Please see the open letter below and the flyer on the link below from Campaign to Protect Rural England.
Dear Resident Associations
You will be aware of the current consultation being undertaken by Epsom and Ewell Borough Council on the Issues and Options associated with alterations that are being considered to the Borough’s Local Plan.
The local committee of the Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is very concerned that the Borough Council is under pressure from the Government to deliver a totally unrealistic housing target. To put this in figures, the existing Local Plan expects a minimum of 181 new homes to be delivered in the Borough each year. A report commissioned by the Borough Council and other local authorities suggests that 418 new homes should be provided, subject to constraints such as the Green Belt. A new government consultation document has increased this number to 579, a figure that could not be reduced by taking any account of these constraints.
579 new homes each year would mean over 11,500 extra homes over the Plan period of twenty years and about 29,000 additional people. This would, effectively, destroy the Borough’s Green Belt as we know it, put unacceptable pressure on our already over-stressed infrastructure such as roads, public transport, schools, and medical facilities, and would not, in CPRE’s view, even ensure that the housing we actually need in the Borough would be built. The town’s character would be fundamentally changed for ever.
We wondered if these concerns are shared by the local Residents Associations? If so, we urge you to look at the ‘flyer’ attached to this email which CPRE is about to begin distribution in those areas of Epsom and Ewell close to where we think the Green Belt is most at risk. (This email has been sent to the Residents Associations covering College, Ewell Downs, Stamford, West Ewell and Ruxley – no email address could be found for the Woodcote Residents Association and I would be grateful if I could be informed how they can be contacted by email.)
We would ask that, if you share our concerns, you talk to your councillors about this. You may also wish to contact our MP, Chris Grayling, with whom CPRE has already had a meeting. You might consider distributing our leaflet to your members, bearing in mind that the consultation ends on 6th November.
If you have any questions on this, please contact me.
Vice Chair, CPRE Surrey and Chair, Epsom and Ewell CPRE Group