Epsom Chalk Pit Silica Dust (RCS)

The information below shows what the risks are, where you can get more information and how you can be involved. One important addition to previous posts is the petition which to date has been signed by over 3,000.

We really want to encourage all residents in the affected area to do something to support the opposition. So please act now to save the future health of all residents!

Wake Up and Smell the Silica Dust (RCS)

Proposed Materials Recycling Centre at the Chalk Pit College Road

Do you live in this area? If so read on

Background

Residents in the College Area of Epsom became aware of waste operations in the area last summer on a site without the appropriate planning consent for the use of the site nor for new structures. Subsequently the Applicant has submitted a retrospective planning application for the proposals.

Residents need to consider the following:

  1. The Applicant has ignored planning requirements.
  1. The Applicant has ignored risk assessments and operating proposals in his planning application. This has led to significant dust issues in the area previously unseen on this scale.
  1. The application is for a site in the Green Belt, sits above a principal aquifer and is in a residential area with numerous schools.

The application is wholly inappropriate for this location with residents identifying 11 grounds for objection. The building proposed is over 600% larger than the existing open fronted structure he is replacing. . For a list of these grounds email Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

Residents have raised scores of concerns regarding amongst others dust, noise, road and traffic issues and lighting with the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. We note these activities are ongoing, which is of great concern to residents. We are advised there are new surveys and new studies ongoing. It appears profit before health!

Please follow the following where regular updates are being posted:

Ewell Downs RA | Association of Ewell Downs Residents – www.ewelldownsra.org.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/epsomandewellcommunity/permalink/2853032488295839/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/EpsomandEwell/permalink/10158983399429643/

Planning

The closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021. Details of the application can be found at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

This application has caused a significant concern across the Borough and neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. If you want updates do contact Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com

Petition

A local resident has started a petition and you are encouraged to sign it if you do not want this application to go through:

Petition · Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant Planning Permission · Change.org

Please sign the petition and share it with friends, families and colleagues! There are more than 3000 signatures so far.

Nuisance Caused by Silica Dust (RCS)

Residents have advised of significant dust following the recent fine weather and we have been sent the following two pictures: –

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit
This moved to the North toward the Glyn School Pavilion and Nescot
Dust on Car 2 days after washing

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and wood dust are likely emitted from the operations at the Chalk Pit given the waste being recycled. They are listed by the HSE alongside asbestos as three of the five dusts where they issue specific guidance. They are not the type of dusts we want to be inhaling!

How can RCS harm your health? By breathing in RCS, you could develop the following lung diseases: Silicosis Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Lung cancer.

Dust is identified within the planning documents as an issue as follows:

Harm: Harm to human Health

Significance: Moderate

Magnitude: Medium

Given this risk the applicant has, in relation to their site, proposed that the materials recycling should be subject to a number of measures to reduce the risk including carrying out recycling in a building and misting.

These measures are not in place as we write which has likely resulted in an increase in the dust we see. We have no idea what levels of invisible respirable dust are in the air and what impact this is having on our health – the consequences will likely not be seen for many years. A number of doctors have expressed similar concerns.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP is working tirelessly to stop the nuisance as are our County and Ward Councillors both in Epsom and Ewell and Reigate and Banstead. The cross-party working has been quite something.

The applicant suggests that the dust will affect receptors (which is what we and our children have become) within 1km of the site. Online research suggests that respirable dust with an average particle size will be much more widely dispersed and we are concerned that the invisible respirable dust will affect the area within 7km of the site even in winds of 10kmph! (source Dust Particulant Distance Travel and Impacts on Adj Properties, incl Resp & Allergic Immune Responses.pdf (citicite.com))

Our health cannot be looked at retrospectively.

If you are affected by Noise or Dust, please call or email the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60 Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.

STOP PRESS

As a consultee Epsom and Ewell Borough Council were required to consider the application under ref (21/00223/CMA) – change of use from Waste Transfer Station to Materials Recycling Facility. This was done under Delegated Powers and an objection issued on 9 March 2021 quoting “there are concerns that the applicants are not adhering to the conditions of their Environmental permit. Conditions should be imposed, if the application is permitted, restricting both times of operation and delivery”. To view these go the Borough Council Planning website. There are more than 60 comments so far.

https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/

Technical Information and Documents

Please download the document on the link below for a detailed analysis of Respiratory and Allergic Immune Response Impacts of Gravel Pit / Quarry Operations on Adjacent Land / Properties.

A flyer for this article can be downloaded on the link below

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Ewell Downs News Bulletin – March 2021

We hope that you will by now all be aware of the dangers facing the area from the Chalk Pit on College Road with risks to the environment and the planning proposals from the Skip operators. Over the past few months a group of residents have been extremely active in publicising what has been happening and what is proposed via mail shots, campaigns on web sites and Facebook, to name just a few. Time is now precious as the closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021 – next Monday!

The information below shows what the risks are, where you can get more information and how you can be involved. One important addition to previous posts is the petition which to date has been signed by over 2,100 people and is heading for a target of 2,500.

We really want to encourage all residents in the affected area to do something to support the opposition. So please act now to save the future health of all residents!

Wake Up and Smell the Silica Dust (RCS)

Proposed Materials Recycling Centre at the Chalk Pit College Road

Do you live in this area? If so read on

Background

Residents in the College Area of Epsom became aware of waste operations in the area last summer on a site without the appropriate planning consent for the use of the site nor for new structures. Subsequently the Applicant has submitted a retrospective planning application for the proposals.

Residents need to consider the following:

  1. The Applicant has ignored planning requirements.
  1. The Applicant has ignored risk assessments and operating proposals in his planning application. This has led to significant dust issues in the area previously unseen on this scale.
  1. The application is for a site in the Green Belt, sits above a principal aquifer and is in a residential area with numerous schools.

The application is wholly inappropriate for this location with residents identifying 11 grounds for objection. The building proposed is over 600% larger than the existing open fronted structure he is replacing. . For a list of these grounds email Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

Residents have raised scores of concerns regarding amongst others dust, noise, road and traffic issues and lighting with the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. We note these activities are ongoing, which is of great concern to residents. We are advised there are new surveys and new studies ongoing. It appears profit before health!

Please follow the following where regular updates are being posted:

Ewell Downs RA | Association of Ewell Downs Residents – www.ewelldownsra.org.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/epsomandewellcommunity/permalink/2853032488295839/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/EpsomandEwell/permalink/10158983399429643/

Planning

The closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021. Details of the application can be found at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

This application has caused a significant concern across the Borough and neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. If you want updates do contact Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com

Petition

A local resident has started a petition and you are encouraged to sign it if you do not want this application to go through:

Petition · Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant Planning Permission · Change.org

Please sign the petition and share it with friends, families and colleagues!

Nuisance Caused by Silica Dust (RCS)

Residents have advised of significant dust following the recent fine weather and we have been sent the following two pictures: –

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit
This moved to the North toward the Glyn School Pavilion and Nescot
Dust on Car 2 days after washing

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and wood dust are likely emitted from the operations at the Chalk Pit given the waste being recycled. They are listed by the HSE alongside asbestos as three of the five dusts where they issue specific guidance. They are not the type of dusts we want to be inhaling!

How can RCS harm your health? By breathing in RCS, you could develop the following lung diseases: Silicosis Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Lung cancer.

Dust is identified within the planning documents as an issue as follows:

Harm: Harm to human Health

Significance: Moderate

Magnitude: Medium

Given this risk the applicant has, in relation to their site, proposed that the materials recycling should be subject to a number of measures to reduce the risk including carrying out recycling in a building and misting.

These measures are not in place as we write which has likely resulted in an increase in the dust we see. We have no idea what levels of invisible respirable dust are in the air and what impact this is having on our health – the consequences will likely not be seen for many years. A number of doctors have expressed similar concerns.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP is working tirelessly to stop the nuisance as are our County and Ward Councillors both in Epsom and Ewell and Reigate and Banstead. The cross-party working has been quite something.

The applicant suggests that the dust will affect receptors (which is what we and our children have become) within 1km of the site. Online research suggests that respirable dust with an average particle size will be much more widely dispersed and we are concerned that the invisible respirable dust will affect the area within 7km of the site even in winds of 10kmph! (source Dust Particulant Distance Travel and Impacts on Adj Properties, incl Resp & Allergic Immune Responses.pdf (citicite.com))

Our health cannot be looked at retrospectively.

If you are affected by Noise or Dust, please call or email the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60 Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.

STOP PRESS

As a consultee Epsom and Ewell Borough Council were required to consider the application under ref (21/00223/CMA) – change of use from Waste Transfer Station to Materials Recycling Facility. This was done under Delegated Powers and an objection issued on 9 March 2021 quoting “there are concerns that the applicants are not adhering to the conditions of their Environmental permit. Conditions should be imposed, if the application is permitted, restricting both times of operation and delivery”. To view these go the Borough Council Planning website.

Other matters

Subscriptions

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who has already paid the £5.00 annual subscription via standing order or online. We are most grateful to you and really appreciate your support.

As you know the Road Stewards will not be delivering the green envelopes with an AGM Notice at this time, due to the pandemic so we would ask that all payments are made online – our banking details are: –

Barclays Bank Plc.

82/84 High Street

EPSOM KT19 8BH

Sort code 20 – 29 – 90

Account number 50126071

Account name Association of Ewell Downs Residents

Thanking you in anticipation.

Whilst there is no formal printed newsletter, it is very important that residents are kept informed of local matters by email and we would ask that any of you who have neighbours or friends living locally who do not get this bulletin, please contact us on ewelldownsra@gmail.com to be added to the list.

Surrey County Council Elections – the potentially good news is that voting will be held at Nescot and not at Wallace Fields Junior School – this is to be confirmed. This applies to residents south of the Reigate Road railway (NESCOT) bridge – others vote within Ewell ward where the Glyn school polling station has moved to Bourne Hall for this election.

You have probably received the flyer from the Epsom & Ewell Council about the Elections to be held on 6 May. In these uncertain times you may wish to apply for a postal vote and if so, this needs to be done by 27 April. This is how to do it:-

Applying for a Postal Vote
The Government has confirmed that the Surrey County Council election will go ahead on Thursday 6th May and guidelines will be in place to make voting covid- safe.
Your vote counts. However, If you would prefer not to vote personally at a Polling Station on election day you can apply now for a postal vote. 
Anyone on the electoral register can have a postal vote and you can apply to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council for one in several ways.
By email electoralservices@epsom-ewell.gov.uk
By telephone on 01372 732000 for a form, or download and print off a form below:
Downloading from the EEBC website www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/elections-and-voting/who-can-vote-and-how
Alternatively, if you need help please contact County Councillor John Becket who will be able to supply you with a hard copy of the application form.

Our current County Councillor – John Beckett

We have always found John to be a quick responder to local issues where help is needed. This is a message from him:-


Surrey County Council Elections Thursday 6th May 2021
Surrey County elections are held every four years and, in the past, Ewell Downs residents have elected a Residents’ Association candidate to represent them at SCC County Hall.
Your current County Councillor is John Beckett who knows the area, its needs and aspirations. He is independent of party politics and put residents’ interests first, and will again be our nominated election candidate.
On Thursday 6th May please use your vote and support John, your Ewell Downs Residents’ Association nominated Candidate

John was elected to represent Ewell Division in May 2013 and since then he has dealt with hundreds of resident queries and issues. Within the past 4 years John has served as the Chairman of the Local Committee which is made up County and Borough Councillors which handles those aspects of government which spans the two authorities. John has also been serving on the Surrey Pension Fund.

John is a very active councillor. He knows our roads and our local issues.  He visits those roads or sites causing local concern, taking photographs and quickly raising the issues with Surrey County Council. Importantly he is easily accessible to all our residents via telephone, email and personal contact, responding quickly to all enquires.

Many of our residential roads and footways have been re-surfaced in full or in part. For example, Stoneleigh Broadway, Curvan Close, Persfield Close, Harefield Road, West St, West Gardens and Aragon Avenue.

In addition, John is regularly responding to residents’ requests for the repair of dislodged kerbstones, damaged grass verges, local repairs to flowerbeds and vegetation to be cut back. He has taken up all these issues, achieving quick and effective results.

