This bulletin is a little later than originally intended but will combine both current news and events together with information that will be published in the Autumn Newsletter which will be distributed to all residents by the end of October.
Hot off the Press from the H1 site
A Welcome from Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles
You will be waking up this morning to some very exciting news. The Government has announced (uk-politics-49867376) further capital investment in the NHS. I am delighted to say that our Trust is named and means that the hundreds of millions of pounds of funding we need to both improve St Helier and Epsom hospitals and build a new major acute hospital will be made available.
This multi-million pound investment will transform patient care for the 500,000 people who use the Trust’s services, greatly improve the experience of the 6,000 committed staff working in the hospitals and secure a long term and sustainable future for hospital services in our area. It will allow us to create a state-of-the-art hospital facilities for the sickest patients, invest in and refurbish the older parts of all our hospital buildings (which are currently not fit for modern healthcare), and support the medical workforce to improve staffing levels and patient care.
This is the largest investment in healthcare in the region since the hospitals were built (which in St Helier’s case was 80 years ago). I hope you will agree that this is incredible news. We know that our buildings are just not up scratch for 21st century healthcare and our way of working at the moment is not sustainable forever. This investment will mean that, instead of facing an uncertain future, our acute hospital services can be retained and continue to thrive in our local area.
For the first time ever, we have just been rated as Good by the Care Quality Commission, but the thing that will make us Outstanding is modern buildings that will enable us to deliver great patient care for decades to come. This is amazing news, and I would like to say a huge thank you to you and those who have supported us in recent years.
Our Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can now move forward with the Improving Healthcare Together Programme and consult with the public on proposals which we have been keen to pursue for years. Under these proposals both Epsom and St Helier hospitals will continue to provide local district hospital services, meaning that the majority of services (c.85%) would remain on the same sites. The proposal also includes bringing services together onto one site at Epsom, St Helier or Sutton hospitals when patients are critically ill, this comprises c.15% of hospital activity.
I look forward to sharing with you all the timetable for getting to a new acute hospital in the near future and how you can get involved in shaping our exciting futur
1 Higher Green, Ewell – (19/00758/FUL) after opposition by many residents, the Civic Society, this committee and other the application for the erection of new 2½ storey dwelling with associated landscaping & parking was refused. The grounds for refusal were:
“The close proximity of the proposed building to the Lime Tree (T7) is not considered to be harmonious nor sustainable and is likely to result in extreme pressure to further denude tree cover or undertake disfiguring pruning. The spacious qualities of the green spaces and the many trees, both street trees and in private gardens, all add together to provide an attractive environment, as identified in the Conservation Area Character Assessment and therefore the potential erosion of the sylvan character would materially harm the character and appearance of the conservation area contrary to Policy DM5 and DM8 of the Development Management Policies Document 2015”
We thank everyone involved in the opposition and wait to hear if there is an appeal.
12 Longdown Lane North, Ewell – work is under way on the development but concerns have been raised with the Council by a neighbour and we are reporting the littered state of the grassy area outside the development site which seems to be getting used as a rubble dump.
The Star 2 Cheam Road Ewell – Greenfields has been instructed to find a suitable tenant for the commercial ground floor of the Star, marking a key milestone in getting this much loved building back into full use. It is understood the rent being asked is in the region of £40,000pa. Generally the building now looks excellent and is in the best shape it has been for many years. Converting a listed building is challenging but the developer has addressed the project in a professional way.
However revised planning applications were submitted by the developer of The Star to seek retrospective permission for some aspects of the project, which is nearing completion. In particular the changes relate to the windows and type of render used, as well as the fact that part of the structure has been sand blasted back to the brickwork. On the advice of its heritage and conservation officer, the Council has refused these applications. Discussions are now underway with the developer to seek alterations to make the building compliant with the original application. The Council feels that this is an important heritage asset in the village and it is important that the work is carried out in a way that is sensitive to the original building and that will protect the fabric of the structure in the long term. Hopefully a satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues can be achieved through discussions between Council and developer.
