What has been proposed?
The proposals for Fairoaks Garden Village includes 1,000 new homes, extensive employment space, a village green, a primary school, community buildings, two areas of public open space, including a parkland, with a visitor centre, allotments, sports pitches, and equestrian facilities.
Fairoaks Garden Village Ltd is a UK incorporated company. It is currently jointly owned by Albemarle Fairoaks Airport Limited (“AFAL”), TEREF ADP Fairoaks Ltd and Fairoaks Investment Limited (FIL Ltd).
The organisations involved are properly regulated and comply with all their relevant legal and tax obligations. They are proud of their excellent reputation in the market and are committed investors in UK real estate.
Fairoaks currently hosts around 61 businesses on site providing 295 jobs. Of the 61 existing businesses, 53 have indicated an intention to remain. Businesses are being encouraged to stay on site in new office or industrial accommodation. The proposal will allow existing, and new businesses to expand, creating more than 1,200 additional jobs.
Principle of development
Each area needs to plan ahead for new homes not just to accommodate growth but to cope with changing societies and the increase in the number of households. People are living longer, marrying later and divorcing more often, which combine to create a demand for more housing.
A Government calculation has identified that Surrey Heath needs at least 352 new homes per year to meet its housing need.
Fairoaks Garden Village is capable of delivering infrastructure and community facilities which multiple smaller schemes across the borough may not be able to provide. This includes a school, shops, gym, and employment spaces to support more jobs. Our proposals will also include improvements to the local transport network, an issue we recognise is critical to the local community. It would also make good use of previously developed land which has already been built upon.
Fairoaks has been planned as a well-connected, mixed and balanced village community that will protect and create more than 1,200 additional jobs across a variety of employment types; provide a wide range of homes to suit different needs and incomes; offer the opportunity for local governance; and deliver a new primary school, surrounded by public open space creating opportunities for sports and recreation.
We realise that there is a housing crisis in this country and it is becoming more difficult to own a home due to high prices. We want to provide an extensive range of financially accessible accommodation of various types and tenures.
Surrey Heath Borough Council aims to provide 40% affordable housing on sites such as Fairoaks Garden Village. We would go above and beyond this target to provide 450 affordable homes (as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework). These homes would include provision of social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership units, representing five times the affordable housing delivered in SHBC since 2011.
In total, 50% of the proposed housing would be affordable or provide a route into home ownership.
Infrastructure, services and flooding
We know that local roads are under a lot pressure, which is why we will now be providing new access to the A320 in the south and the A319 to the north, enabling greater connectivity for the local area and bringing relief to the wider highway network.
Fairoaks Garden Village would also improve pedestrian and cycle connections, provide a bus service linking to Woking train station, incorporate smart logistics to reduce deliveries, provide on-site car clubs for sharing and access to vehicles, and other smart transport systems.
We aim to design Fairoaks as a Garden Village that is distinct and separate, yet also connected to the neighbouring villages of Chobham and Ottershaw, and include new facilities complementing those in the neighbouring villages. We would improve the wider network of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways to enhance connectivity between communities.
As part of the delivery of Fairoaks Garden Village, a new primary school is proposed, alongside a sports hub and pitches, community hub, convenience shops, cafes, village pub and gym/fitness spaces, public open space and play areas.
The proposed buildings are largely situated on the previously developed part of the site (i.e. the least sensitive part from a Green Belt perspective).
We aim to retain and enhance existing landscape features and ecological habitats and create a strong green/blue infrastructure network that incorporates the flood zone, linking both through the site and connecting to the wider green infrastructure network. In total, more than half the site (59%) would be green infrastructure such as open space, recreational space, a village green, children’s play areas, allotments, ecology areas, sports pitches and two large areas of green space called ‘Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace’ (SANG) totalling 130 acres; more than one third of the site.
This amounts to 228 acres (or 92.23 hectares) of green infrastructure which would be enhanced for public use.
The two bespoke areas of SANG land would be the Ottershaw Parklands and Bourne Meadow. Although separate, they would be interconnected and have been designed to fit in with the existing landscape.
The provision of public open space would allow a diverse range of opportunities for formal and informal recreation and food production, whilst contributing to the overall landscape character.
Sustainable drainage systems are going to be put in place that will reduce the risk of flooding.
With attenuation and other measures, the run-off rate from the development will be less than the existing greenfield runoff rates, and the system will be able to cope with a one in a hundred year rainfall event plus 40 per cent to take account of global warming. These will incorporate grey water recycling and other water reduction/capture methods.
A full Construction Management Plan would be carefully thought out and delivered, with careful consideration for the community. This would include hours of operation and construction traffic routes.
The Government called on local authorities to submit sites for potential Garden Villages in March 2016. Surrey Heath Borough Council, supported by the owners of Fairoaks, submitted an expression of interest in July 2016.
Although Fairoaks Garden Village was not one of the 14 new Garden Villages the Homes and Communities Agency (now replaced by Homes England) chose to support in January 2017, it did say it recognises the potential at Fairoaks and encouraged us to pursue our Garden Village ideas.
The following garden village objectives will underpin Fairoaks Garden Village (taken from DAS):
Utilise innovative approaches to governance, technology, housing delivery, sustainable transport, housing design and construction
Focus the community on employment so that it becomes relatively independent economically with a broad balance between the number of jobs that would be sustained and the total number of homes, providing an important opportunity to support a local workforce and reduce the need for new residents to commute to other employment centres.
Provide a range of employment opportunities (including existing businesses) for the on-site population, thereby minimising commuting and providing the opportunity for residents to achieve a work:life balance
Provide a full range of financially accessible accommodation for the working population by using self/custom-build, housing linked to on-site employers, affordable housing and starter homes. Market provision is also proposed to provide choice and a range of tenures.
Provide a comprehensive range of social, educational, retail and recreational facilities for the community.
Be linked by sustainable transport reflecting new developments in digital technology, managed by Community Trust.
Be largely self-sufficient in domestic energy production.
Create strategic scale Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace creating a green link connecting into the wider landscape and existing Ottershaw Chase and Heather Farm SANG.
Encourage food production in both private and public spaces.
Make Fairoaks Garden Village an exemplar for sustainable drainage design.
Deliver and maintain a natural and built environment that is visually and functionally of very high quality and that enhances biodiversity.
Meaningfully involve the Fairoaks community in its design, development and running.
The garden village prospectus produced by the government can be found here.
A planning application has been sent to both Surrey Heath Borough Council and Runnymede Borough Council. They were validated by the Councils on 5th October 2018. They are online here: SHBC (18/0642) and RBC (RU.18/1615).
You can submit your comments on the proposals directly to Surrey Heath and Runnymede Borough Councils.
Fairoaks Garden Village Limited will continue to engage with the public going forward. Details of further consultation events and social media updates will be available on this website in due course.