Ewell Downs News Bulletin – March 2021

We hope that you will by now all be aware of the dangers facing the area from the Chalk Pit on College Road with risks to the environment and the planning proposals from the Skip operators. Over the past few months a group of residents have been extremely active in publicising what has been happening and what is proposed via mail shots, campaigns on web sites and Facebook, to name just a few. Time is now precious as the closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021 – next Monday!

The information below shows what the risks are, where you can get more information and how you can be involved. One important addition to previous posts is the petition which to date has been signed by over 2,100 people and is heading for a target of 2,500.

We really want to encourage all residents in the affected area to do something to support the opposition. So please act now to save the future health of all residents!

Wake Up and Smell the Silica Dust (RCS)

Proposed Materials Recycling Centre at the Chalk Pit College Road

Do you live in this area? If so read on

Background

Residents in the College Area of Epsom became aware of waste operations in the area last summer on a site without the appropriate planning consent for the use of the site nor for new structures. Subsequently the Applicant has submitted a retrospective planning application for the proposals.

Residents need to consider the following:

  1. The Applicant has ignored planning requirements.
  1. The Applicant has ignored risk assessments and operating proposals in his planning application. This has led to significant dust issues in the area previously unseen on this scale.
  1. The application is for a site in the Green Belt, sits above a principal aquifer and is in a residential area with numerous schools.

The application is wholly inappropriate for this location with residents identifying 11 grounds for objection. The building proposed is over 600% larger than the existing open fronted structure he is replacing. . For a list of these grounds email Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

Residents have raised scores of concerns regarding amongst others dust, noise, road and traffic issues and lighting with the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. We note these activities are ongoing, which is of great concern to residents. We are advised there are new surveys and new studies ongoing. It appears profit before health!

Please follow the following where regular updates are being posted:

Ewell Downs RA | Association of Ewell Downs Residents – www.ewelldownsra.org.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/epsomandewellcommunity/permalink/2853032488295839/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/EpsomandEwell/permalink/10158983399429643/

Planning

The closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021. Details of the application can be found at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

This application has caused a significant concern across the Borough and neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. If you want updates do contact Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com

Petition

A local resident has started a petition and you are encouraged to sign it if you do not want this application to go through:

Petition · Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant Planning Permission · Change.org

Please sign the petition and share it with friends, families and colleagues!

Nuisance Caused by Silica Dust (RCS)

Residents have advised of significant dust following the recent fine weather and we have been sent the following two pictures: –

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit
This moved to the North toward the Glyn School Pavilion and Nescot
Dust on Car 2 days after washing

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and wood dust are likely emitted from the operations at the Chalk Pit given the waste being recycled. They are listed by the HSE alongside asbestos as three of the five dusts where they issue specific guidance. They are not the type of dusts we want to be inhaling!

How can RCS harm your health? By breathing in RCS, you could develop the following lung diseases: Silicosis Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Lung cancer.

Dust is identified within the planning documents as an issue as follows:

Harm: Harm to human Health

Significance: Moderate

Magnitude: Medium

Given this risk the applicant has, in relation to their site, proposed that the materials recycling should be subject to a number of measures to reduce the risk including carrying out recycling in a building and misting.

These measures are not in place as we write which has likely resulted in an increase in the dust we see. We have no idea what levels of invisible respirable dust are in the air and what impact this is having on our health – the consequences will likely not be seen for many years. A number of doctors have expressed similar concerns.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP is working tirelessly to stop the nuisance as are our County and Ward Councillors both in Epsom and Ewell and Reigate and Banstead. The cross-party working has been quite something.

The applicant suggests that the dust will affect receptors (which is what we and our children have become) within 1km of the site. Online research suggests that respirable dust with an average particle size will be much more widely dispersed and we are concerned that the invisible respirable dust will affect the area within 7km of the site even in winds of 10kmph! (source Dust Particulant Distance Travel and Impacts on Adj Properties, incl Resp & Allergic Immune Responses.pdf (citicite.com))

Our health cannot be looked at retrospectively.

If you are affected by Noise or Dust, please call or email the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60 Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.

STOP PRESS

As a consultee Epsom and Ewell Borough Council were required to consider the application under ref (21/00223/CMA) – change of use from Waste Transfer Station to Materials Recycling Facility. This was done under Delegated Powers and an objection issued on 9 March 2021 quoting “there are concerns that the applicants are not adhering to the conditions of their Environmental permit. Conditions should be imposed, if the application is permitted, restricting both times of operation and delivery”. To view these go the Borough Council Planning website.

Other matters

Subscriptions

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who has already paid the £5.00 annual subscription via standing order or online. We are most grateful to you and really appreciate your support.

As you know the Road Stewards will not be delivering the green envelopes with an AGM Notice at this time, due to the pandemic so we would ask that all payments are made online – our banking details are: –

Barclays Bank Plc.

