Firstly may we wish all of you a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
There was no bulletin late last year as you would have received the hard copy of the News Round-up from your Road Reps and I should like to thank them all for the sterling service they have given in delivering these over the year.
There are a few important items, mainly on planning, that I should draw your attention to:-
Higher Green/Links Road – Backland Development – (19/00354/FUL) we have teamed up with Links Road to oppose the backland development application for the erection of 4 new dwellings and associated access, landscaping and parking which has gone to appeal. We have contributed to the fighting fund and the appeal is in progress.
1 Higher Green, Ewell – (19/00758/FUL) this has gone to appeal – as unfortunately anticipated! We are appealing and in this connection have discovered a particularly disturbing lack of compliance with regulations regarding letters of objection to be sent to the Inspectorate. Some documents were missing from the website and others had not been forwarded as is the legal duty of the Council. This highlights a breakdown in the Planning Department and we are certainly taking this matter further as this is not the first time this has happened.
27 Alexandra Road Epsom – (19/01721/FUL) erection of roof extension to create 5 x 1 bedroom flats, new facade to existing building and associated additional car parking. This building overlooks Alexandra Park. It is awaiting a decision and the expiry date is 24 January. The concern about this development rests on the fact that the whole building to be covered in slate grey cladding with grey windows – is this in keeping with existing buildings on Alexandra Road?
12 Longdown Lane North, Ewell – work is almost complete and we are working with the developer about restoring the grassy area which has been reduced to a sea of mud and hope to have a positive outcome in the near future.
North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road) – (19/01593/FUL) proposed change of use of the land and buildings for a Dog Day-care centre. The Dog Day-care Centre will accommodate up to 40 dogs on the site at any one time, and the supporting staff (at full capacity) would comprise 4 drivers/walkers and 2 x day care assistants. In addition, there would be the day-care manager and owner. The operational hours would be from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. However, when allowing for the fact that dogs will be collected between 8am and 9.30pm from their owners’ homes it is expected that many of the dogs will arrive at the site between 9.30am and 10.00am and depart around 3.30pm. As such, dogs will be on the site for only 6 hours during the working week. No dogs will be kept at the premises overnight. There do not appear to be any objections to this. There do not appear to be any objections to this and a decision is awaited pending the answers to the questions raised by the SCC Highways Officer.
5 The Derby Square, High Street Epsom – (19/01647/CLP) Application by Anytime Fitness for a gymnasium operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient and affordable fitness options in well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment and state-of-the-art security and surveillance systems. This is awaiting a decision but there are concerns for residents of existing properties in the area with the 24 hours operation.
Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road – (19/01655/SCR) EIA Screening Opinion pursuant to Regulation 6 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 for 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 307 care residences and ancillary communal and support services including a restaurant, café, shop, wellness centre, gym, library, craft room, therapy and treatment rooms (Use Class C2), 40 transitional care suites (Use Class C2), 24 key worker units (Use Class C3), children’s nursery (Use Class D1) together with associated back of house and service areas, car and cycle parking, altered vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, private amenity space and public open space. This was decided pm30 December as “No objections”.
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
The Lodge, West Street Ewell – (19/00015/FUL and 19/00801/FUL) The first application to build 3 houses on the site of The Lodge, was approved early in 2019 but the second application for 2 houses and 4 flats was refused, much to the delight of the residents.
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. There are currently 603 Public Comments objecting to this application. A decision has not yet been made.
South Hatch Stables – (18/00308/FUL) – there is no further news on referral of 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 to the Secretary of State who will decide whether to call it in for review as Green Belt is involved.
Development Site at 24-28 West Street Epsom – (19/01021/FUL) no further news on this application for the 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 are 399 objections to this including ones from Historic England and the Civic Society.