John has allocated his SCC allocation to support many local projects and charities including The Sunnybank Trust, Age Concern, PHAB, Home Start, Girl Guides and several Eco prize giving’s at local schools. John has also funded several defibrillators around the Borough

We hope that, in the up-coming Surrey County Council election you will continue to cast your vote for Residents’ Association Candidate John Beckett

SCC Plans for a Single Unitary Council for Surrey – the RASSU (Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary) petition has now closed with 5,321 signatories. This petition will be considered by the Leader of the Council at his Leader Decisions meeting.This meeting will be held on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 9am. The lead petitioner may speak for three minutes at the meeting which will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. This is a live event so signers to the petition can watch the discussion live. This is the link: – https://surreycc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – from the Government website – www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

The link above shows the Government guidance and if you wish to remind yourselves of this ever-changing scenario, please visit this.

Here is a guide to what you can do in March:-

From March 8

Step one of the easing will be introduced in two stages, from March 8.

The stay at home requirement remains, however people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.

The only difference between this and existing rules is that you will be able to stop somewhere with a friend, whereas before you had to be exercising to be within the rules.

Exercise and recreation should to be undertaken locally, with advice stating that residents should not be leaving the village, town or part of the city where they live.

From March 29

As part of step one, there will be further limited changes from March 29.

Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, providing greater flexibility for families to see each other. This includes in private gardens. Social distancing measures should still be adhered to.

Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, will be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

At this point, the stay-at-home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain. Residents, for example, will be able to drive further than before, however must still return the same day, as overnight stays remain banned. So it’s at this point that you can travel further afield for a walk, picnic or to meet someone outside for a coffee.

Now for the EVEN BETTER NEWS

No earlier than April 12

Residents should have more activities available to them from April 12.

Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos, and theme parks, will reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.

Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.

Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew – although customers must order, eat and drink while seated. A list of Surrey Wetherspoon pubs reopening on this date includes The Assembly Rooms in Epsom and a separate list of Young’s pubs include The Bear Inn, Esher; The Bear, Cobham; The Chequers, Walton on the Hill; The Dolphin, Betchworth; The Onslow Arms, Clandon; Penny Black, Leatherhead; The Weyside, Guildford and The Wheatsheaf, Esher.

Just to let you know as 10 March 2021 this is the breakdown of cases per Surrey district and borough (increase shown is from the previous week).

As far as the latest local information is concerned and to help direct residents who need support – if friends or family are unable to help – with such things as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and to other services that can help visit this web site: https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Vaccinations – Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the locations for a mass vaccination centre, earmarked for the large-scale immunisation roll-out and those who go there all comment on the ease and efficiency of the process. Well done to all those involved!

In case you are still waiting for your vaccination this the link – https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number

Waste and recycling – this is the link to Book your slot at the tip in Longmead

Book a slot

Slots will be available up to two weeks in advance and you can book as many as you need. Residents who are unable to access the online booking system can call the Contact Centre on 03456 009 009 and they will book a slot on your behalf. All other site rules remain the same.

Planning issues

Chalk Lane House Chalk Lane – (20/01185/LBA) Conversion of hotel and various alterations and extensions to the listed buildings to accommodate 21 dwelling units, car and cycle parking and private and communal gardens. (Listed Building Consent). There are some objections so far including one from the Civic Society. These mostly relate to objection of proposal to build a high wall at front of the building which would considerably alter the attractive street scene in the Conservation area”. This is on the Agenda for the 11 March meeting.

Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) an amended application has been received for 25 flats 8 storeys high instead of 13 storeys with commercial space on the ground floor. There are many objections to the amended plans, including those from Resident Associations and the Epsom Civic Society.

Priest Hill Sports Pavilion Reigate Road Ewell – (21/00028/FUL) – Construction of a new all-weather sports pitch including fencing, floodlighting and all other associated works. The Priest Hill Development aims to establish a center of football and sporting excellence, where first class facilities, coaching and support can nurture and inspire young people of all abilities. This is proposed by a partnership between Glyn School and Epsom & Ewell Colts Football Club. Do go the planning application site to view photos and full information. Comments on this application relate mainly to the floodlighting and the speed of traffic on an already busy road – maybe a good reason for a speed camera to be included as part of the conditions.

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (21/00252/FUL) Demolition of the existing hospital buildings, accommodation block and associated structures and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings, comprising 267 care residences, 10 care apartments and 28 care suites proving transitional care etc. This is another planning application for the Epsom Hospital site, in addition to their appeal over the refusal of the first one – (19/01722/FUL) demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings. Objections continue to be filed. This is expected to come to Committee in May.

Epsom General Hospital Car Park – (20/00249/FUL) Erection of a multi storey car park comprising ground plus 5 storeys and 527 car parking spaces, reconfiguration of surface parking to provide 104 car parking spaces and improvement to the access road from Dorking Road. This is quite a big structure but a key element in plans to invest and upgrade existing EH site. It should come to Committee in April.

London Road – old Organ and Dragon Inn site – (20/01079/FUL) Construction of a three to six storey building comprising 45 flats (Use Class C3) with associated car and cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works. The development does seem to dwarf the existing area’s housing as well as having parking and traffic issues. There have been over 60 objections, mainly on height, parking and traffic but no decision as yet and no date for committee.

7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores. Despite amendments to the original plans and a total well in excess of 1,000 with letters addressed to Chris Grayling as well as the Planning Department. Refused by planning committee at 8 October meeting. A revised application or appeal is anticipated.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. Still no news!

The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom  (19/01589/FUL) the application for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings was withdrawn by McCarthy & Stone.  A revised application is awaited.

Majestic Wine Warehouse East Street – (19/01409/REM) Application for variation of planning condition 1 of 05/00660/FUL to allow the sale of all types of comparison and convenience goods i.e., open A1 (Retail Use). This was discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 14 January and the application deferred to allow officers and the Applicant to have further discussions to resolve the matters that the Committee had raised.

EVENTS AND NEWS

Epsom Playhouse – This Saturday 13th March – Online Comedy Club via Zoom at 7:45pm headlined by Hal Cruttenden brought to you by Outside the Box Comedy Club. Tickets are just £7, 1 ticket per household. Click Link For Details http://bit.ly/3rLaBkh.

Easter Crafts and Spring Mindfulness – Mary Frances Trust – they are holding a 2-day Craft Course on Thursday 25th March and 1st April. To book, you must register with them on their website www.maryfrancestrust.org.uk and then contact them on 01372 375400, text 07929 024722, email info@maryfrancestrust.org.uk to book your place and get the Zoom details. They will send out craft kits to participants with what they need to make the cards, however you will have to source your own scissors, pencils, felt tip pens, glue stick and sticky tape. Mary Frances Trust is a charity that supports adults in Surrey to improve and maintain their mental wellbeing through one-to-one support, courses, groups and activities. All classes are free.

Mayfield Lavender shop – the shop on the Reigate Road will be opening on Friday 12 March. Do go and delight your Mum on Mother’s Day! They also have many Easter items on sale.

Epsom Farmers Market held on the 1st Sunday of each month in Epsom Market Place. Fresh local meat and produce. The market – which has been running for over 10 years, opens between 9:30am and 1:30pm – but the word has it that locals get there early to get their favourites before they sell out. The next market will be held on Sunday 4 April.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 28 March – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm.

The TasteOfTheWorld Market in Epsom THIS SUNDAY – This takes place on a Sunday from 9.30am – 3.30pm. The next Sunday market is on Sunday 14 March. This month, due to a non-food market not being able to take place an additional market will take place on Sunday 21 March. This market includes a selection of international street food to takeaway only. For more info see: https://www.facebook.com/TasteOfTheWorldMarket

New Thai Restaurant in Epsom to open in June – A Thai restaurant group that has made use of semi-automated kitchens and even drone deliveries has discussed its plans to expand into Surrey. The restaurant group Camile Thai Kitchen started in 2010, but an Epsom branch, planned for 42 High Street in the site of the old Maplins shop, will be its first English restaurant outside of London. The focus of the menu will be healthy and sustainable Thai food, with 30% of the menu being vegan – lighter than some Thai food, but not without more decadent options!

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.

Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.

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Materials Recycling Centre at Chalk Pit, College Road, Epsom

Planning Date

Residents are reminded that the closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021. Details of the application can be found at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

This application has caused a significant concern across the Borough and neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. If you want updates do contact Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

We do not consider the proposals to be appropriate for this Green Belt site given the size of the proposed buildings which will impact on the character of the Downs and streetscape in this area together with the additional impact on traffic, noise and dust.

Petition

A local resident has started a petition and you are encouraged to sign it if you do not want this application to go through. More than 700 signatures in a day or so. :

Petition · Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant Planning Permission · Change.org

Nuisance caused by Dust and pollution

Residents have advised of significant dust following the fine weather of last weekend and we have been sent the following two pictures:-

Dust on Car 2 days after washing

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS)and wood dust are likely emitted from the operations at the Chalk Pit given the waste being recycled. They are listed by the HSE alongside asbestos as three of the five dusts where they issue specific guidance. They are not the type of dusts we want to be inhaling!

Dust is identified within the planning documents as an issue as follows:

Harm: Harm to human Health

Significance: Moderate

Magnitude: Medium

Given this risk NJB Recycling has, in relation to their site, proposed that the materials recycling should be subject to a number of measures to reduce the risk including carrying out recycling in a building and misting.

These measures are not in place as we write which has resulted in an increase in the dust we see. We have no idea what levels of invisible respirable dust is in the air and what impact this is having on our health – the consequences will likely not be seen for many years.

Many residents have complained to the Environment Agency and indeed one of our residents attended a meeting on behalf of the Association of Ewell Downs Residents, called by The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, who is working tirelessly to stop the nuisance, with amongst others the Environment Agency to see if a solution could be found. Disappointingly there is no timescale for regularising the position. It appears another risk assessment and further surveys are required. These should have been in place prior to the operator being allowed to start operations.

In addition, many Residents Association Borough Councillors and County Councillors, are actively engaged in seeking immediate remedial action and are objecting to the planning application. Since this is a waste handling application it falls within the remit of Surrey County Council rather than Epsom and Ewell’s Borough Council in the first instance.

The operators are being allowed to profit from ignoring the noise and dust assessments that are in the public domain on a site where they do not have the necessary consents at the detriment to residents who are subjected to significant noise and dust issues.

If you are affected by Noise or Dust please call or email the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60 Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.

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Dust from Operations at Chalk Pit, College Road, Epsom

I have had messages from concerned residents who have noted a significant increase in dust deposits on cars, windows and also inside their homes on a scale that we have previously not seen in the area.

If you want to complain about noise or dust just ring the Environment Agency Complaints Hotline 0800 80 70 60 (24 hrs) every day you suffer nuisance.

It takes 5mins, its confidential, it can be anonymous

The messages are not as a surprise given the industrial machinery installed at the Chalk Pit on College Road. It should not be a surprise to the operators of this machinery who have submitted a planning application to change the use of part of the Chalk Pit to materials recycling, hugely intensifying the usage of this plot of land. The dust assessment in their application highlights the risk of dust and includes various measures to make sure this does not impact on us. The operator has started operating without most of these measures in place eg there is no building, there is no misting system, there is no road sweeping. If you are aware of increased dust you should consider where this is coming from.

The application can be seen at:

Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk)

What you are not aware of is the fact that the dust that we can see is only part of the picture. Hand-in hand with this dust goes respirable dust and respirable crystalline silica both of which can affect our health. The operator continues to operate and produce these dusts ignoring the statements submitted as part of the planning application.

The operator’s assessment notes that the receptors for this area can be as far as 1km from the Chalk Pit.

The Appendix sets out a Risk Register – there is a risk to the receptors shown on the drawing comprising Harm to human health, respiratory irritation and illness.

It notes that the significance is Moderate, Likelihood is Possible and Magnitude is Medium.

Residents are also concerned about the impact of the proposals on the streetscape, the green belt, traffic, our drinking water, noise and more.

If these proposals are of concern be sure to submit an objection now to mwcd@surreycc.gov.uk . Closing date March 15.

Keep up to date on our residents’ campaign to Crush the Rubbish Machines by registering at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

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Nightmare Threat From Chalk Pit in College Road, Epsom.

Join the Campaign to Crush the Rubbish Machines
Do you live near Epsom College?
Do you hear loud industrial noise early in the morning?
Have you noticed more dust?

If you have this is likely to be from the Chalk Pit on College Road where huge industrial machines generating significant noise and dust from aggregate crushing and waste sorting have been installed by NJB Ltd. Now is the time to make a noise yourself!

If you want to complain about noise or dust just ring the Environment Agency Complaints Hotline 0800 80 70 60 (24 hrs) every day you suffer nuisance. It takes 5mins, its confidential, it can be anonymous.

Operating long after licensed hours, work was continuing on site 10th February when a huge fire broke out, needing nine fire engines to attend. Toxic smoke clouds billowed out throughout the night.

