Before the AGM Notice comes round to you next month, here are a few updates and reminders of events to keep you abreast of local matters.
AGM 10 April 2018 – as advised in the January bulletin, this will take place at 7.30 pm (drinks beforehand) at Wallace Fields Junior School in Dorling Drive. In view of the importance of the issue of the future of Epsom Hospital, our speaker will be Daniel Elkeles, the CEO of Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust. It would be a good idea to have some specific topics that we would like to raise with Daniel. Please get in touch with these so we can direct the presentation to suit our needs. Do come along and join us – we would be delighted to welcome you.
There is no further news to report at the moment – we are seeking a meeting with Ms Rutter and hope to advise of the result of this in our next bulletin.
One matter that concerns us is the amount of litter on the pathway to Ewell East Station which continues to increase. Ewell Village residents are planning a litter clean up and the details are shown on the flyer below. They ask for any litter “hot spots” to be identified and we shall pass on the message about the pathway so that this may be included in the clear-up.
Mayfield Lavender plans approved – the planning application for the erection of a replacement shop, extension to car park, extension to outside plant sales area and use of part of an existing glasshouse for a tearoom/lecture room at the site on the Reigate Road was approved at the Planning Committee meeting in January. We look forward to sitting in the sun, surrounded by lavender, drinking coffee and tea with home made cakes!
Applications for flats in Ewell Village – the application for the change of the now closed RAM Security (27 High Street) from office use to residential use with rear extension at first and second floor to provide six self-contained flats and
associated development was approved.
In addition the planning application for the erection of first floor and second floor infill extension to provide 4 x 2 bedroom residential flats, including partial demolition of the existing ground floor structure on 4/5 Market Parade was also approved.
Co-op – Ewell Village – the application to change the shop front signage to a much more stylish logo was also approved. This can be seen on the Planning Application web under ref: 17/01187/ADV.
Mandalina – 74 High Street Ewell – the old Ewell Bakery has been transformed into a new café and is well worth a visit.
N.B. – Residents should note that from 17 January 2018, all planning application fees will increase by 20% in line with national regulations.
Road names for Sycamore Gardens (Phase 2) – the proposed names for the second phase of building on the former Nescot site will be published in the AGM Notice due out next month.
Council Tax 2018/19 – SCC proportion of Council tax demand rises by 5.99%, the Police by 5.34% and E&E by 2.98%. The overall average rise being 5.583%.
This means that of every £100 paid in Council Tax the Borough Council will receive just £10.46 next year whereas for the 17/18 current year the amount was £10.73 proving the point that Surrey and the Police requirements are increasing at a higher rate than the more moderate Borough Council. More details will be included in the AGM Notice.
Local Plan – the results of the public consultation are published on Local Plan under “Summary of Consultation responses”. A few of the results are:
Should we rely on urban intensification using high densities? There were 504 responses to this question – 31% stated YES and 69% stated NO.
Should we review our Green Belt boundaries in order to help meet our long-term housing needs? There were 505 responses-22% (109) stated YES and 78% NO.
Are there any areas that should be added to the Green Belt? There were 106 responses identifying areas that they believed should be added to the Green Belt – see report for further details.
Would you be willing to use extensive areas of the Green Belt? There were 509 responses – 6% stated YES and 94% NO.
Would you be willing accommodate the needs of other areas outside of the Borough? – 498 responses to this question – 15% stated YES and 85% NO.
Would you support a balanced approach where much of our need is met within the urban area but some is allocated to land currently within the Green Belt? With 507 responses 50.1% stated YES and 44.1% NO.
Where should higher density or taller buildings go? Of the 818 responses received 353 favoured town centres and 313 by train stations.
In answer to the question -do you have an alternative suggestion to significantly boost housing and meet our housing need? The main replies listed:
Truly affordable or social housing meeting local needs; additional housing should prioritise local people in real housing need; additional housing only to meet local needs; any new housing should be truly affordable and meet local need; majority of new housing on any scale should be affordable; the emphasis should be on affordable housing.
Countering this the comments were – no loss of Green Belt or park land; no loss of Green Belt which is performing its proper function; Green Belt preservation should be a priority otherwise the character and identity of the area will be destroyed; building on the Green Belt would undoubtedly be the thin edge of the wedge and would lead to extreme environmental damage; oppose any use of Green Belt as once it’s gone it’s gone for all future generations.
Suggestions for areas where housing can be provided included – properly evaluate brownfield sites first; empty office blocks that can be converted into housing; free up empty properties; interrogate disused and under used sites. There were suggestions for more efficient/intensive space utilisation/backland/downsizing.
On the subject of development strain on supporting infrastructure – the comments were – the amount of homes being asked for is not realistic, our transport links, schools and hospitals are already stretched to the max; need to consider provision of other services, such as hospitals, schools, transport; Epsom roads are absolutely full to bursting… GP surgeries are overrun with patients and schools are over-subscribed.