The Police Station and Ambulance Station sites in Church Street Epsom – although their web site states “A new McCarthy & Stone development is subject to planning on Church Street. This retirement development in Epsom will include a mix of 19 one bedroom and 41 two bedroom Retirement Living PLUS properties that will be within walking distance of Epsom’s excellent selection of local shops, restaurants and amenities”, there is no information on a planning application.
Planning comments from Clive Woodbridge
There is a ‘Democratic deficit’ in the Planning process, and so residents sometimes find it hard to understand why certain planning applications are being presented to the Council that may seem to be out of character for Epsom and Ewell. Clive has spoken with officers and it is proposed to have “Road Shows” around the borough enabling residents to get an understanding of how the process works, and the constrains the council faces; and also have their say regarding how planning is now progressing and explain why many people are upset about the impact on the whole borough.
There is no appropriate land available for the required number of new homes to be built and the borough is missing targets set by Government. Therefore, the council is trying to optimise whatever resources are available.
There is a need to get residents more involved in the planning process. A recent manifesto by Civic Voice included the following interesting proposals:
Require developers and local authorities to provide a clear summary of how the community’s feedback has informed decision making.
Give community representatives a meaningful voice at every stage of the planning process, including, introducing a “pre-application community consultation” stage and a limited right of appeal.
Increase the time community representatives can speak at planning committees to a new national standard of at least 5 minutes.
Their ambition is to move away from ‘Confrontation to Collaboration’ and from ‘Consultations’ to ‘Conversations,’ which should be continuous, not just every four to five years when local elections start. This would enable citizens to become more active participants in the development of our towns and villages. Doing this will help create pride and commitment to the success of places. All councils should have enough funding to appoint community planning officers with the appropriate skillset to work with communities and rebuild trust in the planning process, Civic Voice believes. (For more info go to www.civicvoice.org.uk) – see later advice regarding an important meeting o be held on 28 January.
Town Centre – work continues on the market place and should be completed by March of this year – the details of the phases of the work as shown on the SCC website are available at www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/policies-plans-consultations/major-transport-projects/epsom-and-ewell-major-transport-schemes.
Yellow lines opposite the Wallace Fields Infant School parking area – the public notices have been displayed and we await further information.
Layby on East Street – this is being discussed this week but it is understood that with the need to resite underground utilities initial costs on this are in the region of £356,000!!! A pot of paint for yellow lines and other cheaper initiatives are also being discussed!
Information from Chris Frost
Detailed proposals for investing £500 million to improve hospitals for more than 700,000 people in Surrey, Sutton, and Merton have been published. Work has been done with a wide range of experts, partners, local authority and public health colleagues, clinicians, the public and our regulators to gather research and evidence to help shape our proposals.
The proposals outline three options, and a preferred option, for the location of a new 21st century hospital facility to bring together services for the most unwell patients, as well as births in hospital. All three options would see the majority of services (85%) staying at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, with an investment of more than £80m in the current buildings. Both hospitals would run 24/7, 365 days a year, with urgent treatment centres, inpatient and outpatient services. The proposals make it clear that all three options could be delivered by the local NHS.
The proposed preferred option for the new state-of-the-art hospital facility is proposed to be Sutton Hospital, next to the Royal Marsden specialist cancer hospital. The other two options would be for the new facility to be at Epsom Hospital or St Helier Hospital. An additional urgent treatment centre is also proposed on the Sutton Hospital site if it were to be the location of the new hospital facility.
Also published are the detailed assessments of site options which resulted in Sutton scoring as the highest for the location of the new hospital facility, called the ‘specialist emergency care hospital’. Services provided at this ‘specialist emergency care hospital’ would include A&E, critical care, emergency surgery, births in hospital and inpatient children’s beds. The proposals explain that Sutton would have the greatest benefit for the most people, the least overall impact on travel for older people and those from deprived communities, while also having the smallest increase in average travel time for the most people. A new facility at Sutton would be the easiest and fastest to build – taking around four years, rather than up to seven for the other two options of the specialist emergency care hospital being built at Epsom or St Helier.
