The developer Ropemaker Properties Ltd has submitted revised plans for the proposed re-development of Church Walk Shopping Centre. To view the planning application and make comments, visit www.tandridge.gov.uk/planning and search for planning application reference 2019/145. Any comments you may have previously submitted about this development will also be considered. The consultation period is open until Tuesday March 17, 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the BID support the application?
The Church Walk development presents a unique opportunity for major regeneration in Caterham. The scheme equates to a £50m investment in Caterham Valley by the BP pension fund who own Church Walk Shopping Centre. This is private money which would not be forthcoming from any public body,and other towns would welcome such expenditure with open arms. Caterham needs to respond to the increasing competition from other town centres, and the internet, by improving the customer experience and choice in Caterham. Visitors consistently tell us that they want a mix of national retailers and independent shops, but nationals have told the developer that the current configuration of space available does not meet their requirements.
What will be included in the new development?
The development will include fewer, but larger, units to attract nationals including restaurants. It will include a much needed cinema, which will help to develop an evening economy. The centre will complement the independent stores, which are primarily located outside the centre. The new scheme will also include residential apartments and increased parking provision.
Can we just have the new shops but not the apartments?
No, the residential units are paying for the regeneration of the shops. Without them the development does not make economic sense. The inclusion of 174 one and two bedroom Private Rented Sector apartments will bring much needed footfall and spend into the town centre. The developer is aiming to attract tenants who are young and professional.
Where will the residents park their cars?
The development is aimed at young people in the 20-30 age group. Research shows that there is a fall in the number of young people taking their driving tests and owning cars. The scheme will provide 131 residential parking spaces but these will be leased separately to tenants and not included as standard when they rent an apartment. The developer believes demand will be less than the provision they have made.
Conveniently located opposite the train station, it is expected that tenants will primarily use public transport and reduce dependency on cars. This can only be a good thing for the environment. Tenants will be able to access two cars via a ‘car club’ scheme if required.
Isn’t the development going to make flooding worse?
Being located in a valley the town centre has, from time to time, experienced some flooding. The new development will incorporate huge tanks under the centre to alleviate flooding by collecting water at peak rain periods and slowly releasing it, thereby significantly improving flood management provision in the community. The flood provision fully meets the requirements of the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council.
Will the development provide any more long term parking places for business?
Yes, the total number of spaces in Church Walk is currently 453 and it will be increasing to 705. After taking out residential, staff and car club spaces it leaves 577 for the public and business users compared with 433 spaces today – that is an increase of 124 spaces for public/business users. The developer has promised that businesses will have access to 80 parking spaces which presents an increase of approximately 35 spaces for business.
I have a business on Station Avenue – what will happen to me if the development goes ahead?
If your business is part of the Church Walk footprint you will already have been contacted by the developer. If the development is given planning permission, the developer will negotiate with you to purchase your property.
Will Church Walk be closed whilst the development takes place?
No, the development will be undertaken in phases and much of the build is modular, so it will be prepared off site to minimise disruption. Morrisons will remain open throughout the build. Tandridge District Council has stated, ‘If the permission is granted, we will work closely with the developer to make sure disruption to businesses and residents is minimised. In addition, we will ensure access to facilities and services, including car parking is maintained as far as possible during the construction phase.’
Will the development bring any improvements outside of the centre?
Yes, the developer will enhance the public realm on Station Avenue making it more attractive.
Does the BID think this is a good thing for Caterham Valley?
The BID believes that this development is an excitingopportunity to improve the economic viability and attractiveness of Caterham Valley and we will be urging Tandridge District Council and the relevant Councillors to support the application when it is considered by the Planning Committee.
How can we show our support for this application?
CONSULTATION CLOSED ON 17TH MARCH.
If you want to see economic regeneration of the town centre, show your support by emailing
http://planning.tandridge.gov.uk/eaccess/Applicationsearch.asp and search by application number 2019/145
You can make a comment on the site, or email email@example.com quoting application number 2019/145
If you have a question that is not addressed here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and Sue will try to signpost you to the person or organisation who may be able to help you.