areas of the Borough, including the Green Belt
  • Protection for open spaces and sites with nature conservation importance


  • Unlikely that full housing need could be met just in Staines, even with identified brownfield sites elsewhere in Spelthorne
  • Difficult to build the level of infrastructure, particularly the highway network, required to support this level of development in one town
  • Lack of space for new schools, healthcare facilities and community uses
  • Reduction in employment sites would make Staines more of a dormitory town and fail to take advantage of the employment, retail and tourism opportunities Staines offers
  • Lack of space for new Gypsy and Traveller pitches


Option 4

A combination of the other three options by:

  • Increasing densities in town centres and near transport facilities and other areas where the character can accommodate it and allowing high rise development in areas where there are existing tall buildings and they are of a high quality design
  • Releasing some weakly performing Green Belt land for development where its release would not adversely affect the integrity of the strategic Green Belt
  • Making use of a Master Plan approach for Staines but with housing as one of a range of uses that can be accommodated within the town and not favouring residential development over employment, retail and tourism uses


  • Spreads new development across the Borough without one area being significantly greater affected than others
  • Maintains the focus on making best use of brownfield sites and public sector land
  • Fewer employment sites lost
  • Exploits regeneration opportunities for Staines, with housing provided but together with other uses that can vitalise and support the town's economy
  • Less damaging to the character of towns and villages that have fewer existing areas of high density development
  • Allows sufficient land to accommodate infrastructure and facilities
  • Preserves strongly and moderately performing Green Belt land


  • May not meet housing needs in full and relies on further work to identify smaller sites within the larger land parcels identified in the Green Belt Assessment that may be performing weakly
  • Less opportunity to meet housing need shortfalls of neighbouring authorities
  • Harder to plan for infrastructure across a range of smaller sites throughout the Borough


Question 1

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the four options?

Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree
Option 1 - Brownfield Focus 100 30 25 14 12
Option 2 - Green Belt Focus 10 6 13 13 140
Option 3 - Staines Focus 79 38 30 19 15
Option 4 - Combination 25 28 27 75 25

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Question 2

Please choose your preferred option to take forward in the new Local Plan for Spelthorne. If you do not prefer any of these options, you may use this question to tell us the option you dislike least.

Option Results Count
Option 1 - Brownfield Focus
Option 2 - Green Belt Focus
Option 3 - Staines Focus
Option 4 - Combination
None of the above - please expand on your answer in the text box

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Question 3

If you have a suggestion for an alternative option for meeting Spelthorne's needs, please respond below and provide further detail.

49 people have answered this question.

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