The funding for the Epsom and St Helier Trust, announced nationally in September 2019, would address major workforce, buildings and financial pressures: including a lack of doctors and health specialists, and mounting costs to keep repairing buildings older than the NHS, and fund temporary staff. No decisions would be made on the future of Epsom and St Helier Hospitals until the Spring/Summer when CCGs would consider the views of local people gathered during the consultation, and all the clinical and financial evidence before making any decisions. The consultation runs from 8th January until 1st April.
A series of 9 public listening events (3 in each CCG area) – open invite to share information on proposed options for change, answer specific questions from the public to increase understanding of the consultation and proposals, as well as invite and listen to feedback and encourage people to respond to the consultation questionnaire.
|CCG Area||Date||Time||Location of meeting|
|Sutton||21-Jan-2020||18:30 – 20:30||Holiday Inn, Gibson Rd, London, Sutton SM1 2RF|
|Merton||24-Jan 2020||13:30 – 17:30||Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Rd, Morden SM4 6PX|
|Surrey Downs||28-Jan-2020||13:30 – 15:30||Kings Church Epsom, Longmead Rd, Epsom KT19 9BU|
|Surrey Downs||11-Feb-2020||18:30 – 20:30||Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom Downs, Epsom KT18 5LQ|
|Sutton||12-Feb-2020||13:00 – 15:00||The Phoenix Centre, Mollison Dr, Wallington SM6 9NZ|
|Merton||12-Feb 2020||18:30 – 20:30||New Horizon Centre, New Horizon Centre, S Lodge Ave, Mitcham, London CR4 1LT|
|Sutton||02-Mar-2020||18:30 – 20:30||St Helier Community Association, Hill House, Bishopsford Rd, Carshalton, Morden SM4 6BL|
|Merton||05-Mar 2020||18:30 – 20:30||Chak 89 105 Bond Rd, Mitcham CR4 3HG|
|Surrey Downs||17-Mar-2020||18:30 – 20:30||Bookham Community Association 51 Church Rd, Great Bookham, Leatherhead KT23 3PQ|
At the December meeting, the Council debated a petition asking the Council to look at a strategy for the Borough to adopt in order to meet the Government’s house building targets whilst retaining control of planning matters in the Borough. It was agreed that the Government’s housing target of 579 units per year (now increased by 20% because we have not identified at least 5 years land supply!) for the next 15 years is unrealistic. The options of ignoring or appealing the targets, and the experiences of other boroughs, were discussed. There was agreement that more housing is needed and that the borough would need to allow higher and denser housing in some areas, but that these should be in town centres and close to transport links. There was general agreement that we want to keep the character of the borough and maintain our valued open spaces.
Licensing and Planning Policy Committee
The committee met in November. We received the results of the public consultation on the draft Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). The SCI sets out how local residents, businesses etc. can be involved when the Council prepares planning policies and determines planning applications. Following the consultation some amendments were made and the CSI adopted.
As part of the emerging Local Plan, the committee looked at our Growth and Housing Strategy. We heard about the need for more schools, improved transport links and increased healthcare provision and agreed principles to drive the strategic direction of development. These are
- Character of the Borough. Planning policies should support the “desirability of maintaining an area’s prevailing character and setting” (NPPF para 122(d). In addition, developments should ‘function well and add to the overall quality of the area ….. [be] visually attractive … sympathetic to local character, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting … [and] create places with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users’ (NPPF para 127).
- The focus for Development. Housing development will be focussed in the following locations: Epsom Town Centre; Other centres and stations; Principal movement corridors; Strategic employment sites; Intensification of the urban area; Urban edge of green belt
- Design. Design Policies will require developers to deliver design quality with an emphasis on green and family friendly, and which ensures that each development is ‘of Epsom’ reflecting the local character and setting.
- Heights and Density. Polices will also address the density and height of developments and place a height restriction [storeys] which reflects each localities character and setting based on the NPPF.