In addition to supporting denser housing near town centre/rail stations, the comments included – look to other/more suitable areas across UK; action should be taken to address the unsustainable population growth in the South East when other areas of the country are shrinking; promote the idea of building a new town with the appropriate infrastructure somewhere accessible some 50 miles north of greater London; giving areas other than London and the South East a boost. There were also concerns with Government policy.
Several sites were proposed for redevelopment and these are shown on the web. The overall result was that 73% of respondents favoured a balanced approach.
We hope to learn more about what happens next at our AGM.
Plan E improvement works –the footway paving on the eastern side of South Street has now been completed. This pavement is now fully open. Lane closures and temporary footways have now been set up on the western side of South Street. Works on this side of the road will include paving of the footway, removing and reinstating kerbs and work to traffic signals. The new loading bay on South Street is not yet in use. This will fully open once the works on the western side of South Street have been completed.
Once they have completed the footway work on South Street, they will move onto the next phases of the scheme. These phases will include the improvement to the Marquis and Playhouse junctions. It is expected that these phases will commence shortly. Please note that some traffic disruption during these phases is expected. Please allow more time to your journeys when travelling through the town centre.
East Street – still no progress on the road alterations! We understand that due to financial constraints the Kiln Lane Link has been shelved.
Litter clearance on East Street – A huge litter-pick in Epsom’s East Street has been carried-out by the World Mission Society Church of God. More than 100 bags of litter were collected by 40 volunteers last Sunday, February 11. Allegedly, 320kg of litter was collected during the day – equivalent to the weight of a large Bengal Tiger.
Alexander Holmes, a member of the Church of God, said: “As we belong to Epsom we really want it to have a clean and beautiful image. “We chose East Street as it is the main entrance from central London and the first impression people get of Epsom.
Well done everyone who participated – an example to all of us to make sure that the area outside our home is clear of litter – a small step but an important one!
166 Bus route – We are delighted to announce that bus route 166 will be retained without amendment for the next 5 years, thanks to an agreement between Surrey County Council (SCC) and Transport for London.
Parking Restrictions – Do you have a suggestion for a new on-street parking restriction in Epsom and Ewell for consideration in the next parking review? Please let SCC know by the end of February. The Local Committee will consider proposals on 19 June.
Here is the link – Parking Proposal
Pothole reporting – Are you aware that pot holes can be reported to Surrey CC? Go to Report It Online. When a pot hole has been reported there is a case for compensation for anyone whose vehicle is later damaged by that pot hole. This web site can also be used to report a problem with pavements, street lighting and many other things.
Community Recycling Centres in Surrey – the collection of recyclable waste over Christmas proved very successful. Despite notices being attached to all bins advising that the grey ones would not be collected for one week, many calls were made to the Council “why wasn’t my bin collected today?” Really!!
We would remind residents that the Blenheim Road site is now closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Epsom Post Office – there is good news! After months of uncertainty, the Post Office has now secured a permanent location for the office. It has now opened in a new card and gift shop at 59, High Street. We wish the new team all the best for the new shop and Post Office and hope this will secure its long term future.
Hessle Grove Allotments – is anyone interested in putting their name on a list for an allotment at Hessle Grove off Epsom Road? If so, please contact us and we will pass the message on.
LOCAL MATTERS AND EVENTS
Herald of Spring – this is on Saturday 10 March at Bourne Hall, Ewell from 9.30 am until 5 pm. This year’s theme is Mother Nature – learn about local green and natural organisations, local open spaces, see the flower displays and buy locally produced honey.
Priest Hill – the Surrey Wildlife Estate Team now manage the site through a centralised team. Surveyors, Practical Task Leaders, Liaison Officers, an Administrator and Estate Manager work to deliver the various objectives of the site management.
If you have an enquiry about any of their sites please feel free to contact the estates team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01483 910087 and they can direct your question to the appropriate member of staff.
Epsom Laughter Club – Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine which combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. Visit www.epsomlaughterclub.co.uk for more information.
FREE taster sessions offered at Alexandra Park, Epsom (between Bowling green & Children’s playground) – 3rd Sunday of every month at 9am – unless heavy rain. Session will typically last about 50 mins. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring either a yoga mat or a picnic blanket as we may sit/lie down -Sun 18th Mar 2018 and Sun 15th Apr 2018
Warning re burglaries – there have been several attempted and one actual burglary in the immediate area over the last month. Please make sure you take every precaution to prevent this happening to you. Most of these have taken place in the afternoon.
Nextdoor Ewell Downs – this is a free private social network for your neighbourhood community. Nextdoor is a good way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood. There is one for Ewell Downs and there are several members in this area for whom it has proved a useful method of communication.
Keeping in touch – this bulletin is distributed to all those who have provided email addresses. I hope everyone finds this flow of information useful and thank those who have commented in an appreciative way. Please pass this information on to any resident who may find it useful and ask them to let us have their email address so we can keep them in the loop.
Web site – do visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. This shows all our previous bulletins and other information.
Facebook – our page is being well visited and “liked”. Do go and use this to put comments or pictures of the area on.
Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.
Comments and news reports – please use this as a two-way instrument and let us know if there is anything you wish to report or comment on