Fuelled by scores of NJB, “Skip It” and Maguire lorries each day, this operator grinds on, breaching rule after rule, yet the site does not have the necessary Planning Consent to carry out Waste Recycling.

So they are trying to regularise these destructive, heavy recycling machines by building huge industrial sheds on this sensitive residential Green Belt land with a retrospective Change Of Use planning application you can see on the SCC Planning website, Ref 2020/0159.

If these proposals are of concern be sure to submit an objection now to mwcd@surreycc.gov.uk . Closing date March 15.

Keep up to date on our residents’ campaign to Crush the Rubbish Machines by registering at epsomchalk@btinternet.com

Please see the flyer in the document on the link below.

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Ewell Downs News Bulletin – Feb 2021

We hope you have all been prepared for the snow that has fallen to delight the children, dogs and lots of residents! Some of the snowmen in Alexandra Park were amazing, so well done all. Whilst it is beautiful to start with, things get a bit tricky with low temperatures and indeed many of us long for Spring now with warmer days and nights.

Congratulations to all those who have been working their socks off either at the Grandstand, Fitznells or wherever the vaccination stations have been set up. The organisation was superb, and it is good to hear that so many residents have now had their first tranche of protection against this terrible virus. Let’s hope this continues at pace and more and more take up the offer so the whole area can eventually be protected, and life can return to something resemble normality.

Firstly, there is a matter of great importance to which we must draw your attention.

The Chalk Pit, College Road

The Increasing Threat from NJB Recycling Ltd in the Chalk Pit

We have all become aware of a massive increase in a constant crushing / rumbling noise and dust intrusion over the past few months from the Chalk Pit – which is sited within the Green Belt. This comes from huge aggregate sorting and crushing machines introduced by a new site tenant NJB Recycling Ltd, which has unilaterally gone ahead and industrialised a waste material handling process – without any planning permission from Surrey County Council.

A previous Change of Use application from a Waste Transfer to a Materials Handling Licence by Ist Place Ltd was rejected by SCC in 2017. A huge increase in lorry movements by NJB and “Skip-It” skips along our residential roads; dangerous verge parking by workers in College Rd, and unsocial working hours six days a week, are further operational incursions that are affecting us all.

The noise and disruption will become significantly more evident when the weather improves.

The Planning Application Situation

Following objections by Ewell Downs Residents Association, NJB Ltd were required to submit a full retrospective planning application to SCC by December 1. They were also requested to halt unapproved operations, a request they ignored as the use of the heavy aggregate grinding and stone-sorting “trommel” machine noises continues. This belated planning application has now been received and posted and is available for you to look at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk). We are staggered by the scale and nature of the proposed development which now includes the construction of huge warehouse buildings to cover much of this Green Belt site in which to carry out significant crushing, screening and sorting activities.

We urge residents to ensure that they object to these developments the impact of which will become more apparent as the weather improves. Grounds for objection are limited and if you want to know what these are please email epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

As an update, following a meeting between Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Surrey County Council and the Environment Agency it has been agreed that complaints about noise and dust will be dealt with by the Environment Agency. The operators of the site continue to work late at night, even on Saturdays, and this cannot be allowed to continue. A number of people have noted a constant hum along College Road, Longdown Lane and Links Road and have not been able to identify the source of the noise. If we can say that this may well be coming from the Chalk Pit and is very noticeable, please will you advise the EA. The more complaints they have, the more they will have to act!

The EA can be contacted by:

STOP PRESS

ll residents need be made aware that there was a significant fire at the Chalk Pit which we understand started before midnight on Wednesday 10 February. The fire brigade sent nine appliances and they wrapped up at around 9.30am this morning. The fire involved the material stacked under the lean to in the back and would have involved dozens and dozens of tons of waste. Our representative will be making representations to the Fire Authorities.

From previous visits to the site by our representative suggests that what was being stored here was general household debris not capable of being recycled. As you know work was ongoing on the site late last night and my understanding is that workers from the site were on the premises prior to and during the fire.

You may have seen the news this morning https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56013240 which highlights the risk from dust – we have a facility in our neighbourhood which is spewing this dust out and totally ignoring their own method statements and risk assessment mitigations and an Environment Agency unwilling to take action.

Now in addition we have had the fumes from a significant amount of waste billowing across Epsom College.

Again I encourage you to complain to the Environment Agency:

The case officer is David Brodie david.brodie@environment-agency.gov.uk. It is however important that the calls are logged through one of the portals as Surrey will no doubt request copies of the complaints from  EEBC and EA.

Despite the significant events of last night NJB and Skip-It continue to operate. I guess they have a significant volume available for the receipt of waste.

It is becoming apparent that not only are the plans for the Chalk Pit totally unsuited to the area but that the character of the operator is questionable.

Articles about this have been put on our Facebook and web pages – we need to get as many people aware of these issues as possible, so please spread the word so something can be done to stop this menace in our area.

NB. – We understand that following representations made by Chris Grayling, the Environment Agency have agreed to escalate this as an incident that needs immediate investigation.

We should like to thank in particular two residents of Longdown Lane North, Steve Gebbett – our Road Steward – and Kenneth Reid who has been masterful in co-ordinating action – the two are doing a sterling job! Thank you very much.

On other matters: –

Annual General Meeting

At our committee meeting in January the decision was made to postpone the Annual General Meeting until later in the year, possibly September. This means that there will be no formal notice issued to all residents in the area until nearer the time and the envelopes requesting the annual subscriptions will also not be delivered.

Subscriptions

As far as subscriptions are concerned, these are regularly due in March and the response to the little green envelopes has always been significant. Quite understandably some Road Stewards were uneasy about delivering these last year when the virus was first raging and, as a consequence, our coffers are extremely low. We are extremely grateful to everyone who paid either by standing order or by online banking and it was good to receive these monies to cover some expenses. Thankfully, as we did not hold the AGM in the school there was a saving but we now only have sufficient funds to cover the printing of the AGM Notice which will go out later this year to all residents. We would therefore respectfully ask everyone who received either this or the March bulletin to pay the £5.00 due. The bank details for those who would like to pay that way are: –

Barclays Bank Plc.

82/84 High Street

EPSOM KT19 8BH

Sort code 20 – 29 – 90

Account number 50126071

Account name Association of Ewell Downs Residents

In anticipation, we thank you very much.

Whilst there is no formal printed newsletter, it is very important that residents are kept informed of local matters by email and we would ask that any of you who have neighbours or friends living locally who do not get this bulletin, please contact us on ewelldownsra@gmail.com to be added to the list.

SCC Elections

Elections to Surrey County Council are due to be held on 6 May 2021 together with the election for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales. On 9 January election officials stated that the local elections will take place as planned. However, Boris Johnson said this remains “under review”. It was confirmed in February by the Cabinet Office the elections would in fact take place in line with the government’s target to vaccinate all over 50s by the beginning of May. [You will recall that in March 2020 the government announced that the elections originally scheduled for 7 May 2020 would be delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will hear more about our prospective candidate for the SCC election as soon as it is available.

The potentially good news is that voting will be held at Nescot and not at Wallace Fields Junior School – this is to be confirmed.

Petition update

Don’t forget the campaign with RASSU (Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary) promoting theopposition to the plans from Surrey County Council to abolish Surrey’s 11 Borough and District councils and develop a single Unitary Council for Surrey’s 1.2 million residents. Whilst unanimously agreeing that the campaign needs to continue because, though the government white paper is delayed, the unitary proposal has not gone away entirely. There are over 5,165 signatures on the petition. The following message has been received from SCC: –

Petition update 1 from the council, 10 February 2021, while petition was still open

Dear Petition Signers

This petition will be considered by the Leader of the Council at his Leader Decisions meeting.

The meeting will be held on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 9am. The lead petitioner may speak for three minutes at the meeting which will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams.

This meeting will also be a live event so signers to the petition can watch the discussion live.”

A link to view the meeting live will be posted nearer the time both as a response to all petitioners and on the Leader Decisions webpage.

Please if you haven’t signed the petition (and you support the campaign), do sign – the deadline is 4 March 2021 – and please also share the campaign far and wide: https://rassu.org.uk.This is a battle for local democracy and residents’ voices need to be heard.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – from the Government website – www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

The link above shows the Government guidance and if you wish to remind yourselves of this ever-changing scenario, please visit this.

As far as the latest local information is concerned and to help direct residents who need support – if friends or family are unable to help – with such things as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and to other services that can help visit this web site: https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Just to let you know as 11 February 2021 this is the breakdown of cases per Surrey district and borough (increase shown is from the previous week)

Vaccinations – Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the confirmed locations for a mass vaccination centre, earmarked for the large-scale immunisation roll-out. Mass vaccination centres have been confirmed since the approval of the first Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

In case you are still waiting for your vaccination this the link – https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number

Waste and recycling

Since 5 November, you have needed to pre-book a slot to visit Epsom community recycling centre. A booking system is being trialled at Epsom to help alleviate queues which have been disruptive to residents and local businesses and this seems to be working well and meets with the approval of residents. The trial was expected to last until the end of the last year, but we note that booking continues at present. SCC will be gathering feedback from residents to assess the effectiveness of the system. This is the link: –

Book a slot

Slots will be available up to two weeks in advance and you can book as many as you need. Residents who are unable to access the online booking system can call the Contact Centre on 03456 009 009 and they will book a slot on your behalf. All other site rules remain the same. Please read SCC Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.

Please see our previous bulletin which is published on both Facebook and web pages for important information on plastic bags. –

Planning issues

London Road – old Organ and Dragon Inn site – (20/01079/FUL) Construction of a three to six storey building comprising 45 flats (Use Class C3) with associated car and cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works. The development does seem to dwarf the existing area’s housing as well as having parking and traffic issues. There have been over 60 objections, mainly on height, parking and traffic but no decision as yet and no date for committee.

7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores. Despite amendments to the original plans and a total well in excess of 1,000 with letters addressed to Chris Grayling as well as the Planning Department. Refused by planning committee at 8 October meeting. A revised application or appeal is anticipated.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. Still no news!

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (19/01722/FUL) demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings. There are well over 600 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and reports continue to be filed. This was refused at the meeting on 18 November. The developer sought local reactions to possible changes via a Zoom meeting on 13th January and we await the outcome of this.

Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) an amended application has been received for 25 flats 8 storeys high instead of 13 storeys with commercial space on the ground floor. There are many objections to the amended plans, including those from Resident Associations and the Epsom Civic Society.

The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom  (19/01589/FUL) the application for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings is awaiting a decision. A viability assessment is now in progress for this scheme and there is no news as yet..

Majestic Wine Warehouse East Street – (19/01409/REM) Application for variation of planning condition 1 of 05/00660/FUL to allow the sale of all types of comparison and convenience goods i.e., open A1 (Retail Use). This was discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 14 January and the application deferred to allow officers and the Applicant to have further discussions to resolve the matters that the Committee had raised.

Maplins High Street Epsom – (20/00721/FUL) The conversion of upper floors 1, 2 and roof level to 11 flats at 42 High Street. This was approved at the Planning Committee on 14 January, subject to conditions.

Chalk Lane House Chalk Lane – (20/01185/LBA) Conversion of hotel and various alterations and extensions to the listed buildings to accommodate 21 dwelling units, car and cycle parking and private and communal gardens. (Listed Building Consent). There are some objections so far including one from the Civic Society. These mostly relate to objection of proposal to build a high wall at front of the building which would considerably alter the attractive street scene in the Conservation area”. No news as yet.

TRAFFIC

Traffic Warning: Starting from the 15th Feb – SGN will be upgrading the gas main along part of Hook Rd and Woodcote Rd. With temp traffic lights in place and in the case of Woodcote Rd the road will be closed at the junction with Dorking rd & South St. Work on both sites to last till March/April. For more details on these roadworks and others in the area Click Link http://bit.ly/39dPjFn

EVENTS AND NEWS

St Helier and Epsom Trust will no longer charge staff for parking after being blasted by Piers Morgan. It comes after The Mirror revealed that the trust was charging workers more than £500 per year, to use the staff car park as they continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic. On January 26, parking charges were introduced to “manage demand” and reduce queues at its two hospitals, the trust told The Mirror. We have resisted the urge to put a picture of Piers and Susanna here!!

The Best of Epsom & Ewell – go and have a look at their website for information on what’s happening in our area in the virtual world, especially connected to Men’s Fitness and Music courses, tips on helping with your child’s learning as well as advice on nutrition for Good Mental Health to name but a few.

