13.1 The most significant area of change within the Conservation Area is that resulting from the various developments taking place. These can range from redevelopment schemes to relatively minor changes brought about by extensions, alterations to shopfronts and shop advertisements. Even these smaller changes can, either individually, or cumulatively, affect the character of the street scene. It is, therefore, essential to give all aspects of change very detailed attention to ensure that the character and visual amenities are preserved and protected.
Policy Rg 1
Planning permission will normally only be granted if the proposed development will assist in the retention of the character of Reigate Conservation Area and enhance its aesthetic qualities. Within the Conservation Area, full planning applications will normally be required to allow proper consideration of the visual impact on the surrounding area.
(1) Potential applications are advised to contact the Borough Council at the earliest stage in the formulation of proposals to discuss the particular constraints arising from development within a conservation context.
(2) Illustrative material in support of a full planning application will be required to show not only details of the development itself, but also how it relates to the adjoining properties and the street scene in general. In the case of major development, a model may be requested in addition to elevations, sections and perspective drawings.
(3) In the case of "permitted development" it is recommended that works be discussed with the Borough Council, where specialist advice will be available.
13.2 In addition to the major environmental improvements proposed or enabled in this Local Plan, the Borough Council will take the appropriate opportunities, to improve the appearance of the Conservation Area. Particular sites which are not identified for development but require enhancement are Upper West Street car park and Tunnel Road, both of which have a great potential for landscape/floorscape improvements. In addition, it is felt that the historic and visual qualities of the Castle Grounds could be further exploited or some improvements undertaken. Assistance and co-operation from local organisations, other societies and agencies in order to achieve improvements throughout the Conservation Area will be encouraged by the Borough Council.
Policy Rg 2
The Borough Council will undertake enhancement schemes within Reigate Conservation Area as and when resources permit and will encourage other organisations and agencies to co-operate in this process.
Priority will be given to:
(i) examining ways of utilising and enhancing Tunnel Road and Market Square;
(ii) a landscape scheme for Upper West Street car park; and
(iii) environmental improvements within the Castle Grounds, subject to the consent of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
(1) Financial assistance may be available in the form of grants from various bodies and all such opportunities will be examined.
(2) Co-operation from statutory undertakers can result in improvements in the appearance of their developments or the works they are carrying out, which often do not require planning permission
(3) Imaginative use of paving, for example, could greatly improve the appearance of Tunnel Road and Market Square, the latter benefiting from better quality street furniture.
(4) Some soft landscaping within Upper West Street car park would reduce its rather stark appearance.
(5) Improvements to the western approaches of the Council Grounds could improve pedestrian movement and enhance the appearance of the area generally.
13.3 The creation of a pedestrian priority area in the High Street has been a long standing objective of the Borough Council. The achievement of this and the associated townscape works which would accompany the removal of through traffic, would represent the single most important improvement to the Conservation Area and would make all activities carried out in the town centre, particularly shopping, that much more pleasant. The removal of through traffic was dependent upon the implementation of alternative arrangements for traffic around the town centre (see Policy Mo 1) but the intended scheme cannot now be implemented.
Policy Rg 3
Following the removal of through traffic from High Street, Reigate, the County and Borough Councils will initiate a pedestrian priority area, as shown on the Proposals Map. An integral part of the scheme will be comprehensive paving and landscaping treatment together with improved street furniture and traffic signs.
(1) Studies were undertaken by the County Council in 2004 to progress its safeguarded scheme for Reigate, which diverted through-traffic away from some of the main shopping streets. These studies concluded that, due to traffic growth, the safeguarded scheme would have resulted in very significant congestion and could not, therefore, be progressed. Consideration is therefore being given to alternative transport and related environmental improvements in the context of the Local Transport Plan process.
(2) Although the County Council’s provisional Surrey Local Transport Plan for 2006/7 to 2010/11 does not identify transport measures in Reigate as one of its major schemes, the town is recognised as one of the four top priority urban areas in terms of transport related problems.
13.4 Policy Rg 4 deleted (1994) as smaller scheme completed.
13.5 The Borough Council offices are at Castlefield Road, Reigate. The main town hall building is a fine example of late Victorian municipal architecture, constructed in 1901, and a Listed Building.
13.6 The preferred road option for this part of Reigate Town Centre was in the form of a realigned Castlefield Road as a dual carriageway, but is subject to further detailed investigations. This Local Plan indicates a safeguarded corridor of land on the Proposals Map (see Policy Mo 1).
13.7 The area identified on the Proposals Map for an Integrated Mixed Use Scheme is of considerable size. This has been chosen to facilitate the proper planning of the wider area. The eventual detailed alignment of Castlefield Road has yet to be determined, and therefore the precise form of development cannot be determined until this has taken place. In view of the current land use pattern, it may be that a level of development for business use will be required to offset the cost of acquisition, road construction and enhancement.
Policy Rg 5
The form of development within the area shown on the Proposals Map will be dependent upon the outcome of investigations into the highway improvements detailed in Policy Mo 1. Development must comply with the appropriate design and layout policies of this Local Plan.
(1) The precise pattern of uses and form of development will be dependent upon the alignment of Castlefield Road and will be set out in a development brief to be prepared by the Borough Council, or in conjunction with the applicants.
(2) Any development permitted will be of a scale and form which respects the character of this area of the town, enhances the settings of the Town Hall and Reigate College and does not unduly encroach on the town centre skyline which is clearly exposed at this point.
(3) In an area of this size comprising various ownerships, it is unlikely that all redevelopments would take place at the same time, but each must not prejudice the proper planning of the others.
13.8 Policy Rg 6 deleted (2005) as development completed.
13.9 Policy Rg 7 deleted (2005) as smaller scheme completed.
13.10 Policy Rg 8 deleted (2005) as development completed.
13.11 A dairy currently occupies sites on either side of Warren Road, Reigate, close to its junction with Holmesdale Road, and has done for many years. The Borough Council is not aware of any intention of the dairy to vacate these premises, but in view of the the nature and location of the sites, it is considered appropriate to identify the site in order to properly guide any future alternative uses which may be suggested for the land.
13.12 The eastern site has a more pronounced residential setting and is therefore appropriate for a wholly residential redevelopment. However, the setting of the western site comprises mixed uses, with modern offices adjoining to the west and south-west and housing to the north and east. In view of this, a small scale development for business use may be appropriate on redevelopment, particularly if a residential element were included on the northern part of this western site.
Policy Rg 9
In the event that the dairy use of sites in Warren Road, Reigate, as shown on the Proposals Map, ceases, the Borough Council will encourage a residential redevelopment of the eastern site, with a mixed use development comprising small scale business uses and residential development occupying the western site. Proposals must comply with Policies Em 6, Em 7 and the appropriate design and layout policies of this Local Plan.
(1) Any business use provided within the scheme should be in the form of small units created by vertical sub-division, and in compliance with Policy
(2) On the western site, residential accommodation should be concentrated on the northern part of the development, and both sites are suitable for small dwellings.