The Lodge, West Street Ewell – (19/00015/FUL and 19/00801/FUL) to repeat the information in the previous bulletin, both of these applications refer to The Lodge, West Street in Ewell. The first one was an application to build 3 houses on the site of The Lodge, which has been approved. The applicant has not gone ahead with that application, but has put another application into the Planning Dept for 2 houses and 4 flats. This has not yet been approved and is meeting with a great deal of opposition including the Epsom Civic Society. The ECS summarise in their letter of opposition that they “suggest that the previous application should represent the conclusion of the building works on this narrow strip of land.”
A decision on this is awaited.
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. In summary, we have learned that the original application was for 9 flats on 3 storeys and that Epsom and Ewell’s own planning officers forced the developers to change these plans to 23 flats over 7 storeys. There is an extension of this plan to take the entire plot and turn it into nearly 100 flats. This plan (and the extended plan) has no facilities for parking and is at least twice the height of any building in the two wards that I can think of (religious buildings excluded). An opposition group – Stop the Stoneleigh Tower Block action group ( SSTBAG ) – made up of local residents and councillors and supported by SARA has met and campaigned against the development including meeting with the developers. This culminated at a meeting this week and an update on this is attached separately.
South Hatch Stables – (18/00308/FUL) – this application for the demolition of the existing Racehorse Training Establishment (RTE) and the erection of a new RTE comprising of a main yard stable complex of 40 boxes and other facilities together with a residential development comprising 46 apartments (a reduction of one apartment)– is ongoing with revisions to the original application. At a special planning committee meeting they recommended approval of the South Hatch stables and flats, narrowly. It was decided that special circumstances existed to allow building on Green Belt. However as it is a Green Belt application it is referred to the Secretary of State who will decide whether to call it in for review. So at this stage planning approval has not officially been granted. The Council should hear sometime in October whether it will be called in or not.
LIDL UK, 40 – 52 Upper High Street, Epsom – (18/01559/REM) – work is expected to start early next year.
Land at Epsom and Ewell High School, Ruxley Lane, West Ewell – (18/01360/FUL) a major planning application for the demolition of existing classroom buildings, MUGA and sports hall; and construction of a two storey classroom block, 3G Full Size AGP Pitch, compact athletics facility, Hockey Plus AGP, sports pavilion, sports hall, grass surface pitches, grounds maintenance compound, footbridge, fencing, floodlights and associated ground works, construction of new car park and access for school sports facilities; and erection of 161 dwellings including associated parking, landscaping, open space and infrastructure works. This has been approved.
Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) this is an interesting one which you may have seen already – Demolition of existing building and construction of a new part 9, part 11 and part 13 storey building containing ground floor commercial/retail (A1, A2 and B1 uses) and 29 residential units (C3 Use) on upper levels and associated development. There is a great deal of opposition to this, including that from Historic England – which makes interesting reading – and a decision is awaited. Please see the later article on planning decisions by the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee.
Il Capriccio, Ewell – (19/00817/FUL) the retrospective application for the screen that was erected around the building, which was put up without planning permission, has been refused The reason for refusal was “the proposed boundary treatment, by reason of its design, siting and unsympathetic materials, would be harmful to both the character and appearance of the Locally Listed Building (BTM) and the visual amenities of the surrounding Ewell Village Conservation Area”.
Planning comments from Chris Frost
“The government’s new homes target for Epsom & Ewell is 579 new properties per year for the next 20 years. We also have to show a 5 year supply of land for housing. Currently we are not able to identify this amount of land – therefore the government has increased the number of homes we are required to build by 20% to 697 per year! Officers are working hard to enable us to show how we can meet these targets. There has been public consultation about where these homes should be built and how we can achieve the targets; greenbelt studies; calls for available land: and help with bringing unoccupied homes back into use or redeveloped. Any land that is offered for building must be considered by the Council, even if it appears to be unsuitable, the Council must show that it has looked at it and be able to show good reasons where it is rejected.