Valentine’s Day – Well at least this Valentine’s you can’t get in trouble for not booking a table. Click Link for a list of our wonderful takeaways http://bit.ly/3aB7Gop ASK Italian will even send a little extra love this week with free heart breadsticks!

Epsom Farmers Market held on the 1st Sunday of each month in Epsom Market Place. Fresh local meat and produce. The market – which has been running for over 10 years, opens between 9:30am and 1:30pm – but the word has it that locals get there early to get their favourites before they sell out. The next market will be held on 7 March.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 14th and 28th February – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm

We very much hope that when lockdown ends, we shall have many uplifting events to publicise, in the meantime, please do let us know if there is anything you would like us to publish on your behalf.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.

Twitter this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.

A final salute to a great man!

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SCC Ref 2020/0159 Land at the Chalk Pit, Epsom

Dear All

I received this from the chairman of SCC planning committee, please encourage people to write in 

I would encourage residents, residents associations, local businesses and neighbours etc to respond to the Consultation as that would bring it to Committee if we get 5 or more objections etc, automatically.

Regards

Tim Hall

County Councillor

Leatherhead and Fetcham East

Chairman Planning and Regulatory Committee

————————————–

Dear All

Can  you please forward this to all of the lead individuals and residents who have contacted you about this application. At the bottom is a link to the application and a direct link off that page to object etc

I also founds this on the EEBC planning portal which is the application number for the refusal back in 2017. 

If you enter the application number and click on decisions it gives you all the reason SCC refused it last time.

(opens in a new window)

17/00092/CMA | Retrospective Change of use from a Waste Transfer Station to Material Recycling Facility | The Chalk Pit College Road Epsom Surrey KT17 4JA

Kind Regards

John

————————————–


SCC Ref 2020/0159

Dear Cllr Beckett

Further to my previous email, please note that the above mentioned application is now valid.

The submitted documents are in the process of being made available for public review and comment via our site.

( https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappsearch.aspx )

and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s online registers.

( https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/ )

Thank you

James Nolan
Planning Officer

Planning Group, Surrey County Council, Quadrant Court, Woking, GU22

https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC%20Ref%202020/0159

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Ewell Downs Bulletin – Jan 2021

First let us wish that you all find the coming year brings good health, family and friends to help you through the most unprecedented times which continue to take over our lives. With the chance of a vaccine and a super-hub on our doorstep in the Grandstand, we must keep as positive as possible. It does seem that a walk in the lovely countryside which surrounds us and the smiles and good-day greetings of those we meet, goes a long way to help.

Now to mundane matters!

With constraints of the lockdown measures, it is difficult to know which way to jump as far the organising of an Annual General Meeting and the publication of an AGM Notice is concerned. There is a committee meeting this week when this will be reviewed. It is therefore more critical that residents are kept informed of local matters by email and we would ask that any of you who have neighbours or friends living locally who do not get this bulletin, ask them to contact us on ewelldownsra@gmail.com to be added to the list.

SCC Elections

Elections to Surrey County Council are expected to be held on 6 May 2021 together with the election for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales. You will recall that in March 2020 the government announced that the elections originally scheduled for 7 May 2020 would be delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now expected to be held at the same time as the elections previously scheduled for 2021. You will hear more about our prospective candidate for the SCC election at a later date. Don’t forget the campaign with RASSU (Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary) promoting theopposition to the plans from Surrey County Council to abolish Surrey’s 11 Borough and District councils and develop a single Unitary Council for Surrey’s 1.2 million residents. Whilst unanimously agreeing that the campaign needs to continue because, though the government white paper is delayed, the unitary proposal has not gone away entirely.

Petition

The campaign continues and to date there are over 5,120 signatures on the petition. Thank you for those who have signed it. Please if you haven’t signed the petition (and you support the campaign), do sign, and please also share the campaign far and wide: https://rassu.org.uk. This is a battle for local democracy and residents’ voices need to be heard. Please share.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – from the Government website – www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Summary: what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow this guidance immediately. This is the law.

Leaving home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare – for those eligible

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local – unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

Meeting others

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You cannot meet other people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

Education

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

Early years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

As far as the latest local information is concerned and to help direct residents who need support – if friends or family are unable to help – with such things as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, and to other services that can help visit this web site: https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Just to let you know as 6 January 2021 this is the breakdown of cases per Surrey district and borough (increase shown is from the last 24 hours)

  • Elmbridge: 4,942 (increase of 134)
  • Epsom and Ewell: 3,335 (increase of 113)
  • Guildford: 4,693 (increase of 84)
  • Mole Valley: 2,792 (increase of 84)
  • Reigate and Banstead: 5,442 (increase of 211)
  • Runnymede: 3,616 (increase of 86)
  • Spelthorne: 4,497 (increase of 134)
  • Surrey Heath: 3,433 (increase of 88)
  • Tandridge: 3,458 (increase of 135)
  • Waverley: 3,756 (increase of 89)
  • Woking : 4,067 (increase of 60)

Breakdown of deaths recorded per trust operating in Surrey:

  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – 601 (increase of 14)
  • Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust – 449 (increase of 25)
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – 356 (increase of five)
  • Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust – 275 (increase of three)
  • All other hospitals in Surrey did not record an increase.

Vaccinations – Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the confirmed locations for a mass vaccination centre, earmarked for the large-scale immunisation roll-out.

Mass vaccination centres have been confirmed since the approval of the first Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Do please note that the following post on Nextdoor has been confirmed – “Just letting people know, if you are over 80 you can book a slot for your vaccine on the NHS website even if you haven’t got your letter yet from the GP. We did for my grandpa. They had so many slots available for next week so just trying to get the word out, so no precious vaccination time is wasted! Stay safe.” Some people have tried with varying success, but it may be worth a go! This is the link – https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number

Nonsuch Vaccine Centre Volunteers Wanted – the Mansion House, Nonsuch Park – there has been a request from the Volunteer Centre Sutton (VCS) on behalf of the NHS to ask our members for volunteers to help with the marshalling for the local COVID Vaccination Programme. If you would like to volunteer to help having read what is required as set out below, please contact VCS using the link below. https://forms.gle/ZPyiy1R4U5noQAY8A. They are looking for help from marshalling to vaccinating against Covid-19. Some roles will need a DBS some not. If you don’t have a current DBS, they will do it for you. I’ve signed up to anything, I’ll do it. I’m WFH but as they only require 2 x 6hr shifts a month, l know I can still give back. Volunteering is such a rewarding thing to do and right now there’s never been a time when you are most needed.

Waste and recycling

Since 5 November, you have needed to pre-book a slot to visit Epsom community recycling centre. A booking system is being trialled at Epsom to help alleviate queues which have been disruptive to residents and local businesses. The trial was expected to last until the end of the last year, but we note that booking continues at present. SCC will be gathering feedback from residents to assess the effectiveness of the system. This is the link: –

Book a slot

Slots will be available up to two weeks in advance and you can book as many as you need. Residents who are unable to access the online booking system can call the Contact Centre on 03456 009 009 and they will book a slot on your behalf. All other site rules remain the same. Please read SCC Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.

The queues booking system for the tip seems to be working well.

It seems that the Christmas collection service notices were not read by many people and much toing and froing about collections went on Nextdoor with lots of people sticking up for the binmen and the wonderful service they have provided over the year. Thank you to all of them!

One important post which needs your attention is this: –

Why is it OK to put plastic bags in food waste but not in the green recycling bin? Good question. Here’s why. Plastic bags in food waste “When you use plastic bags in your food waste caddy, you’re simply using them to contain the food, and keep your caddy clean. They don’t get recycled. In fact, the first thing that happens when your food waste gets to the recycling plant is the plastic bags are all dredged out. They’re sent off for burning along with normal refuse to generate electricity. After that, the food waste can be recycled. Why don’t you recommend biodegradable food liners anymore? We used to ask you to use bio-liners to line your food waste caddy. But the food waste recycling companies found that bio-liner compost down much more slowly than the food. That slowed the recycling process down and made it much more expensive. They tried dredging the bio-liners out of the food waste, but the sticky bio-liners got tangled around the dredging equipment. Cleaning them off was very expensive. So they found that using plastic bags was, overall, much more cost-effective. They’re not recycled but good stuff still happens to them. And you can use old bags like bread-bags or carrier bags if you like. Plastic bags in recycling bins It’s always been expensive to recycle plastic bags. And it’s costly to separate them from mixed recycling, too. In 2018, it became even more expensive to get plastic bags recycled, after China stopped accepting huge quantities of recycling that it had previously imported from Europe and elsewhere. Epsom & Ewell’s recycling stopped going to China many months before the ban, thanks to some forward-thinking by the company that deals with our dry recycling. But it has still become uneconomical to get some plastics recycled – like bags, film and some hard plastics. In a commercial world, recycling companies simply don’t want materials that won’t make a reasonable profit. So, with plastic bags and films now being very hard to get recycled, we have to ask you to stop putting them in your green recycling bin, but to put them in your black refuse bin instead. Good stuff still happens to them, because the contents of your black refuse bin are burned to generate electricity. It would be better if we could get them recycled, but it doesn’t look like there are any opportunities to do that at the moment. So please use old plastic bags to line your food waste caddy. If you can’t, simply put them in your black refuse bin instead. Thank you.”

Planning issues

6 The Grove Epsom – (20/00313/FUL) Erection of 7 x two bedrooms flats and 2 x three bedrooms flats and associated external works following demolition of the existing building | 6 The Grove Epsom Surrey KT17 4DQ. The developer appealed against the Council’s refusal to the application, but this was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

Woodcote Grove, Ashley Road – (19/00999/FUL and 19/00998/LBA) Development of 98 apartments/dwellings, including conversion of the Grade II* Listed Woodcote Grove and Grade II Listed Stable Block, with parking, access, landscaping and other associated works, following the demolition of the existing reprographics centre and conference centre (Listed Building Consent). It went before the Planning Committee on 8 October and was approved.

London Road – old Organ and Dragon Inn site – (20/01079/FUL) Construction of a three to six storey building comprising 45 flats (Use Class C3) with associated car and cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works. The development does seem to dwarf the existing area’s housing as well as having parking and traffic issues. The consultations continue but no news yet,

7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores. Despite amendments to the original plans, objections continue to be received and total well in excess of 1,000 with letters addressed to Chris Grayling as well as the Planning Department. Refused by planning committee at 8 October

meeting. A revised application or appeal is anticipated.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. Still no news!

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (19/01722/FUL) demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings. There are well over 600 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and reports continue to be filed. This was refused at the meeting on 18 November. The developer is seeking local reactions to possible changes via a Zoom meeting on 13th January.

Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) an amended application has been received for 25 flats 8 storeys high instead of 13 storeys with commercial space on the ground floor.

The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom  (19/01589/FUL) the application for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings is awaiting a decision. A viability assessment is now in progress for this scheme.

Majestic Wine Warehouse East Street – (19/01409/REM) Application for variation of planning condition 1 of 05/00660/FUL to allow the sale of all types of comparison and convenience goods i.e., open A1 (Retail Use). This is to be discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 14 January.

Maplins High Street Epsom – (20/00721/FUL) The conversion of upper floors 1, 2 and roof level to 11 flats at 42 High Street. This will be one of the subjects at the Planning Committee on 14 January.

Chalk Lane House Chalk Lane – (20/01185/LBA) Conversion of hotel and various alterations and extensions to the listed buildings to accommodate 21 dwelling units, car and cycle parking and private and communal gardens. (Listed Building Consent). There are some objections so far including one from the Civic Society. These mostly relate to objection of proposal to build a high wall at front of the building which would considerably alter the attractive street scene in the Conservation area”.

Mitchells Yard, South Street – (20/00041/FUL) Change of use from B1 (Business) to C3 (Residential) including demolition of existing builders yard buildings. Construction of 6 number two-storey, two-bedroom dwellings. This was refused at the December meeting.

New ALDI coming to North Cheam – The planning application to demolition of existing buildings and erection of a part one, part two, storey retail (food store) building, with associated car parking, access and landscaping at 673-683 London Road North Cheam Sutton SM3 9DL (the site of the former Evans car showroom opposite the Tesco garage) was passed at the Planning Committee meeting on 6 January. There was a good deal of support for the application despite traffic concerns.

