There were about 1400 objections to the Planning Inspectorate against the proposed car park charging infrastructure at Newlands Corner – massive in terms of both quantity and quality, according to the Inspectorate. The objectors included at least 10 parish councils and 4 residents associations. The Open Spaces Society and Natural England also raised objections. The Surrey Hills AONB agreed to the proposals but it does have Cllr Mike Goodman (the project leader at Surrey County Council) on its Board and Nigel Davenport (the chief executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust) as one of its Advisers.
The Planning Inspectorate sent copies of the objections to Surrey County Council (SCC) on 2 December. SCC has been given until 6 January to respond with its comments on the objections. Extra time, beyond the normal 21 days, was given due to the festive period. After this, the Planning Inspectorate will copy SCC’s response to all who objected, including those who sent objections by post (unacknowledged by them, they acknowledged emails only). The Planning Inspectorate will not be inviting comments back on SCC’s response, but said that does not stop objectors commenting if they want to.
After that, the Planning Inspectorate are planning a Site Visit, probably in February, and say they are likely to make a final decision in March. They have decided not to have a Hearing or a Public Inquiry as they say they already have enough evidence to make their decision.
Once the application has been determined, the Planning Inspectorate (which has inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State) has no further role in the case. There is no right to appeal against the decision, but it may be challenged in the Courts within 3 months of the date of the decision by applying to the High Court for permission to seek judicial review.