Mole Valley Rural Community Strategy
Over 90% of Mole Valley is rural, 36% of the district lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and much of what remains is in the Green Belt.
We have a large rural community, with 26% of the population and 22% of our businesses being situated in the rural area.
In 2017 Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) adopted the Mole Valley Rural Community Strategy (links below), which was the first step in recognising the issues, opportunities and challenges facing those who live, work and visit our rural areas.
The aim of the strategy is to ensure that we support thriving, inclusive and sustainable rural areas which enhance the prospects for Mole Valley's rural communities and businesses and preserve the value of the district's natural assets for future generations.
The strategy is divided into three sections:
- The Strategy Document 2017 - 2027
- The Action Plan 2017 - 2018
- Mole Valley Rural Community Strategy 2017 - 2022
The main aims of the strategy are to:
- Grow a prosperous, sustainable and viable rural economy
- Maintain and strengthen thriving, inclusive, sustainable and resilient rural communities
- Safeguard, protect and enhance the rural environment
From these aims the following key priorities have been identified:
- Digital connectivity: broadband and mobile
- Community safety
- Visitor economy
- Rural-based businesses
- Community assets
- Rural housing
On Tuesday 30 October 2018, MVDC's Cabinet recognised the important progress being made since it adopted the Mole Valley Rural Community Strategy. The Cabinet also confirmed its support for the District's first Rural Community Summit, due to take place on Tuesday 26 February 2019.
Working with a number of other local organisations, MVDC has been carrying out a variety of schemes which aim to address the specific issues faced by Mole Valley's rural communities.
One area of focus is digital connectivity. This includes working with partners to lobby Superfast Surrey (Surrey County Council) to ensure that all rural areas have superfast broadband and better mobile coverage.
Another priority is community safety. MVDC has been working with the rural neighbourhood policing teams to address the problem of rural business crime. Rural fly-tipping is also on the agenda, as MVDC and partner agencies focus on more proactive enforcement and prosecution.
There is also a drive to attract more visitors to rural areas, to strengthen the local economy. This includes continuing to promote and develop tourism assets such as the popular, historic Deepdene Trail in Dorking and working with partners such as Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to raise awareness of the natural beauty whilst managing visitor pressures.
Rural Community Summit 2019
Mole Valley's rural businesses and communities were invited to the district's first Rural Summit on Tuesday 26 February, hosted by BBC journalist Nicholas Owen.
This free event took place at Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth, and was a chance for businesses and rural Mole Valley's community organisations to debate current challenges and opportunities.
Find out more on the Rural Community Summit 2019 web page.