STONE GRINDING HEAVY MACHINERY IN THE CHALK PIT, COLLEGE ROAD

A Group has been formed to update residents who live in the vicinity of the Chalk Pit and those affected have been sent the attached letter: –

The Threat from NJB Recycling Ltd in the Chalk Pit

We have all become aware of a massive increase in a constant crushing / rumbling noise and dust intrusion over the past few months from the Chalk Pit – which is sited within the Green Belt. This comes from huge aggregate sorting and crushing machines introduced by a new site tenant NJB Recycling Ltd, which has unilaterally gone ahead and industrialised a waste materials handling process – without any planning permission from Surrey County Council.

A previous Change of Use application from a Waste Transfer to a Materials Handling Licence by Ist Place Ltd was rejected by SCC in 2017. A huge increase in lorry movements by NJB and “Skip-It” skips along our residential roads; dangerous verge parking by workers in College Rd, and unsocial working hours six days a week, are further operational incursions that are affecting us all.

The noise and disruption will become significantly more evident when the weather improves.”

We will keep you informed of action taken.

EVENTS

WhatsOnStage – this is a site that gives information on performances that are being streamed as well as information on future productions. If you are missing stage productions, it could be worth a look!

Epsom Farmers Market held on the 1st Sunday of each month in Epsom Market Place. Fresh local meat and produce. The market – which has been running for over 10 years, opens between 9:30am and 1:30pm – but the word has it that locals get there early to get their favourites before they sell out. The next market will be held on 7 February.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 24th January – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm

We very much hope that when lockdown ends, we shall have many uplifting events to publicise, in the meantime, please do let us know if there is anything you would like us to publish.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.

Twitter this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.

Take care All.

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Ewell Downs News Bulletin – Oct 2020

This bulletin will precede a short form of Annual Round-up which will be delivered to all residents. Due to concerns about Coronavirus some road steward have been, quite rightly, reluctant to deliver the envelopes for annual subscriptions and this has had a dramatic effect on our finances. We hope that the advice from the World Heath Organisation who confirm that Coronavirus cannot be caught from newspapers or packages and that newspapers remain safe to read during the Covid-19 pandemic, will encourage the delivery of the remaining envelopes to swell our coffers!

Meanwhile

Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary

KEEP local decisions in the hands of local people.

Following the alert regarding the plans from Surrey County Council to abolish Surrey’s 11 Borough and District councils and develop a single Unitary Council for Surrey’s 1.2 million residents, which would mean the end of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, a group has been formed. This is the latest report from them:-

Campaign going forward

The working group met today and where was unanimous agreement that RASSU needs to continue because though the government white paper is delayed the unitary proposal has not gone away entirely. As part of this the working group is working on themes to continue to engage and build support. As part of this there is a story being worked on that we are looking to break later this week. Watch this space!

Petition

The campaign continues and to date we have over 4,770 signatures on the petition. This puts the petition in the top 7 Surrey petitions of all time but of course we are pushing for more signatures. Thank you for those who have signed it.

Please if you haven’t signed the petition (and you support the campaign), do sign, and please also share the campaign far and wide: https://rassu.org.uk

This is a battle for local democracy and residents’ voices need to be heard. Please share.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – this web site: – https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus gives the latest local information.

Just to let you know as of last week there have been 512 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Epsom & Ewell with 64 cases in the last week and 1,032 confirmed cases in Reigate and Banstead, 88 up on the previous week. Sutton saw the biggest rise with 164 new cases and Kingston upon Thames continued the upward trend with 141 new cases. Croydon topped the list with 272 new cases. Deaths with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic at Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust now total 283 with 161 at Kingston Hospital.

Elmbridge is the only borough or district in Surrey that has been moved into Tier 2, as the rest of the county remains in Tier 1. What does that actually mean, though?

The biggest difference between the two tiers is who you can meet indoors and outside and this is explained below.

Tier 2 (Elmbridge)


INDOORS – Do not meet with friends or family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them including meeting in pubs and restaurants.
OUTSIDE – You can continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space, but it must not be in a group of more than six (including children).


Tier 1 (rest of Surrey)


INDOORS and OUTDOORS – You can meet with friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) inside and outside, but it must not be in a group of more than six (including children)

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance gives information on what you can and can’t do published by the Government.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance gives information on what you can and can’t do published by the Government.

To keep you updated locally:-

Waste and recycling

The queues for the tip vary, it is sometimes possible to go straight in but other times there continues to be a queue. PLEASE NOTE THAT FROM 1 NOVEMBER IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO BOOK TO GO TO THE TIP. We will put a note on the web site if this happens and would encourage residents to spread the news of this, should it happen, via social media.

Council venues

Bourne Hall– part closed – Ewell Library is open for ‘click and collect’ and book drop only. The rest of the venue, including museum, café and toilets remain closed.

Plans for new repair café in Epsom with sustainability and reducing waste at its core

Councillors from the Epsom and Ewell area are setting up a new eco-friendly café

An Epsom Repair Cafe is starting in January 2021 opening on one Saturday each month in the Scout Hall of The Epsom Methodist Church, Ashley Road.

The Repair Cafe is being set up by three Epsom and Ewell councillors Neil Dallen, Nigel Collin and Phil. Neale. It will be registered charity and run as a non- profit organisation. It will repair all items of household use such as bicycles and pushchairs, small electrical items, consumer electronics such as radios and laptops, furniture, toys, clothing and textiles and small petrol driven machines such as lawnmowers and other garden tools. They are building up a database of volunteer repairers who want to share their skills and participate in this community venture. Please contact Phil Neale at Phil.nealecranw@gmail.com if you would like to know more details.

Epsom and Ewell Local Plan 2017-2037: A New Local Plan

Further to the article in the last bulletin – here is the latest Council update.

We would mention that according to one newspaper in October “Theresa May leads Tory rebellion against planning changes – MPs say proposals would erode local democracy, reduce affordable housing and encroach on countryside. Analysis of the algorithm has alarmed many Tory MPs and councillors after it suggested that many of the homes needed for an annual target of 333,000 would be built in Conservative heartlands such as Kent and Surrey.”

Government announce fundamental reforms of the planning system

Date: Tuesday, 11 August, 2020

Last week the Government published a white paper and launched a consultation on a fundamental reform of the national planning system.

The Government’s stated aim is to streamline and modernise the planning process. They propose to bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.

Under the plans, much more planning policy will be set nationally. In addition, local authorities  are required to designate land in their area as one of three categories; for growth, for renewal or for protection. Local authorities’ local plans will be required to identify areas as being one of the three designations.

Councillor David Reeve, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee said “I would welcome any opportunities to further improve and simplify the planning system and I am therefore looking very closely as these latest Government proposals as we prepare the Council’s formal response.  However I would be concerned if the proposals sought to further transfer local planning powers and the determination of local planning policy away from local authorities to central Government.  It would also be a concern if the proposals gave too much freedom to developers and removed the ability for local people to be part of the process for determining what constitutes appropriate development in their areas. 

“Planning applications that affect the local area always understandably generate a high level of residents’ interest. That is why Planning decisions have relied on public engagement in shaping any proposed development to be the best possible outcome for the local area.

“The launch of the borough’s new local plan had reached a key stage, when we had to suspend the planned consultation because of the COVID-19 crisis.  However, we have been keen to move things forward following the lock-down, and a new timetable for the Local Plan has recently been agreed by the Council’s Licencing and Planning Policy Committee.  However, given the Government’s announcement and the scale of change that their proposals envisage, we have no choice but to now seek clarification from the Government about what they expect councils like us, in the process of the local plan formation, to do in relation to their local plan preparations

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to respond to Government proposal to increase number of new homes


Date: Wednesday, 12 August, 2020

Last week, the government published new proposals for determining the number of additional homes that local authority areas like Epsom and Ewell will be required to deliver.

Household projection data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are an important determinant of the housing target that the government sets for each local authority area. These figures will be used by the council as part of the Local Plan which determines planning policy and the amount of housing and associated infrastructure development in the area.

The latest projections (2018) published by ONS show a significant reduction in the projected growth in household numbers in the borough. Using the government’s current method of calculation, based on the 2014 ONS projections, would result in a significant reduction in the borough’s housing target – from 579 homes per year, to just 215 homes per annum.

Councillor David Reeve, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee said “Our residents expect the Local Plan for the local area to be evidenced based and for the housing target to be reflective of local needs. We wrote to the government last month to ask them to adopt the latest ONS projections and accept that, based on the evidence, Epsom and Ewell should only require the much lower target of 215 new homes a year.”

Last week, the government announced proposals to fundamentally change the way they calculate the housing target for each local authority area. Their proposed changes would lead to an even higher government imposed target for Epsom and Ewell of 604 new homes per year.  

Councillor David Reeve added “We are really concerned that these latest government proposals to change the method of calculating the housing target would, if approved, lead to an even larger requirement for new homes in the borough, when the evidence using the current method of calculation together with the latest ONS data provides for a much lower housing target.” 

We will be preparing our response to the government on its proposed changes to the way that housing targets are calculated.”

If you oppose these Government plans (they are, at the moment, proposals) please write to Chris Grayling MP as soon as possible calling on him to get his Government to base the housing requirement for Epsom and Ewell on the independent 2018 ONS household projections and using the current formulae. This would result in a more reasonable requirement of 215 new homes per annum.

Chris Grayling can be contacted at chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk or c/o 212 Barnett Wood Lane Ashtead KT21 2DB

Getting Involved

More information on the Local Plan and how you can submit your views can be found on the new dedicated website: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/localplan

To keep up to date on progress with our Local Plan, register by emailing your details to: localplan@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

A NEW DEVELOPMENT

There is one development that you should be aware of.  Earlier this week some of councillors received a presentation about a proposed new all-weather football pitch on Priest Hill, with a modernised pavilion.  (As far as we know, all Ewell and Nonsuch councillors were invited).  A short version of the briefing document shown below explains more about it

The councillors gave plenty of feedback about the problems they would face if they didn’t modify some of their plans

mentioning the pitch location (too near the current pavilion and therefore too near other properties), parking/traffic and light pollution.  We will keep you posted of developments.

Priest Hill Sports Development

Project Overview – Overall Vision

The Priest Hill Development aims to establish a centre of football and sporting excellence, where first class facilities, coaching and support can nurture and inspire young people of all abilities. The partnership between Glyn School and Epsom & Ewell Colts Football Club has a shared vision; one that aims to instill a joy of sport within our communities and one that ensures these facilities are accessible to all. Our provision for shared spaces such as a training room and social/hospitality areas, enables the development to reach beyond the immediate football community and support the wider public need for accessible, high class but affordable facilities.

This project will provide the infrastructure and professional support needed to ensure a sustainable and long-lasting impact on the growth of football in the area and we actively seek the collaboration and partnership of others who share this vision.

Glyn School in Epsom, is a successful and growing secondary school and the leading school within the GLF Trust of other 9 schools. Glyn School has over 1700 pupils with over 5000 pupils within the other GLF schools in the region.

Epsom and Ewell Colts FC is an FA Charter Standard Club with over 700 registered players in 50 teams. The club has an ambitious development plan and is expanding by, on average, 6 teams each year.

Project Key Features

  1. Introduction of a full size 3G artificial football pitch with floodlights and fencing
  2. Remodeling and refurbishment of existing multi-use pavilion

High quality facilities and excellent coaching, training and support.
Provides conditions for talent to shine and potential to be realised.
Introduction of synthetic all weather and floodlit surface will support all year activity.
Social spaces available for wider community use.
Training and conference facility to enable FA coaching and external hire.
Sustainable income generation potential for external hire of internal and external facilities.
Links between club and school(s) can be enhanced and expanded.
E&E Colts can expand and further develop grass roots football in the area.

Traffic in Ewell Village

Ewell Village for Change – this whatsap group (which now has many members) is looking for ideas on what can be done to improve the traffic situation in Ewell Village. A few of the local residents have been discussing their continued concerns about traffic and the safety of pedestrians. They have put together a short survey so give an informed representation at an upcoming meeting. They ask that as many people as possible complete this to have more of a chance of a positive change. The link is www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BVLPV6W.

Litter – the kind lady who has been regularly picking up litter in the area has told us that Epsom and Ewell have put a Bin on the alleyway Reigate Road to Ewell East Station at the crossroads past NESCOT and under the Railway Arch recently. We would like to thank them and hope that it will be properly used and emptied on a regular basis.

Planning issues

22-24 Dorking Road Epsom – (19/01365/FUL) Demolition of existing houses and erection of a part two, part three storey building with rooms in the roof and basement providing 20 flats. This was refused at the planning meeting on 3 September.

6 The Grove Epsom – (20/00313/FUL) Erection of 7 x two bedrooms flats and 2 x three bedrooms flats and associated external works following demolition of the existing building | 6 The Grove Epsom Surrey KT17 4DQ. Many objections. Recommended for refusal by planning committee at 8 October meeting.

