Developer turns down green belt opportunity in Surrey

Millgate decides against building on parkland surrounding new scheme; says further development 'would not be in the interests of their purchasers or indeed the local residents'

A property developer has made firm friends with local residents after turning down an opportunity to build on some Surrey meadowland.

Millgate, a high-end operation currently developing a 29-unit scheme called Knowle Hill Park near Cobham, has decided to decline Elmbridge Council’s suggestion of releasing the green belt land surrounding the site for future development – and take “legal steps” to make sure no-one else can build there either.

The firm said the 45 acres of parkland had been a “significant influencer for clients that have already made a contractual commitment” and took the call that “it would not be in the interests of their purchasers or indeed the local residents to permit further development on the land”. The homes, which start from £1.75m, are billed as being set in formal landscaped gardens, with water features, orchard, ancient woodlands, parkland and far reaching views of surrounding pasture land.

Local councillors responsible for originally granting permission for the scheme in 2015 were recently invited down to check up on the progress along with members of the local residents’ association – the result is some rare shots of local residents, councillors and developers all getting along swimmingly…

Councillor Shweta Kapadia: “I would like to thank Millgate for inviting us to Knowle Hill Park to see first-hand the unique qualities of this attractive parkland and the heritage of the site. The Millgate team has co-operated with Council officers on this project. As developers, they have been extremely accommodating and helped make it easier for the Council to deal with their application.”

David Simpson, Managing Director of Millgate: “We were delighted to welcome representatives from Elmbridge Council. Our guests were not only captivated by the unspoiled views and unique, historic setting which residents will benefit from here, but they were also very impressed by the luxury and quality of our show home.”

Ian Nelson, Chairman of Cobham Residents Association: “After hearing that the site had been bought in 2015, we were contacted by Millgate who were keen from the outset to engage with the local community. They have listened to our suggestions and taken them on board.

“After Elmbridge council recently announced a public consultation about local Green Belt areas, we were delighted when Millgate stated that they did not want houses built on the 45 acres of Knowle Hill Park meadows. In particular, Millgate has promised to take legal steps to ensure that the meadows will never be built on, which is great news for the community.”