82/84 High Street

EPSOM KT19 8BH

Sort code 20 – 29 – 90

Account number 50126071

Account name Association of Ewell Downs Residents

Thanking you in anticipation.

Whilst there is no formal printed newsletter, it is very important 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, please contact us on ewelldownsra@gmail.com to be added to the list.

Surrey County Council Elections – the potentially good news is that voting will be held at Nescot and not at Wallace Fields Junior School – this is to be confirmed. This applies to residents south of the Reigate Road railway (NESCOT) bridge – others vote within Ewell ward where the Glyn school polling station has moved to Bourne Hall for this election.

You have probably received the flyer from the Epsom & Ewell Council about the Elections to be held on 6 May. In these uncertain times you may wish to apply for a postal vote and if so, this needs to be done by 27 April. This is how to do it:-

Applying for a Postal Vote
The Government has confirmed that the Surrey County Council election will go ahead on Thursday 6th May and guidelines will be in place to make voting covid- safe.
Your vote counts. However, If you would prefer not to vote personally at a Polling Station on election day you can apply now for a postal vote. 
Anyone on the electoral register can have a postal vote and you can apply to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council for one in several ways.
By email electoralservices@epsom-ewell.gov.uk
By telephone on 01372 732000 for a form, or download and print off a form below:
Downloading from the EEBC website www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/elections-and-voting/who-can-vote-and-how
Alternatively, if you need help please contact County Councillor John Becket who will be able to supply you with a hard copy of the application form.

Our current County Councillor – John Beckett

We have always found John to be a quick responder to local issues where help is needed. This is a message from him:-


Surrey County Council Elections Thursday 6th May 2021
Surrey County elections are held every four years and, in the past, Ewell Downs residents have elected a Residents’ Association candidate to represent them at SCC County Hall.
Your current County Councillor is John Beckett who knows the area, its needs and aspirations. He is independent of party politics and put residents’ interests first, and will again be our nominated election candidate.
On Thursday 6th May please use your vote and support John, your Ewell Downs Residents’ Association nominated Candidate

John was elected to represent Ewell Division in May 2013 and since then he has dealt with hundreds of resident queries and issues. Within the past 4 years John has served as the Chairman of the Local Committee which is made up County and Borough Councillors which handles those aspects of government which spans the two authorities. John has also been serving on the Surrey Pension Fund.

John is a very active councillor. He knows our roads and our local issues.  He visits those roads or sites causing local concern, taking photographs and quickly raising the issues with Surrey County Council. Importantly he is easily accessible to all our residents via telephone, email and personal contact, responding quickly to all enquires.

Many of our residential roads and footways have been re-surfaced in full or in part. For example, Stoneleigh Broadway, Curvan Close, Persfield Close, Harefield Road, West St, West Gardens and Aragon Avenue.

In addition, John is regularly responding to residents’ requests for the repair of dislodged kerbstones, damaged grass verges, local repairs to flowerbeds and vegetation to be cut back. He has taken up all these issues, achieving quick and effective results.

John has allocated his SCC allocation to support many local projects and charities including The Sunnybank Trust, Age Concern, PHAB, Home Start, Girl Guides and several Eco prize giving’s at local schools. John has also funded several defibrillators around the Borough

We hope that, in the up-coming Surrey County Council election you will continue to cast your vote for Residents’ Association Candidate John Beckett

SCC Plans for a Single Unitary Council for Surrey – the RASSU (Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary) petition has now closed with 5,321 signatories. This petition will be considered by the Leader of the Council at his Leader Decisions meeting.This meeting will be held on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 9am. The lead petitioner may speak for three minutes at the meeting which will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. This is a live event so signers to the petition can watch the discussion live. This is the link: – https://surreycc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts.

Coronavirus – COVID – 19 – from the Government website – www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

The link above shows the Government guidance and if you wish to remind yourselves of this ever-changing scenario, please visit this.

Here is a guide to what you can do in March:-

From March 8

Step one of the easing will be introduced in two stages, from March 8.

The stay at home requirement remains, however people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.

The only difference between this and existing rules is that you will be able to stop somewhere with a friend, whereas before you had to be exercising to be within the rules.

Exercise and recreation should to be undertaken locally, with advice stating that residents should not be leaving the village, town or part of the city where they live.

From March 29

As part of step one, there will be further limited changes from March 29.

Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, providing greater flexibility for families to see each other. This includes in private gardens. Social distancing measures should still be adhered to.

Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, will be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.

At this point, the stay-at-home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain. Residents, for example, will be able to drive further than before, however must still return the same day, as overnight stays remain banned. So it’s at this point that you can travel further afield for a walk, picnic or to meet someone outside for a coffee.

Now for the EVEN BETTER NEWS

No earlier than April 12

Residents should have more activities available to them from April 12.

Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos, and theme parks, will reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.

Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.

Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew – although customers must order, eat and drink while seated. A list of Surrey Wetherspoon pubs reopening on this date includes The Assembly Rooms in Epsom and a separate list of Young’s pubs include The Bear Inn, Esher; The Bear, Cobham; The Chequers, Walton on the Hill; The Dolphin, Betchworth; The Onslow Arms, Clandon; Penny Black, Leatherhead; The Weyside, Guildford and The Wheatsheaf, Esher.

Just to let you know as 10 March 2021 this is the breakdown of cases per Surrey district and borough (increase shown is from the previous week).

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.

Vaccinations – Epsom Downs Racecourse is one of the locations for a mass vaccination centre, earmarked for the large-scale immunisation roll-out and those who go there all comment on the ease and efficiency of the process. Well done to all those involved!

In case you are still waiting for your vaccination this the link – https://www.nhs.uk/book-a-coronavirus-vaccination/do-you-have-an-nhs-number

Waste and recycling – this is the link to Book your slot at the tip in Longmead

Book a slot

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.

Planning issues

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”. This is on the Agenda for the 11 March meeting.

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. There are many objections to the amended plans, including those from Resident Associations and the Epsom Civic Society.

Priest Hill Sports Pavilion Reigate Road Ewell – (21/00028/FUL) – Construction of a new all-weather sports pitch including fencing, floodlighting and all other associated works. The Priest Hill Development aims to establish a center of football and sporting excellence, where first class facilities, coaching and support can nurture and inspire young people of all abilities. This is proposed by a partnership between Glyn School and Epsom & Ewell Colts Football Club. Do go the planning application site to view photos and full information. Comments on this application relate mainly to the floodlighting and the speed of traffic on an already busy road – maybe a good reason for a speed camera to be included as part of the conditions.

Guild Living at rear of Epsom Hospital (21/00252/FUL) 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 267 care residences, 10 care apartments and 28 care suites proving transitional care etc. This is another planning application for the Epsom Hospital site, in addition to their appeal over the refusal of the first one – (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. Objections continue to be filed. This is expected to come to Committee in May.

Epsom General Hospital Car Park – (20/00249/FUL) Erection of a multi storey car park comprising ground plus 5 storeys and 527 car parking spaces, reconfiguration of surface parking to provide 104 car parking spaces and improvement to the access road from Dorking Road. This is quite a big structure but a key element in plans to invest and upgrade existing EH site. It should come to Committee in April.

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. There have been over 60 objections, mainly on height, parking and traffic but no decision as yet and no date for committee.

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 and a 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!

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 was withdrawn by McCarthy & Stone.  A revised application is awaited.

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 was discussed at the Planning Committee meeting on 14 January and the application deferred to allow officers and the Applicant to have further discussions to resolve the matters that the Committee had raised.

EVENTS AND NEWS

Epsom Playhouse – This Saturday 13th March – Online Comedy Club via Zoom at 7:45pm headlined by Hal Cruttenden brought to you by Outside the Box Comedy Club. Tickets are just £7, 1 ticket per household. Click Link For Details http://bit.ly/3rLaBkh.

Easter Crafts and Spring Mindfulness – Mary Frances Trust – they are holding a 2-day Craft Course on Thursday 25th March and 1st April. To book, you must register with them on their website www.maryfrancestrust.org.uk and then contact them on 01372 375400, text 07929 024722, email info@maryfrancestrust.org.uk to book your place and get the Zoom details. They will send out craft kits to participants with what they need to make the cards, however you will have to source your own scissors, pencils, felt tip pens, glue stick and sticky tape. Mary Frances Trust is a charity that supports adults in Surrey to improve and maintain their mental wellbeing through one-to-one support, courses, groups and activities. All classes are free.

Mayfield Lavender shop – the shop on the Reigate Road will be opening on Friday 12 March. Do go and delight your Mum on Mother’s Day! They also have many Easter items on sale.

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 Sunday 4 April.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 28 March – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm.

The TasteOfTheWorld Market in Epsom THIS SUNDAY – This takes place on a Sunday from 9.30am – 3.30pm. The next Sunday market is on Sunday 14 March. This month, due to a non-food market not being able to take place an additional market will take place on Sunday 21 March. This market includes a selection of international street food to takeaway only. For more info see: https://www.facebook.com/TasteOfTheWorldMarket

New Thai Restaurant in Epsom to open in June – A Thai restaurant group that has made use of semi-automated kitchens and even drone deliveries has discussed its plans to expand into Surrey. The restaurant group Camile Thai Kitchen started in 2010, but an Epsom branch, planned for 42 High Street in the site of the old Maplins shop, will be its first English restaurant outside of London. The focus of the menu will be healthy and sustainable Thai food, with 30% of the menu being vegan – lighter than some Thai food, but not without more decadent options!

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. I am sure some of you must have some local photos to put on this!

Facebookour 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.

About ewelldownsra

AEDR seeks to protect and enhance the interests of residents. Our primary concerns centre on planning, traffic, security and other topics which directly affect our area.
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