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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: –
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.”
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.
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 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.
Take care All.