Where 10% of applications for major developments that EEBC planning committee refuses permission for are then overturned at appeal we could be regarded as not fit to determine planning applications and applicants will have the option of applying to the borough council or the national Planning Inspectorate. We are dangerously close to that. This would not bode well for keeping the character of our borough.”
Local Plan and Statement of Community Involvement
All Local Planning Authorities are required to prepare a statement setting out how they will involve interested residents, groups, organisations, businesses, other representatives and individuals in the planning process. The Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) describes how it will involve those with an interest in development in the area, including the preparation and review of the Local Plan and Supplementary Planning Documents, Neighbourhood Plans/Orders, Community Infrastructure Levy and the consideration of planning applications.
We would like to hear your views on the new draft SCI. You can read the draft SCI by downloading the document from our website at the link below or alternatively paper copies are available at the Town Hall and all libraries within the Borough during normal opening hours.
Please share your views on our new Statement of Community Involvement by filling in the short survey on the website before 18th October 2019.
Feedback from the SCI consultation will be considered and a final SCI will be discussed at the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee. Once adopted the final SCI will be made available on the Council’s website. Here is the link:
Town Centre – work continues on the market place – the details of the phases of the work as shown on the SCC website are available, Here is the link:
It will be wonderful when this work has been completed!
Yellow lines opposite the Wallace Fields Infant School parking area – Nigel Collin advises that this was approved at the local committee meeting on 16 September and now goes for consultation (28 day period).
Road Closure – Approach road to The Green – The Green, Ewell will be closed at the junction with Longdown Lane North whilst surfacing work will be carried on. The works are scheduled to start on 08/10/19. Sometimes plans have to change, often due to bad weather or problems on other works in the same programme which can have a knock on effect.
Residents can also find up to date details of the works on one.network/?114427244. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact SCC on 0300 200 1003 or email email@example.com.
Climate Change Action
Epsom and Ewell Councillors have reached a cross-party agreement to establish a climate change action plan, with targets for the council to curb environmental impact and take steps to become carbon neutral. The action plan will be ratified within the next six months and reviewed annually.
The forthcoming local plan will also be a further opportunity to improve biodiversity and green spaces, to optimise the energy efficiency of future developments and encourage more sustainable transport options, including increasing the opportunities to walk and cycle within the borough.
The aim to is bring together all the positive work that the council is already doing in this area, as well as initiate new policies and ideas that can make an even bigger contribution to protecting the environment and the climate. The target to become carbon neutral will not be easy but there is universal resolve to achieve this demanding target within a reasonable time frame.
Of course this isn’t something the council can deliver on its own. Cllr Neil Dallen, chairman of Environment committee, says, “We will be engaging with the wider community, tapping into the knowledge and passion that already exists, working with and learning from our residents, businesses and others to reduce CO2 emissions across the borough in order to meet our targets.”
Some months ago the borough council went to the courts and secured an injunction protecting council land from unauthorised encampments. This has resulted in far fewer encampments this year, and when travellers have arrived and been told about the injunctions they have normally moved on.
However recently two large groups arrived and set up camp on Epsom Common and Horton Country Park. Neither were prepared to accept the injunction and move on. Once a group has refused to abide by an injunction, the council had to apply to the High Court for a writ. A contingent of council officers, the police and court bailiffs served the writ and the groups moved on.
Report from John Beckett (Mayor and Surrey County Councillor)
Most people understand the importance of trees in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air, as well as providing a habitat for wildlife. In towns they provide shading and cooling, pollution and noise mitigation as well speeding up floodwater drainage and improving the quality of our street scene. Whilst Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has responsibility for trees and tree planting across our parks and open spaces, SCC owns the vast majority of the highway verges but has not planted a new tree in the highway verges in Epsom and Ewell since 2004.
