Surrey Development Forum inaugurated

A new forum to improve collaboration between Surrey councils and the development industry has been launched today.

The concept was developed as a consequence of discussions between Surrey County Council, Districts and Boroughs around the Surrey 2050 Place Ambition, a vision for the County over the next 30 years. The vision calls for partnership working with stakeholders from across the county to help to achieve smart growth which recognises Surrey’s unique characteristics and strength.

The Forum brings together key stakeholders including the County Council, Districts, Boroughs and developers to identify and address strategic issues, share best practice and to facilitate collaborative, creative thinking to achieve “sustainable growth”in Surrey for the benefit of the current and future communities. The Forum builds on existing collaborations and partnerships and brings together councils and developers early to discuss these issues constructively and on a non-site specific, county wide basis.

The Forum will consider critical issues facing the Surrey area over the next 30 years ranging from access to transport and water supply, through to building beautiful, the natural environment and climate change. Participation in the Forum is voluntary, and discussions in the Forum are open to allow a wide range of views to be expressed.

Andrew Munton, PlanningDirector at Reside Developments, and chair of Surrey Development Forum, said:

We’re delighted to launch the Surrey Development Forum and bring together authorities and developers to help deliver on the promise of the Surrey 2050 Place Ambition. We believe that by creating a collaborative forum spanning councils and developers there is an opportunity to identify issues facing all parts of Surrey and help to address and resolve them before they prevent high quality growth in the future.

The Forum continues the work of district and borough forums set up across Surrey to work collaboratively with local authorities as they developed their Local Plans. However, the Surrey Development Forum has a wider geographical and longer term outlook, allowing it to look further into the future and to start addressing the challenges facing the county over the next 30 years.

Robert Moran, representative of Elmbridge Borough Council and Chair of Surrey Future Board said:

I welcome the establishment of the Surrey Development Forum, which reflects a collective ambition to renew our infrastructure while respecting the way in which we want to see the Surrey “place” develop in the future.We bring different perspectives but we need to focus on what we can do together to make the outcomes better for residents and local businesses. These are tough times for everyone so a shared purpose around our future priorities will be a big step forward

The Forum will be privately financed and administered by nominated representatives from across the membership. Any decisions taken by the Forum will be non-binding.

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