Plans for 50 homes south of Horley have won planning permission on appeal, prompting concerns about the town’s planned housing strategy.
The application for homes by Haroldslea Drive was refused by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) on February 15 due to concerns about the impact on the countryside, traffic flow and flooding.
Developer Rey Construction successfully appealed the decision on August 7 after the planning inspectorate decided the homes would help the area meet its five-year housing supply requirement.
Cllr Mike George, chairman for planning and development at Horley Town Council, said the inspectorate’s report cast doubt on the viability of the borough’s local development plan called the ‘core strategy’ (CS).
RBBC intends to adopt the CS in December.
Cllr George said the report suggested the borough may not be able to deliver its planned neighbourhood of 1,570 homes, called the North West Sector, quickly enough to keep up with housing requirements.
He said: “The North West Sector seems to be a big factor in the inspectorate’s decision.
“There’s doubt over the ability to meet housing targets and there was uncertainty on the time scale in which this could be provided.”
But Kathy O’Leary, head of policy, development and property at RBBC, did not agree with Cllr George.
She said: “The inspector who examined our core strategy has not recommended any changes to our housing numbers, or our approach of building new homes in urban areas first and only using greenfield and Green Belt sites when we need to.
“Our core strategy is at an advanced stage and this decision does not undermine progress towards adoption.”
She added: “Naturally we are disappointed with the Inspector’s decision as we felt we made a robust case in response to the appeal against our refusal of planning permission. We are reviewing our position in the light of the inspector’s decision.”