In 2017 the Borough Council agreed a scheme with SCC whereby residents and local environmental groups can request the planting of an approved and appropriate tree in the verge for which they pay £250, to be planted by the Borough Council if the application is approved by SCC. However since that new arrangement was introduced, virtually all requests by residents for tree planting on SCC highway verges have been refused on the basis that they do not fit the criteria in the current policy. Recently, SCC rejected 40 sites for tree planting identified by the volunteer run Tree Advisory Board. The criteria used by SCC requires a verge width of 1.1 metres (3ft 6 ins) when the standard width of grass verges in our extensive 1930s estates is 3ft. It also requires a pavement width of 1.6 meters from verge to the nearest boundary wall. Taken collectively, that means there needs to be a combined verge and pavement width of 2.7m (nearly 9ft) from kerb to property boundary for a street tree planting proposal to even be considered – nearly impossible in most of our residential roads. Even where those requirements are met, a further hurdle is introduced, the need to avoid underground utilities.
That policy was so clearly out-of-date and out of step with how residents view the positive environmental and visual impact of trees that, at the July Surrey County Council Meeting, The RA Independent Cllrs tabled a Motion calling for a review of SCC’s current policies on the planting of trees in urban areas with a view to introducing a more proactive policy which looks to increase the number and regularity of trees planted. Cllr Eber Kington led the motion and I am pleased to say that it was passed unanimously.
It will take a little time for the new policy to be agreed and understood by those in Surrey Highways who make the decisions locally, but we look forward to a time in the near future when requests to SCC to plant trees are regularly met with a positive response, and a new generation of trees are being planted in the verges across the Borough.
Local Highway – Member Allocation
Every year County Councillors in Epsom and Ewell are allocated a sum of money which is to be used to fund a highway project in their Division and which is not listed for funding by Surrey Highways. That allocation currently stands at £20K which unfortunately is not a large amount when being used to resurface or reconstruct a road or footway. This year I have allocated that money to the repair of: D2184 The Green, Carriageway (Public Section) (Beckett); D2106 Curvan Close, Footway (Beckett); D2334 Persfield Close (Beckett).
Charges for Domestic Waste Disposal
I previously wrote about planned new charges on the disposal of construction wood waste and roofing felt at the Epsom Recycling Centre, due to start in early June. That did not happen because the proposals were withdrawn by SCC for further consideration. Concerns about possible increases in fly-tipping and bonfires were raised at the time, but no reason has been given for the withdrawal.
Top Salaries at SCC
Residents will be aware that my attempts to allow for the regular monitoring of top salary costs at SCC has been rejected several times by the ruling Conservative Group. However that does not prevent me from asking for the information. Recently I received the following statistics in response to a series of questions:
• Following a restructure at SCC, 21 officers will be receiving a salary of over £100k in 2019/2020
• Senior management staffing related expenditure for 2018/19 amounted to £5,030m.
• Of that 2018/2019 figure, the costs associated with interim appointments amounted to £1,244m
Epsom Square and Epsom Library at The Ebbisham Centre, Epsom
Free! Come along to our big drawing event! Epsom Square and Epsom Library will be alive with activity, drawing on pavements; on 12 metre long paper and smaller group workshops. Sign up for your workshop on Epsom Library reception. All ages both Adults and children welcome. A free drop-in event, all materials provided. You may want to stay 5 minutes or you may want to stay all day! No drawing skills required, just the courage to make a mark.
For more information visit The_Big_Draw_Epsom/8843
Bowsaws and Broomsticks – Sunday 6th October – 2 to 4:30pm
Take a Sunday afternoon stroll around Horton Country Park Local Nature Reserve with a member of the EEBC Countryside Team and find out about all the work our volunteers carry out to help manage the reserve. Meet at the Information Centre in Horton Country Park Local Nature Reserve at 2 p.m. No booking required. Please wear appropriate clothing. Stout boots and a raincoat if it’s wet. Dogs are welcome on a lead. Please note that walks may be subject to cancellation due to poor weather conditions. If you have any questions please contact the Countryside Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: £5 per adult, £2.50 per child (16 yrs or under).
A week of activities devoted to mental health: providing a forum for discussion, sharing and distributing information and answering questions. Activities include workshops, talks, music, drama, dance and film.