Concert at Epsom College – Come and hear us sing (bits of!) Handel’s Messiah on Sunday 19th January, 1930 at Epsom College Big School. Free (donations). Concert about 1h30.
Board Game Afternoon – An afternoon of skill and luck playing some old and some new board games at St Mary’s Ewell on Saturday 25th January
Epsom Civic Society meeting
Age Concern – Tickets are available now. Book now to avoid missing out on this SELL OUT show. Join us on Friday 21st Feb @ Epsom College for a night filled with laughter.
Epsom Book Fair 2020 – Annual Giant Charity sale of second-hand books, DVDs and Music. Over 60000 books including antiquarian, out-of-print, children’s, fiction and non-fiction.
Ewell Horticultural Association – Pesticides – Are They Safe? Tuesday 10th March at 8:00pm. Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell KT17 1UF fully accessible venue. A Talk by Andrew Halstead, a retired RHS Entomologist, whose talk will put into perspective the risks and benefits of using pesticides, covering their history and research into toxicology and environmental effects of new products.
Herald of Spring – 60’s Theme – Saturday 7th March at Bourne Hall Ewell – 9:30am to 5:00pm
If you’re looking for a family day out to kick start the Spring season, why not pop down to Herald of Spring this year?
This year’s event will be more jam-packed than ever. There will be a range of beautiful floral arrangements to enjoy as well as a special display courtesy of Ashtead Park Garden Centre. You can meet the teams of local volunteers and countryside groups who will be happy to talk to you about the borough’s plentiful open spaces and what you can do to get involved. Come and join us in the cafe for a selection of hot drinks and home-made cakes!
There will be a wide range of activities throughout the day, including trickery and sleight of hand from Close Up Magic, kid’s games and activities from Hobbledown, Rainbow Leisure Centre and the Bourne Hall Museum – and for the grownups, a great selection of locally produced arts and craft at the co-located Gift Market, organised by What’s On In Epsom.
Local updates and information
“Happy to chat” benches – one of the Council initiatives as part of the Health and Wellbeing action plan is to designate some of the benches in the Ashley Centre as “chatting benches” where anyone who is happy to chat can sit and strike up a conversation with like-minded people. It is hoped that single people may benefit from the companionship of others while shopping in Epsom.
May Day Bank Holiday – the early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day which takes place on 8 May, and enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced today.
The occasion will remember the contribution of British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces personnel; those who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front. As well as marking the Allies’ victory in 1945, the bank holiday will serve as an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.
Commemorative events will take place over the 3-day weekend across the Borough. Are you thinking of having a street party that day – see http://www.streetparty.org.uk for further information.
From Surrey County Council
Blocked Drains – is the drain in the road outside your home blocked causing flooding in this inclement weather? We clean out drains that are blocked from the inside. If you think that a drain is blocked and might be the cause of a localised flood, please report the blocked drain.
Find out more about drains and how we clear them and see a list of frequently asked questions on our drains pages.
While you are at it why not clear the path of slippery leaves from the front of your home to enhance the area!
Langley Vale Wood
On Sunday, our volunteers went a-wassailing to scare away evil spirits and wake the orchard trees from their winter slumber. Led by a Wassail King and Queen, a noisy procession using pots and pans and with embellished stakes held aloft, made its way through the wood up to the orchard. Here, the group sang to bless the trees and hung toast to the branches in this traditional ritual. In true Wassail style, glasses were raised with mead and freshly pressed apple juice, and apple pies were enjoyed by all.
Huge thanks to our many volunteers who have given their time and effort in caring for the fruit trees during their nursery years, and to the volunteers who organised this fun celebration in the Sainsbury’s Community Orchard. Thanks to Sainsbury’s for their support.
For information on how you can get involved, visit Langley Vale: http://www.woodlandtru.st/vtcrU
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via our web site: www.ewellprobus.org. 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.