Woodcote Grove, Ashley Road – (19/00999/FUL and 19/00998/LBA) Development of 98 apartments/dwellings, including conversion of the Grade II* Listed Woodcote Grove and Grade II Listed Stable Block, with parking, access, landscaping and other associated works, following the demolition of the existing reprographics centre and conference centre (Listed Building Consent). It went before the Planning Committee on 23 July but a decision was deferred pending additional information. Discussed at 8 October planning committee but nothing known yet.

London Road – old Organ and Dragon Inn site – (20/01079/FUL) Construction of a three to six storey building comprising 45 flats (Use Class C3) with associated car and cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works. This planning application was validated on 4 August and there have to date been 61 objections. The proposed housing building works, which will provide 45 residential units, being between three and six storeys, forming an L-shape from a bird’s eye view. There will be 21 one-bed units, 15 two-bed units and nine three-bed units, with a percentage of affordable housing still to be confirmed. The development does seem to dwarf the existing area’s housing as well as having parking and traffic issues. The consultations continue but no news yet,

7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores. Despite amendments to the original plans, objections continue to be received and total well in excess of 1,000 with letters addressed to Chris Grayling as well as the Planning Department. Refused by planning committee at 8 October meeting.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. Still no news!

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (19/01722/FUL)| demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings. There are well over 600 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and reports continue to be filed but no decision yet. Likely to be taken to planning committee meeting on 18 November.

Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) there is still no news on this application for the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new part 9, part 11 and part 13 storey building. There are almost 5,000 objections to this including ones from Historic England and the Civic Society.

The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom  (19/01589/FUL) the application for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings is awaiting a decision. There are over 200 objections, including that from the Civic Society.

STONE GRINDING HEAVY MACHINERY IN THE CHALK PIT, COLLEGE ROAD

Residents around Epsom College are still being severely affected by the intrusive noise of heavy stone grinding machines in the Chalk Pit, and dangerous parking outside the site on College Road. We are banding together to orchestrate resistance and complaints to the authorities.

The new operator is NJB Recycling Ltd, who run the skip lorries branded “Skip It”. Under the cover of Covid, this appears to have been their approach when it comes to gaining the correct permissions from the two relevant authorities, Surrey County Council and the Environment Agency.

James Nolan of SCC has confirmed they have no planning permission for the site developments they have done to operate heavy machinery, and he has now required them to submit a full retrospective planning application by Dec 1st. The Council will not undertake Enforcement Action before this date. The Residents Association can then make representations, and our local SCC Councillor John Beckett is closely following developments.

NJB are also displaying an Environmental Agency Permit on their front gates which actually relates to their previous Railtrack-side site in Wimbledon – and therefore not relevant to the Green Belt located Chalk Pit. This indicates Heavy Plant and Machinery operating from 6am to 6pm Monday through Saturday – hours that are far in excess of the other site operators. Residents are checking if previous a Chalk Pit Permit from the Environment Agency has been adopted, which was much more restrictive.

This unapproved development could affect ALL residents if more heavy lorry and “Skip It” lorries movement are permitted, 

all converging on the Chalk Pit via our residential roads, and leading to more parking problems outside the Chalk Pit. I am sure you will all have noticed the increasing number of cars parked close to the Chalk Pit entrance in College Road. Have these had any adverse effects on been a potential cause of accidents? The litter left behind is of course a problem but we would like to know of any other issues.

In the meantime, if you wish to complain about the noise and impact, contact the SCC Planning officer james.nolan@surreycc.gov.uk or ring the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

Slightly out of our area but of interest – A 57-acre site situated to the north of Clayton Road and the south and east of the Kingston and Esher bypasses respectively, is owned by a company called Poppymill, which hopes to deliver a new community scheme called Hook Park. The land is located in the Green Belt, but Poppymill argues a large portion of the land has already been built upon, and any ‘green’ land on the site is either severely compromised, unwelcoming or difficult to get to.It wants to involve residents in a new plan to transform the site, as Kingston Council prepares its new Local Plan.

For this reason, there are not yet any specific plans for what the site could look like, but Poppymill says between 1,500 and 2,500 homes could be built on the site, many of which would be affordable.

They would also like to create a new 20-acre country park, which would be maintained in perpetuity for the local community through a community land trust. The proposals will be drawn up using an ‘enquiry by design’ process that involves the community and local stakeholders from the beginning. To find out more about the project, visit the website www.hook-park.co.uk

EVENTS

Emily Davison Memorial Project – The target to place a life size statue of Emily Wilding Davison in Epsom marketplace was reached with donations from Go Epsom, Epsom & Ewell Council, Surrey County Council, Lionel Blackman, Epsom & Ewell Labour Party, Radical Tea Towel Company and Epsom Civic Society as well as hundreds of others who have donated online or at events. The organisers at the Emily Davison Memorial Project are extremely grateful for everyone’s contributions.

Over the coming months the artist Christine Charlesworth will be creating the statue and progress can be followed on Youtube.

Remember to Save the Date Monday 8th March 2021, International Women’s Day, Epsom Market Place for the unveiling – time to be confirmed.

The latest instalment on the making of the statue of Emily Davison has been released on Youtube. This is the link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0sAaltmleE.

Epsom Farmers Market –held on the 1st Sunday of each month in Epsom Market Place. Fresh local meat and produce. The market – which has been running for over 10 years, opens between 9:30am and 1:30pm – but the word has it that locals get there early to get their favourites before they sell out. The next market will be held on 1 November.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 25th October – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm

Charity Antiques Valuation in aid of Epsom Medical Equipment Fund in Epsom with Newland Antiques Thursday 5th November

You will have the opportunity of discussing your item with a valuer and may be offered the chance to sell it for immediate cash – Thursday, 5th November 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  £2 per item appraised to go to EMEF. Bring along your valuables you may be delighted by the cash offer. Venue the Roots Coffee Shop, Epsom Methodist Church. Free Entry – sale of knitted goods – hats, scarves, shawls, gloves, bedsocks, babywear, tea cosies etc. Please note:  You must maintain social distancing at all times and wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking.

Epsom Antique & Brocante Street Market – Sunday 15th November10 am to 4 pm. A market full of surprises – antiques – vintage – flea market

Epsom & Ewell Gin & Rum Evening at Bourne Hall, Ewell – Friday 27th November – 6.30 to 11 pm

A celebration evening of gin and rum (with local wines, ales and soft drinks available too)n & Rum Evening

Friday 27th November

 Ticket link: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/surreyfoodfestivals/350404

🔷Meet the distillers and purchase Handpicked Gins and Rums by the glass (bottles also available to buy – to take home)

🔷FREE Glass (for you to keep) and drink for all ticketholders on arrival 

🔷Live Entertainment 

🔷Food Platters – available to purchase

🔷Local Ales, Local Still and Sparkling Wines and Soft Drinks – available to purchase 

🔷Event will take place in the Main Hall (downstairs)

🔷Cloakroom facilities available

Find out more about our fab array of distillers  – https://facebook.com/epsomewellginandrum  

Tadworth Art Group Exhibition – Friday 20th November – Come along and view the works of local artists. Due to Coronavirus the Summer Exhibition 15th to 17th May was cancelled. Hopefully our next Exhibition will be on Friday 20th Nov 6:30 to 10pm (preview evening) meet the artists, Saturday 21st Nov 10am to 6pm, Sunday 22nd Nov 10am to 5pm

St John’s Hall, The Avenue, Tadworth KT20 5AB. Each year, in May and November, the Group holds three-day exhibitions showing 300+ paintings in oil, pastel, watercolour and other media, covering landscape, portrait, still life, abstract and other subject matter. These exhibitions have become notable events in the social life of the area, starting with the popular Friday evening when wine and canapés are available and the 200+ visitors always enjoy mingling with their friend, neighbours and the participating artists. 

Entry is FREE, and all are welcome, whether keen to buy or merely wishing to appreciate the talents on display. All work is for sale, with a broad price range from £60 to £250 or more. Refreshments available. Charity raffle.

Something to look forward to:-

A new night-time digital image has been released of the £3.5bn London Resort, dubbed the ‘UK’s answer to Disneyland, as bosses reveal the results to its public consultation. The first results of the public consultation were released on Monday, October 12, and bosses said they had received “overwhelming public support”.

The new aerial rendering of the theme park offers a teasing glimpse of the rides and attractions, including rollercoasters, waterparks, theatres, ferry terminals and an immersive e-sports centre.

The London Resort is one of Europe’s most ambitious theme park projects ever, and is set to open its first site on the Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent, in 2024.

When complete, the park will be three times larger than any other park in the UK, built across 535 acres, and will be the first European development of its kind to be built from scratch since the opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992.

The resort will offer six different lands, which will be themed based of its partnerships with Paramount Pictures, the BBC and ITV Studios. The consultation also revealed details of a 3,500 room hotel, a ‘High Street’ featuring shops and restaurants, as well as two ferry terminals to take guests into the park via water.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.

Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.

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Ewell Downs News Bulletin – Sep 2020

Well now that schools are back again, is that a step towards the new normality?  It seems that it’s inch by inch to avoid a second wave and we are sure that you are all doing your bit to help prevent this.  There was no bulletin in August but a few important matters have been dealt with during that month and here is a roundup for your information.

Before any Coronavirus updates, here is an important message about the future of Surrey

Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary

KEEP local decisions in the hands of local people. 

In July 2020 Surrey County Council confirmed it has been developing plans to abolish Surrey’s 11 Borough and District councils and develop a single Unitary Council for Surrey’s 1.2 million residents. This would mean the end of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council.

A new campaign, Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary has been established on a pan-Surrey basis, because the approach to date has not been open or fair. Residents of Surrey are not being properly consulted. Many residents will be concerned and want to take action. There are currently over 2,250 signatories and you have until 4 March 2021 to sign but don’t delay and visit the site shown below to find out more.

Find out more: https://rassu.org.uk/

There is a petition to sign against the idea of a single unitary if you share our view that this is a development that needs to be resisted. Let SCC know how you feel! And Chris Grayling.

This is a battle for local democracy and residents’ voices need to be heard. Please share.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/coronavirus

Again there is little change to the information given in the July Bulletin so I will not repeat this.  Anyone who did not receive the Bulletin and wishes to look these up, please go to our website – www.ewelldownsra.org

Just to let you know there are currently 351 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Epsom & Ewell (previously 333) bringing its infection rate to 5% and 814 confirmed cases in Reigate and Banstead (previously 765). Sutton saw its rate rise from 2.4% to 6.8 after recording 14 new cases and Kingston upon Thames continued the trend in the south west, recording 22 new cases and rise in infection rates to 12.4%. Croydon’s also rose from 3.9 to 6.5 cases per 100,000 with 25 new cases.  Richmond currently has the highest level of new cases in south London, with a rate of infection of 17.7, up from 10.1 last week following 22 new cases in seven days. No more deaths with coronavirus have been reported by trusts operating in and around Surrey, with the total remaining at 1,198 since the start of the pandemic.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance gives information on what you can and can’t do published by the Government.

To keep you updated locally:- 

Waste and recycling

Many residents have raised concerns about the length of time they have had to wait in the queue for the tip, with tempers rising in the extreme heat we had recently.  Following contact with our Surrey County Councillor, John Beckett, the following reply was received from Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change at SCC:-

“It has certainly been very busy at Epsom with long queues on Thursday and Friday last week and a large queue when the site opened Monday morning, though less busy over the weekend.

We have had a few complaints over the last week, including an email from a number of the businesses on the estate complaining about the impact of the queues over the past 2-3 months preventing customers and deliveries accessing their business and suggesting we adopt a reservation system.

As you are aware the change to a 5 day a week working at the Epsom site was made on 8th January 2018 as part of a programme to create efficiencies in the operation of the CRC’s, the site has in fact been closed on a Tuesday and Wednesday since that date and it is only since we re-opened the site on 11 May that it has been restored to 7 day per week working. The site has also always closed at 4pm, although this was extended for a period of time when we first reopened the sites after lockdown. As I have already alluded to in my email yesterday the change to opening hours was communicated via our website, social media and with signage outside the site. The site continues to open for an extra hour on Saturday and Sunday (8am instead of 9am).

That said, there is clearly a problem that we need to address, for the immediate time we will get the marshals in again on Thursday and Friday this week to assist with traffic flow and access to businesses. We will also ask the marshals to work the queue and suggest that anybody joining the end of a long queue might want to go to the Leatherhead site instead. The weekend is generally less busy so we will not have the marshals cover the weekend.”