Epsom Mental Health Week is held in early October and comprises a week of activities devoted to mental health: providing a forum for discussion, sharing information and providing answers to questions people may have. Although the issue is so often hidden and unexplored, there are few things in life more important than mental health. In every respect mental health impacts on all our lives- it is a very rare person who does not know sadness and anxiety, 1 in 4 of us will experience mental distress or illness in any one year and there is a sizeable group of people, some 2-3% of the population, whose lives are seriously affected by more severe and enduring mental health difficulties. The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disability in the world, and 1 in 4 people over 80 living in the UK today will develop dementia. Visit lovemelovemymind.org.uk for details of events.
Fizz Fest – Saturday 12th October – Bourne Hall, Ewell
What is a Fizz Fest? An absolute ‘must’ for fans of prosecco and fizz. Fizz Fest is a relaxed and enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family. Great music, entertainment and a fantastic range of fizz and bubbles.
Fizz Fest features a variety of Prosecco, Frizzante, Cava, Brut, Pink Fizz, Champagne and Prosecco cocktails. And for those non-fizz drinkers we will have wine and lager available. There is something for everyone.
Session Times: Afternoon session: 3:30pm-6:30pm; Evening session: 7pm-11pm
The Children’s Trust – Fireworks Night – Friday 25th October – Gates open 6pm
Come along and enjoy a spectacular night of fireworks within our beautiful mansion grounds.
Friday 25 October 2019Gates open: 6pmChild-friendly Fireworks 7.00pmMain Fireworks Display: 8pm Adult entry tickets are £10.00 and Child entry £5.00Tickets will be limited so please make sure you pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment. Food and drinks will be available during the evening. A licenced bar selling both alcoholic and soft beverages will also be onsite.
Coach Trip to Portsmouth in aid of the Mayor’s Charities – Sunday 27th October
Enjoy a day visiting the historic sights of Portsmouth – in aid of the Mayor’s Charities
Family day out, shopping, history, treasure hunt and prizes. Tickets are £15 for adults and £10 for children aged 10 and under. A special opportunity to visit:
Historic Naval Dockyard, Tudor warship Mary Rose; HMS Warrior (1860), Nelson’s flag-ship HMS Victory
Royal Navy Museum, Royal Marines Museum; D-Day Museum, Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Gun Wharf Quays (90+ outlets & 30+ eateries); Southsea Castle, Charles Dickens’ birthplace
Eastney’s James Watt Beam Engines and Pumps; Blue Reef Aquarium, Harbour and Marina
Spinnaker Observation Tower
Details on pick up and times awaited. For more info: email@example.com
Epsom Firework Display & Funfair – Saturday 2nd November 2019 – Hook Road Arena
Gates Open 5:30pm – Display from approx. 7:45pm – Gates Close: 10:30pm
EARLY BIRD OFFER – Tickets can be purchased in advance of the display online. TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM MONDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER. Please note that we are not selling tickets through shops this year.
Until 23:59 on Sunday 6th October tickets are available at the special price of £6.00 per ticket.
Advance tickets – Tickets are available in advance at £8.50 per ticket (from Monday 7th October). These tickets are only available until 23.59 on Friday 1st November.
Tickets on the day – Tickets are also available for purchase online and on the gate of the Arena, on the evening of the display, when the gates open at 5.30pm. Tickets are £10.00 on the day of the display. Under 5s are free!
Epsom Fireworks holds one of the largest displays in the South East at Hook Road Arena. The display has grown since its’ humble beginnings in 1971 into the enormous show you see every November.
Age UK Charity Curry Night
Back by popular demand Tuesday 26th November 2019 @ Tamarind Spice, West Ewell
£25pp* TICKETS ON SALE *Excludes Drinks, Coffee and Desserts.
For More Info or to reserve your seat Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PROBUS CLUB of EWELL
For retired and semi-retired Professional and Business men. Why not come and join us? We meet 1st Wednesday of the month at Banstead Golf Club for lunch and talks – For further information contact the Secretary
All are welcome
Web site – do visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!
Facebook – our 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.