A scheme hailed as a “milestone in the regeneration of Merstham” has been given the go-ahead.

For Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s planning committee this week unanimously granted outline planning permission for the redevelopment of Portland Drive’s shops and flats.

The proposal is to demolish the existing shops and flats and create 48 homes for market sale, with a mixture of houses and apartments. The site will be sold for private development at the end of 2015, once new shops have been built, existing shops vacated and tenants rehoused.

The borough council said the redevelopment of Portland Drive “lies at the heart of Merstham regeneration,” which it is moving forward with Surrey County Council and Raven Housing Trust, a social business investing in homes and neighbourhoods to develop local communities.

Pete Trowbridge, Raven’s head of development, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the regeneration plans have reached this stage.

“For Raven and our council partners it represents yet another milestone towards bringing the changes to Merstham local people have been promised for so long. “Our next steps are to contact all tenants and leaseholders over the next couple of months and to continue speaking to shopkeepers to achieve vacation by the end of 2015.”

The regeneration will see new shops, a library, youth facility and community facilities provided, alongside almost 100 new homes.

Raven is a member of PlaceShapers, a national alliance of almost 90 community-focused housing associations, which owns and manages 675,000 homes and provides services to more than two million people. Website: www.placeshapers.org For more details about Raven Housing Trust visit its website at: www.ravenht.org.uk