It is a great shame that SCC cannot react to public demand and show leadership for something that would benefit its residents!

The EEBC webpage on Current services at the tip advises:-

Please note due to social distancing on site there can still be heavy traffic queues for the tip. We advise you to go only if it is essential.

Surrey County Council’s Community Recycling Centre (‘the tip’) in Blenheim Road is currently open as follows:

  1. Monday OPEN 8am – 4pm
  2. TUESDAY SHUT
  3. WEDNESDAY SHUT
  4. Thursday OPEN 8am – 4pm
  5. Friday OPEN 8am – 4pm
  6. Saturday and Sunday OPEN 8am – 4pm

Please note the capacity of the tip is currently reduced, meaning that it can only accept certain things:

YES – CAN BE ACCEPTED Before you travel check Surrey County Council’s website for full details of what you can take to the tip NO – CANNOT BE ACCEPTED Chargeable waste (soil, rubble, plasterboard or tyres): this is due to payment-related operational issues Textiles: this is due to the continued closure of Surrey County Council’s textile recycler. Weekly kerbside textiles collections Asbestos: this is due to social distancing restrictions meaning that not all waste containers can yet be activated

Due to social distancing staff will not be able to assist you in unloading your vehicle, including white goods. So only bring to the site what you can carry yourself.

Social distancing rules will remain in place. This will limit how many cars can visit at any time, and reduce the through-flow of cars by around 75% compared to normal at this time of year. As a result, traffic management may be in place. Expect significant queues and only visit the tip if it is essential.

Residents using a van, pick-up or trailer will be able to visit the tip again but, as normal, will still need a van permit.

Please note that the tip is operated by Surrey County Council, to whom any queries should be directed.

It is worth noting that Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has urged the public to recycle after 11.5 tonnes of contaminated waste was rejected.

The load of waste featured sanitary products, nappies and food, causing the materials recycling facility to reject it.

This is the equivalent of almost two of its four collection rounds. Councillor Neil Dallen, chair of the environment and safe communities committee with the council, said: “It’s unfortunate. A few months ago, we did a campaign [called] ‘right thing, right bin ’ – in other words, put your recycling rubbish in your recycling bin. It seemed to be going extremely well. To get a load rejected and burnt instead of recycled is disappointing.”

As the campaign explains, placing non-recyclable rubbish in green bins means it has to be sorted and disposed of, potentially resulting in full loads of recycling being rejected, which is even more expensive than simply putting non-recyclable rubbish in the black bin to begin with.

Council venues

Bourne Hall – part closed – Ewell Library is open for ‘click and collect’ and book drop only. The rest of the venue, including museum, café and toilets remain closed.

Epsom Farmers’ Market and Epsom Vegan Market have started up again with a different look.  The next one will be on Sunday 4 October from 9.30 to 1.30.

Farmers Markets can offer extremely good value for money – ours do! More often than not you will actually pay less at one of our Surrey Markets than you would at a major supermarket for a similar item.  Surrey Farmers’ Markets offer delicious, fresh and seasonal produce including:

Fresh Meat – Award winning bacon, Beef, Pork, Lamb, sausages’

Poultry

Eggs

Fish & Seafood (even live lobsters can be provided to order)

Seasonal Vegetables and Herbs

Freshly baked Breads to suit all tastes

Fabulous Cheeses

Mouth-watering savoury pies

Local fruit juices

Seasonal plants for your garden

Game

Cakes, Cookies and Brownies

Hand Carved Wood

For more information please contact us on the following details:

Tel: 07984 559292
Email: andy@surreymarkets.co.uk Twitter: @surreymarkets

Plans for new repair café in Epsom with sustainability and reducing waste at its core

Councillors from the Epsom and Ewell area are setting up a new eco-friendly café

Nigel Collin and Phil Neale (the café founders alongside Cllr Neil Dallen) at Epsom Methodist Church, the site of their future café.  Councillors are looking to introduce a new repair café in Epsom town centre. The café, based on successful models across the country and the world, will be based in the Youth Hall of the Epsom Methodist Church, with a planned opening date of January 2021. It will be a registered charity, opening on a Saturday every month for four hours, and it will be free to participate.

“Everyone I’ve mentioned it to, whether residents or other councillors, seem very positive about the idea,” says Phil Neale, one of the people masterminding the scheme, alongside fellow Epsom councillors Neil Dallen and Nigel Collin.

Climate change has long been a focus for the borough council, and Cllr Neale hopes it can take its place at the top of the agenda as town centres look to get back to normal following the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He says: “Sadly with Covid, our discussions have all been on Zoom, but it doesn’t stop us from preparing for setting it up.

“What we’re looking for is some good news. We know everyone is under extreme stress and financial problems and this is an ideal initiative, to encourage the borough to open up, as Covid hopefully relaxes.”

The popularity of BBC programme The Repair Shop, which first aired in 2017, was also a big motivation behind the project.

They are looking for a kickstarter grant to help get the project under way, hoping to work in a similar way to the Farnham branch, where the public can bring their broken products in for volunteer repairers to work on.

It also looks at teaching people the know-how to repair things themselves, which Cllr Neale says can be financially beneficial as well as reducing waste.

He says: “This will be a very proactive project, [volunteers] will be showing them how to do it, not just saying here’s the job, here’s the bill.”

Surrey County Council figures for 2018/2019 show that on average, 57.3% of the 89,463 tonnes of household waste collected was recycled at Surrey’s community recycling centres. That still however leaves more than 38,000 tonnes that is not recycled, almost 4,000 tonnes of which are from the Epsom Blenheim Road recycling centre.

Cllr Collin says the scheme seeks to mend their community: “As a founder, I am excited about this community project which reduces landfill, saves residents’ money and fits with the sustainability sought by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s climate change agenda.”

The councillors are looking for volunteers to help run the shop. Anyone who is interested in lending their fixing expertise can contact Cllr Neale through his councillor contact details.

Epsom Car Boot Sales

Hook Road Arena Car Boot Sale

Held: every Sunday. Runs From: March to November. Small vans £12, transit size £20, Luton size £30. Buyers 50p after 0830. Bank Holiday Monday car boot sales are massive. Huge free car parks, good food, toilets, bouncy castles, ice cream, security, lost child procedure. Fruit, bread, farm, plant and home-made stalls. Very well run. Always check http://www.hookcarbootsale.com for dates and weather postponements (or call 07788132977). Seller Arrival: 7.00am Buyer Arrival: 07.30am.

Priest Hill Outdoor Car Boot SalePriest Hill, Banstead Road, East Ewell. Website www.surreycarbootsale.com

Held: every Saturday and will continue until 19 September Cars £10, small vans £15, large vans/Luton vans £20. Buyer fee £1 before 8:30, 50p after. Kids under 12 free. Seller Arrival: 7.00am Buyer Arrival: 7.00am.

Epsom and Ewell Local Plan 2017-2037: A New Local Plan

The Council is preparing a new Local Plan to strengthen our borough’s future, while also delivering new homes, jobs, improved transport and green spaces. Formed in consultation with residents, the new Local Plan will put in place a clear strategy to bring investment, growth and prosperity to the borough. It will also set out strong guidance about the type of growth we expect to see, protecting the borough from ad hoc and inappropriate development. Our new Local Plan will cover the period to 2037.

We are developing a new Local Plan which will ensure that Epsom and Ewell continues to evolve as a modern market borough, which offers a special and unique place for people to live, work, learn and enjoy themselves.

The borough’s previous Local Plan and related strategies were successful in helping to mould the borough into the welcoming and successful place that it is today.  The new Local Plan will have a similar role, responding to the latest challenges we face as a borough and listening to the views of local people to help shape an even better future for decades to come.

Getting Involved

More information on the Local Plan and how you can submit your views can be found on our new dedicated website: www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/localplan

To keep up to date on progress with our Local Plan, register by emailing your details to: localplan@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

Planning issues

Ewell Bus Gate proposal cancelled – many of you will have been aware of a letter from Surrey County Council regarding Emergency Covid 19 Active Travel Measures in Ewell village and the installation of a Bus Gate. There was tremendous opposition to this and here is what Nick Healey of SCC wrote:-

“We have received a high level of feedback from the local community regarding this particular scheme.  The majority of the feedback opposed to the proposed scheme to introduce a temporary bus gate in the High Street.  This would have prevented drivers using Ewell Village as a through route, and would have resulted in a substantial reduction in traffic in Ewell Village.  Nevertheless we understand residents’ concerns including the possibility of traffic diverting along routes through residential areas as well as the lack of local consultation due to the time factors the Government associated with this type of scheme. We did however also receive a considerable amount of correspondence supporting the scheme or at least the idea of reducing traffic through the village.

From the outset the local Councillors have been listening to all the views expressed to them and have been working behind the scenes with Surrey County Council (SCC) to try and resolve as many of issues as possible which were brought to their attention.

Due to the fast moving nature of the project and the restrictive timescales, it has not always been possible to quickly update local residents.

We have therefore reviewed all of the feedback with County Cllr John Beckett, and it has been decided that we will not implement the scheme as it currently stands.

The feedback we have received has confirmed a desire to improve Ewell Village and so we will continue to engage with local stakeholders through Surrey County Council’s Local Committee for Epsom & Ewell.  It is possible that this may result in a different scheme being proposed in due course.  Please note there is no guarantee that funding would be available to promote an alternative scheme.

BACKGROUND

The background to this is that the Government has asked Highway Authorities to develop and deliver schemes to assist with social distancing, and to promote active travel (cycling and walking).  The Government is expecting Highways Authorities to take road capacity away from motorists and reallocate this for other modes of transport.  For example in Farnham town centre SCC have narrowed roads and widened pavements to provide more space for pedestrians to assist with social distancing and promote active travel. If you are interested there is more information about this on our website here:  www.ourroads.today/activetravel

The Government is encouraging Highway Authorities across the country to be radical, and we appreciate that this will cause concern for local communities.

Nevertheless we would like to implement schemes that are supported by local communities wherever possible, and to listen to any feedback that we receive when developing and implementing these schemes. We have heard clearly that the majority of the local community in Ewell Village does not want the proposed scheme to go ahead in its current form.

A number of people have asked why we have not consulted the community in the way that we normally would.  This is because the timetable set by the Government to deliver the first tranche of schemes was eight weeks from the date when funding was announced.  This did not give us time to undertake the kind of comprehensive consultation we would normally do.  Instead we have tried to use local networks to let as many people as possible know what we were considering, and thereby give as many people as possible the opportunity to respond.

If you have any further queries please could you direct them to highways@surreycc.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Nick Healey

Area Highway Manager

Surrey County Council

Ewell Village Residents Association supported SCC’s final decision to discontinue the proposed scheme. One positive to have emerged is the rise in public interest in trying to find a solution to Ewell’s traffic and high street business problems. This includes a WhatsApp group called “Ewell Village for Change” which has 45 participants. The group realises that something needs to be done about the traffic situation in Ewell and feel that working with EVRA may be the way to get action.  Do go and join this and be proactive with any suggestions you may have,

Coronavirus Planning Service Update

The Planning Service is continuing to receive Planning and Building Applications.  We are providing the service of registering and processing applications so that our officers can continue to deliver our statutory services while working from home.  Where necessary we have modified our processes to make this possible.  You may wish to continue to progress your planning or building matter, make applications or seek pre-application advice.  The majority of decisions are undertaken under delegated authority, and for those matters we are endeavouring to provide a business as usual service. 

Meetings will be held virtually using video and audio conference technology and will be open to the press and public to attend as observers either online or by telephone. There is also continued provision for the public to contribute to the meeting in accordance with our scheme for public speaking.

Details on how to log in or listen to the Planning Committee meeting on the telephone can be accessed on the front sheet of the committee agenda published elsewhere on this website – planning committee.

A Planning Committee meeting was held on Thursday 3 September and a Special Planning Committee meeting is to be held on Wednesday 23 September at 7.30 pm.  The items on the Agenda have yet to be published. 

Project Downs Farm (Reigate Road) – this project appears to be raising its head again although we have been unable to get more information on its validity.  There are concerns with the Government lines on planning that this area of Greenbelt will be under attack and residents should be mindful of this fact.

The Dandara website comments “This 110 acre Greenbelt site is being promoted jointly by Dandara and the landowners through the Local Plan process with a view of securing a residential led allocation.”

