Tandridge Council is currently undertaking a second consultation on the Caterham Masterplan until the 22nd January and local Liberal Democrat Councillors are urging as many people as possible to take part. The Liberal Democrat group are shocked at the current proposals that appears to green light hundreds of extra flats but makes no attempt to resolve the parking issues in Caterham Valley.
Dorinda Cooper says “It’s hard to disagree with wanting to improve the town centre. It has been neglected for so long, but after nearly £200,000 spent on consultants I was expecting something that addressed the issues the residents have raised through earlier consultations.”
“87% of residents commented in the last consultation that they would want to see improvements to parking in the town yet the plan does nothing to improve the situation.”
Newly elected Caterham Hill Councillor Hellen Rujbally says “the Masterplan has been launched with great fanfare and I was excited to see what was included, but the ambition for the Hill seems to have been scaled back to better pedestrian links between the Hill and the Valley - in layman’s terms that’s a pavement”
The document also details the lack of council ownership of sites, yet the council recently spent almost £3.25m on the Womenswear department of M&S in Maidstone.
County and District Councillor Chris Botten, Leader of the Lib Dems at Tandridge, added “I have been calling on the council to take Caterham seriously for years- I wasthe first to call for the compulsory purchase of the Rose and Young site; but the scale of the ambition for Caterham set out in the Masterplan lacks car parking and infrastructure for the Valley and very limited ambition for the Hill. If the council is serious about Caterham I would expect it to take a significant financial stake in the town, by buying sites or entering into joint ventures with site owners. Without investment in infrastructure, the Masterplan represents increased development pressure with none of the underlying problems solved."
“This could have been Caterham’s biggest opportunity, now it looks like it could the biggest missed opportunity.”The councillors are urging residents to take part in the consultation before 22nd January. All document and details on how to respond can be found at http://www.caterham-masterplan.org.uk