Petition to: To review planning applicants on back garden developments in Byfleet.

This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition Woking Borough Council to To review planning applicants on back garden developments in Byfleet. More details

Petition update 2 from the council, 14 August 2019

E-PETITION – Review Planning Applicants on Back Garden Developments in Byfleet

The Council has received your petition regarding back garden developments in Byfleet. Under the Council’s Constitution, I am able to provide a written response to the matters raised in the petition.

Without paraphrasing it, the petition states the following:

‘I would like to propose a WBC introduce a policy to stop the developments of Residential back garden land where there is local residential opposition.”

1. Restrict the use of residential garden land for new housing development to require local community involvement.

2. Limit the number of occasions that a developer can appeal plans for such developments previously refused to two submissions, even where such appeals contain for revised detail.

3. Limit the developer from increasing on developments existing planning applications/developments.

4. Disallow the presentation of revised developments and plans following refusals where there is local resident opposition. The opposition to any such scheme should be judged by the number of residents who are likely to be affected by such a proposal. A garden technically forms part of the buffer strip between neighbours it’s not formally designated for any development would be intrusive upon neighbours. Any development will disturb numerous wildlife that frequent the gardens. Increase traffic flow that the area already struggles with, and room for parking. There are 2 schools in the area which are oversubscribed’.

I have addressed the matters raised in the order as they appear in the petition.

1. National planning policy does not rule out development of residential gardens. It rather requires local planning authorities to consider setting out policies to resist inappropriate development of residential gardens. In accordance with national policy, the Council already has robust local plan policies to help prevent the inappropriate development of garden land which would result in the significant harm to, or loss of, local character, residential amenity and biodiversity in the Borough. An example of such policies is Policy DM10: Development of garden land of the Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (DPD). The DPD can be accessed by this link: https://www.woking2027.info/developmentplan/management. Please note that the Council will always take into account comments received from local residents when determining a planning application. However, it might be legally indefensible and wrong to just base planning decisions on community involvement.

2. The rules that govern planning appeal procedures are prescribed by legislation, in particular, by Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Part III). It will be indefensible for the Council to unilaterally change those rules as suggested by the petition. At the core of the development management process is the applicant’s right to appeal against a planning decision. Overall, this principle has ensured fairness without significant abuse to the system. The Council’s primary aim is to ensure that planning decisions are of high quality to stand up to scrutiny and be defensible at appeals, and has been broadly successful in doing so.

3. It is not clear to me what this concern is about. I am assuming that the petition is seeking to limit the ability of an applicant to increase the size of a proposed development when a revised proposal is submitted. Please let me know if you felt that my interpretation is incorrect. The Council does not have control over the proposal that an applicant may wish to submit for determination. The Council however has the responsibility to determine the application against the policies of the development plan and all other material considerations to ensure that the development would not have unacceptable impacts that cannot be mitigated.

4. The applicant has the right to submit a revised application to help overcome the reason(s) for refusing the original application. It will be indefensible to take that right away solely based on local residents’ opposition to the proposal. The Council is fully aware of the contribution that private residential gardens make to biodiversity and the character of residential areas. However, it should also be acknowledged that some private residential garden land could be developed, and where that is the case, the Council has robust policies to prevent harm to or loss of local character, residential amenity and biodiversity.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Morgan OBE
Chief Executive


For further information please contact Ray Morgan on 01483 743333 (Direct Line) or Email Ray.Morgan@woking.gov.uk

Petition update 1 from the council, 07 August 2019

Thank you for submitting a petition to Woking Borough Council, seeking the introduction of a policy to prevent the development of residential back garden land in Byfleet where there is local residential opposition.

The petition period ended on 23 July and a total of 61 confirmed and 6 unconfirmed signatories have been received. In accordance with the Council's procedure for petitions with between 10 and 99 petitions, a formal response will be drawn up by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

More details from petition creator

I would like to propose a WBC introduce a policy to stop the developments of Residential back garden land where there is local residential opposition.

1: restrict the use of residential garden land for new housing development to require local community involvement. 2: limit the number of occasions that a developer can appeal plans for such developments previously refused to two submissions, even where such appeals contain for revised detail. 3: limit the developer from increasing on developments existing planning applications/developments. 4: disallow the presentation of revised developments and plans following refusals where there is local resident opposition. The opposition to any such scheme should be judged by the number of residents who are likely to be affected by such a proposal.

A garden technically forms part of the buffer strip between neighbours it’s not formally designated for any development would be intrusive upon neighbours. Any development will disturb numerous wildlife that frequent the gardens. Increase traffic flow that the area already struggles with, and room for parking. There are 2 schools in the area which are oversubscribed. .

Current signatories

Mr Daniel Goodger, the petition creator, joined by:

  • Benjamin Merrick
  • Krista Rooney
  • Donna Goodger
  • Victoria Baldwin
  • Donna Eaton
  • Richard Gibson
  • Peter Jenner
  • Tracey Radford
  • Emma Packington
  • Monique Loots
  • Margaret Keane
  • Yvette Louise Tree
  • Amanda Butler
  • Paul Butler
  • Brenda Edwards
  • Ann Belcher
  • Janet Buckmaster
  • Matthew Diller
  • Sue Kimble
  • Alan George
  • Natasha Fahy
  • Andy Kimble
  • Max Kimble
  • Mark collins
  • Hannah Varnham
  • John Curd
  • Leigh Wagg
  • Anne Harrison
  • Hannah Wagg
  • Jacqueline Bezi
  • Julia Cryer
  • Jess Collins
  • Claire Calder
  • Laura Merrick
  • SUE WARNE
  • Jim Craig
  • susan regan
  • brian smith
  • David Lewis
  • Martin Gilchrist
  • Kerry Regan
  • Fabien Callens
  • Sayeh Kirk
  • David Chambers
  • Frances Willis
  • Josie Precious
  • Rachel Gaster-woods
  • Paulene Morgan
  • Bruce
  • Marion Malcher
  • Andy Grimshaw
  • Lynn Cozens
  • Darren Henderson
  • Paul Dilley
  • Rakhee Patel
  • Maureen Neville
  • Carey Harrison
  • Holly Coppard
  • Fiona Syrett
  • John Stuart
  • Nicki Tancell