This is the area concerned:-

Woodcote Grove, Ashley Road – (19/00999/FUL and 19/00998/LBA) Development of 98 apartments/dwellings, including conversion of the Grade II* Listed Woodcote Grove and Grade II Listed Stable Block, with parking, access, landscaping and other associated works, following the demolition of the existing reprographics centre and conference centre (Listed Building Consent). It went before the Planning Committee on 23 July but a decision was deferred pending additional information.

London Road – old Organ and Dragon Inn site – (20/01079/FUL) Construction of a three to six storey building comprising 45 flats (Use Class C3) with associated car and cycle parking, refuse storage and ancillary works. This planning application was validated on 4 August and there have to date been 61 objections. The proposed housing building works, which will provide 45 residential units, being between three and six storeys, forming an L-shape from a bird’s eye view. There will be 21 one-bed units, 15 two-bed units and nine three-bed units, with a percentage of affordable housing still to be confirmed. The development does seem to dwarf the existing area’s housing as well as having parking and traffic issues. The artist impression is shown below.

Reigate Road roundabout – we are delighted to see that the offending fence panel near the new Nescot roundabout has been removed and the greenery tidied up.  We have contacted Nescot to ask who carried out this work so that we can thank them!

1 Higher Green (19/00758/FUL) The Construction Transport Management Plan has been published and does not appear to protect the residents and the school children as far as highway safety is concerned as much as we would have liked so a previous draft letter to the developer has been revised and will be sent. 

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)(19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre.  This rumbles on!

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (19/01722/FUL)| demolition of redundant hospital buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings. There are well over 600 objections including the Epsom Civic Society and reports continue to be filed but no decision yet. 

7 Station Approach Stoneleigh – (19/00668/FUL) application for the demolition of existing buildings on site and erection of a part 6, part 7 storey building providing 23 residential flats with associated communal roof terrace, cycle and refuse stores.  Despite amendments to the original plans, objections continue to be received and total well in excess of 1,000 with letters addressed to Chris Grayling as well as the Planning Department.   This application is expected to be considered on the 8 October planning committee. 

Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) there is still no news on this application for the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new part 9, part 11 and part 13 storey building. There are almost 5,000 objections to this including ones from Historic England and the Civic Society. 

The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom  (19/01589/FUL) the application for a retirement development in Epsom by McCarthy & Stone which will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom “Extra Care” Retirement Living with associated communal facilities, parking and landscaping following the demolition of the existing buildings is awaiting a decision.  There are over 200 objections, including that from the Civic Society.

The Star 2 Cheam Road Ewell – A new tenant has moved into the commercial premises on the lower floor of the Star, 31 High Street, Ewell. The Burghwood Clinic, which specialises in the treatment of allergies, had previously operated in Banstead for many years. The clinic was obliged to look for a new home when its former site was sold for redevelopment and has leased the ground floor area of the former Star. Some flat remain for sale.

22-24 Dorking Road Epsom – (19/01365/FUL) Demolition of existing houses and erection of a part two, part three storey building with rooms in the roof and basement providing 20 flats. Basement parking for cars and cycles. Bins stores and associated hard and soft landscaping including new boundary walls and railings. Planning committee refused the application on the grounds of its density and impact on surrounding area, as well as the implications for parking and highways.

Extraordinary Meeting, Council – held on Tuesday, 14th July, 2020 7.30 pm

Electoral Review – The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has notified the Council of its intention to carry out an electoral review of the Council. The review will consider the total number of councillors on the Council, and then review the numbers and boundaries of electoral divisions within the Council. We have yet to be advised of the outcome.

From our Surrey County Councillor – John Beckett – please see our July bulletin for additional details on unitary concerns and the Boundary Commission issues.

With John’s help we have been dealing with the following:-

THE CHALK PIT, COLLEGE ROAD, EPSOM

Following information from Steve Gebbett, the road rep for part of Longdown Lane North, that what appears to be major works are currently being undertaken to expand operations at the Green Belt aggregate waste transfer site, contact was made with EEBC Enforcement Officer, SCC Planning department and all the Borough and Surrey Councillors for our area as well as Epsom College. A large vehicle Weighbridge could, of course, mean many more heavy lorry movements down Longdown Lane North, as they inevitably take a short cut to the Chalk Pit, but the main threat is the environmental one of escalating dust and noise in the atmosphere if they get away with more aggregate crushing and screening on the site, which will be a nightmare for affected residents.

As none of the residents have been given consultative notice of any planning development application for this expansion, Steve’s purpose in writing was to ask if indeed a planning application has been submitted and approved, before these excavations and structures went ahead. To be clear, our objection is not to the waste transfer itself which is presumably licenced,(although heavy lorry movements may now become a real issue) but we fear an increasingly blind eye is being turned to the devastatingly impactful waste processing/crushing/screening on site, which has led rise to many complaints over the years. We do not think the Chalk Pit is officially included in the Surrey Waste Plan as a strategic centre, lying as it does in both a Green Belt and residential area, just 200 metres or so from the student accommodation at Epsom College. As such aggregate processing, with its intrusive noise and dust generation, is manifestly unsuitable on this site. 

There appear to be two issues here:-

  1. In reply to his request for information John Beckett was informed that there was a “Vehicle Operators’ Licence variation application in your division, notification of which has been received from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (London and the South East of England). The variation application appeared in the Applications and Decisions publication dated 3rd September 2020, and therefore any formal objection by the County Council will need to be made by 24th September 2020.” It appears that this variation increases the number of vehicles from the current 10 to 15 and John has sent the attached letter to Paul Druce, Infrastructure Agreements & CIL Manager, Community Protection, Transport and Environment Directorate at Surrey County Council:-

“There have been several licenses granted over the last couple of years for this location and I am now wondering if the site has reach or is reaching capacity especially with this latest application. Without our a clear understanding of how many vehicles / journeys are already taking place at this site and its current capacity it would be difficult to come to a conclusion.

I have also received several complaints after the last license was granted that here was extra noise and dirt (especially on the public highway) from the site.

Unless there are assurances I would have to object on the following 2 grounds.

  1. the capacity of the site to accommodate the vehicles for which application is made;
  2. adverse environmental impact caused in the vicinity of the site by the use of the site as an operating centre – this can include noise, dust or visual intrusion caused by the use of, or maintenance, loading and unloading of authorised vehicles at or in the vicinity of the operating centre”

Further information can be obtained from the following website:- https://www.gov.uk/being-a-goods-vehicle-operator 

This is an important issue and we would encourage you to add your comments to the application: – OK1017831 SN   

CENTRAL WASTE SERVICES LTD.  

The second issue is the Infrastructure developments and here Steve has been advised that:-

  1. James Nolan, Planning Officer, who is the current monitoring officer for the permitted waste sites in the Chalk Pit carried out an inspection on 27 August 2020. Matters arising out of that visit and the planning status of the development which has been undertaken, and is being undertaken, at the site are being followed up with the operator NJB Recycling Limited. The development does not have planning permission and James will respond to you separately about the position and actions following the site inspection. 
  2. A reply from James Nolan states as there is no planning application we cannot comment on it, but the Residents Association will be given a chance to comment when he gets a new planning application from the operator, NJM Recycling Ltd. 

We will keep you posted on these issues and watch out for developments.

John also raises the issue regarding housing targets for Epsom & Ewell.  His article should be read in conjunction with the two from The Times Housing Algorithm dated 25.8.20 and 27.8.20:-

The Government’s Requirement on House Building in Epsom and Ewell

Following the 10 yearly Census in 2011, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has issued two-yearly updated projections for the growth in the number of households for each local authority area.

The 2014 projections for Epsom and Ewell showed that the number of households would increase by 8,027 between 2018 and 2038 and the Government has been using this base-line housing figure to require the Borough Council to ensure that 579 additional homes per year are built in the borough, despite the lack of available brown field sites and the importance placed on protecting the green belt.

When ONS published their updated 2016 projections for growth in households this showed a significant reduction in the projected growth in households for Epsom and Ewell and this would have led to a significantly lower housing requirement for the borough of 380 homes per year.

Then in July the ONS published a further 2018 update for the projected growth in households. This showed a further significant reduction in the growth in households which would have resulted in a housing requirement of just 215 homes required per annum.

Given this Government’s recent regular comments about being “guided by the facts” it would seem to be only right and reasonable for the Government to announce a total rethink of each planning authority’s (council’s) housing target and base them on the most up to-date data.  However it has consistently refused to do this, which your Residents’ Association councillors have long argued is unreasonable and totally unjustified.

The Government’s White Paper on Planning and Local Plans

In August however the Government published proposals to change the basis of calculation for each local authority’s housing target.  While the Government do appear be using the latest 2018 ONS household projections data in their proposals, they have decided to give much greater weight to “affordability” in the calculation.   

Unfortunately, Epsom and Ewell is one of the least affordable places in Surrey for housing (calculated by comparing local average house prices with local average salaries).  It seems that the Government believes that by increasing the supply of homes in places like Epsom and Ewell, affordability will also improve through a fall in house prices.

As a result of this manipulation of the formulae by the Government, Epsom and Ewell borough council would actually end up with an even higher housing target of over 600 new homes per annum.

So Epsom and Ewell residents are being unfairly treated despite the fact that:

  1. Using the latest ONS figures in the Government’s current formulae, the borough’s need for housing is just 215 homes per annum
  2. The borough does not have the capacity to build over 600 homes a year up to 2038 as has been proposed by the Government, because of the lack brown field sites and with over 42% green belt land
  3. Very few other areas of the country are being penalised in this way, but many others have the land available to build new homes
  4. Building houses in those numbers up to 2038 will radically and adversely change the character of our borough.

If you oppose these Government plans (they are, at the moment, proposals) please write to Chris Grayling MP as soon as possible calling on him to get his Government to base the housing requirement for Epsom and Ewell on the independent 2018 ONS household projections and using the current formulae.  This would result in a more reasonable requirement of 215 new homes per annum.

Chris Grayling can be contacted at chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk or c/o 212 Barnett Wood Lane Ashtead KT21 2DB

Events – back again slowly!

Guided walk at Langley Vale Wood 10 September 10:30 am – 12:30 pm – Our popular guided walks at Langley Vale Wood are back for 2020! Langley Vale Wood is one of the Woodland Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods near Epsom, Surrey. We have a variety of walks for you to choose from, including dawn chorus and butterfly-themed walks.

Near Epsom, nestled between London and the M25, Langley Vale Wood is one of the Woodland Trust’s four First World War Centenary Woods. The rumble of the modern world slowly fades away as you walk into the valleys surrounding you. With pockets of ancient woodland, diverse and fascinating wildlife and flora, and stunning views over the rolling hills of the North Downs you’re in for a treat visiting this exciting landscape.

Our knowledgeable volunteers will lead you on a walk where you’ll learn about the role the landscape played in the First World War and hear about the exciting improvements for wildlife as the site transforms from an intensive farm into a mosaic of woodland and grassland – a peaceful haven for wildlife and people to enjoy. Suitable for families, although bear in mind the amount of walking and stopping for discussions if you have younger children with you.  Dogs on leads welcome. Booking essential at https://woodlandtrusttickets.cloudvenue.co.uk/guidedwalkslvw

All walks are 2 hours in duration and booking is essential. On-site parking is arranged for the walks; directions and a map will be emailed to you within 2 weeks of your booked event. £6 per adult, £3 per child (under 16).

Ewell Horticultural Association Autumn Show – Saturday 19 September 2020 from 2.30 to 4.30pm at  lenheim High School, Longmead Road, Epsom KT19 9BH, fully accessible venue. Free Admission – all welcome, free parking, a raffle plus refreshments with delicious homemade cakes. Displays of mellow late summer flowers, home grown vegetables, cookery, floral art, bulbs plus ‘bring & buy’ plants

Coronavirus cancels London’s Winter Wonderland 2020 – with stolen and mince pies now available at Sainsburys it is sad news that Winter Wonderland is cancelled. The organisers state “London’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park has been cancelled “with a heavy heart” after the repercussions of Covid-19 spread to Christmas.”

Priest Hill Nature Reserve – please note that barbecues are not permitted on this site.  It is a beautiful area that we should all be able to enjoy, especially with the abundance of wild flowers and wildlife at the moment, so please take your littler home and do not run the risk of random fires destroying the area during the dry weather.

Watering trees – on the basis that lots of new trees are to be planted in the area, may we please ask that if one is close to your house and the weather is hot and sunny, that you take a watering can of water to keep the tree alive.  This all helps enhance our surroundings and won’t be too onerous! Many thanks.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour page is being well visited. Go and use this to make comments or display pictures of the area.  

Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra. 

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