Ewell Downs News Bulletin – April 2021

First, may we offer condolences to all the members of the Royal Family and especially to the Queen herself. Prince Philip was a multi-faceted man whose life and achievements are well summarised by the President of the United States. He said in a message: “Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye – Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family. The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the armed forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped.” God Bless you Prince Philip. 

The Royal Family has an Online Book of Condolence available on their website for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence:

https://www.royal.uk/condolence

So, what is happening locally? 

The Chalk Pit

The issue of the Chalk Pit continues unabated. The number of objections on the EEBC website has reached 296 with more to be added! Thank you to all the local Councillors who have rallied behind the opposition – we need to keep up the pressure on SCC and the Environment Agency so everyone’s action is appreciated and essential.

A new Facebook Group has been set up to maximise efforts to keep residents up to date. This is called Epsom Chalk Pit Community Group. It is a private group for sharing of experiences & challenges of those living in proximity to the Chalk Pit, to capture the support & concerns of the wider community and, if possible, to give the latest information available / answer questions on recent planning proposals. 

This had more than 90 Likes or Follows within a few weeks – https://www.facebook.com/epsomchalk.

There is also a group set up on Facebook for discussions, called Epsom Chalk Pit Community Group. The group gained more than 75 members within a few weeks –https://www.facebook.com/groups/epsomchalk.

A web site has recently been created for Epsom Chalk Pit Community. This will be updated with the latest news on the situation at the Chalk Pit – http://www.epsomchalk.org.uk.

We would encourage everyone to join to be kept in the loop or post information on Chalk Pit issues.

This is the latest advice from the Ken Reid who has been leading the opposition in our area – “Below are three updates on the Chalk Pit which make it very importantthat we report any dust and noise nuisancewe experience on a daily basis. I was woken up on Friday 9 April morning before 6am! 

If you suffer Dust or Noise Nuisance please either call 0800 80 70 60 or email them Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk on a daily basis.

  1. Response to the Environment Agency – Chalk Pit, Epsom – March 2021 Update

We have now issued a full response to the Environment Agency’s Update. This is a large response that may be difficult to follow and as a result we set out a summary below.

A copy was sent to the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP as well as 3 County Councillors and 9 Ward Councillors (3 in Reigate and Banstead and 6 in Epsom and Ewell).

We are aware that the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP has picked this up and issued a significant challenge to the EA. He also visited the site on Good Friday and has asked for a further meeting with the Agency.

  1. Environment Agency – Freedom of Information Request

A Freedom of Information Request asking for extensive information about the NJB Recycling permit was issued on 15 February. A copy of the permit was received soon thereafter however 16 documents were received on Friday 9 April last week.

Though a detailed review is underway a cursory review of new noise and dust assessments included as part of the disclosure astonishingly now suggest that there are few noise and dust issues without a building. It begs the question as to why the buildings were such an important feature of the original assessments.

The dust assessment states that there is a low risk of harm to health if they were to adopt the risk mitigation measures in this plan – these measures have largely not been adopted. We would also like to know what a low risk of harm to health is!

  1. Dust Monitors

We have ordered two dust monitors that will allow us to measure the level of dust in the air. 

Summary of Response to the EA March update
General Points Local residents suffering significant noise and dust nuisance as well as potential harm to healthDust nuisance should not be a surprise given the dust assessment and the failure to implement the risk mitigation measuresThe issues are recurring and constant and not occasional

EA Planning Consultation Response Advised the EA that the water aquifer site designation stated in their letter is wrong (the register is kept by the EA!) We submitted a detailed analysis of the Noise and Dust assessments showing that they are wholly inadequateGiven the above and the fact that the EA has asked for further assessments we are disappointed that the EA did not include a condition requiring robust assessments 

Permit Transfer A proposed splitting of the licence between NJB and Skip It has been put on hold and we welcomed this

Dust and Noise Management Plans Advised that these should have been put in place prior to starting operationsAdvised that if there were issues then these should have been corrected much earlier with operations stopping whilst new plans were drawn upConfirmed that the operator and his advisors have confirmed that a building is required in order to prevent nuisanceSuggested that the operations should be immediately stopped

Operator improvements Whilst improvements are welcome we have advised the EA that many measures simply are not being implemented. The EA has been misinformed.Advised that the discussions between the operator and local residents were of no comfortAdvised that the operating hours were not being adhered toAdvised that there is significant dust

Closing statement Not right to expose the local community to the health risks associated with the dust and that these risks should have been addressed prior to startingIt is not fair that residents are suffering nuisance as a result of the operator failing to produce robust plansRequested the EA to monitor the site and take enforcement action where necessary

Don’t forget to sign the petition to stop the planning permission which to date has 3,373 signatures and is working towards getting to 5,000. Petition · Surrey County Council: Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant · Change.org

Re the planning permission (which can be reached at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk), Angela Clifford of the Epsom Civic Society has recently advised:- 

“Many of you will be aware of the issues around the expanded use of the Chalk Pit in Epsom for industrial recycling. The current expanded use is unlawful and should not be happening in what is a green belt location. It is also causing considerable noise and dust nuisance for local residents.


I am working with local residents at the moment to try to get the issue addressed and to get the regulatory officials who oversee issues like this to take action to stop what is going on.


The operator is applying retrospectively for planning consent to use the site in this way. I have already lodged an objection to the application, and I know that many others have too. But I would encourage everyone affected to do so by writing to Councillor Tim Hall, the Chair of the Planning Committee at Surrey County Council. The address is County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston, Surrey, KT1 2EA. The application is due to be heard in June.

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

Other matters

Subscriptions

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.comto be added to the list.

Surrey County Council Elections on Thursday 6 May 2021- the good news is that voting for residents south of the Reigate Road railway (NESCOT) bridge will be held at Nescot and not at Wallace Fields Junior School. Those who live within Ewell ward will be voting at Bourne Hall.

If you are registered to vote in England or Wales and want to vote by post on 6 May 2021, you must submit a postal vote application form that is received by your local Electoral Registration Office before 5pm on Tuesday 20 April. The postal voting pack will probably be received during the week commencing 19 April. Be sure to keep it safe!   

Our current County Councillor – John Beckett


Surrey County elections are held every four years, and, in the past, Ewell Downs residents have elected a Resident Association candidate to represent them at SCC County Hall. Your current County Councillor is John Beckett who knows the area, its needs and aspirations well. He is independent of party politics and puts residents’ interests first and will

again be our nominated election candidate for Ewell division in this May’s election.

About John

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


John is a very active councillor and  knows our roads and local issues.  He visits areas causing local concern, taking photographs and quickly raising problems 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 due to John’s perseverance and, in addition, John is regularly responding to residents’ requests for the repair of dislodged kerbstones, damaged grass verges, local repairs to flowerbeds and also vegetation to be cut back. He has taken up all these issues, achieving quick and effective results. 


Highways is only part of his role and assisting residents with Adult and Child social care, Health, Education and Climate Change are also part of SCC’s portfolio.


John has also been actively working with residents, the Borough Councillors, EEBC and SCC on the current situation at the Chalk Pit. This is essential to get the situation brought under control.

He has used his SCC allocation to support many projects and charities including The Sunnybank Trust, Age Concern, PHAB, Home Start, Girl Guides, while also funding several defibrillators around the Borough.


So, on Thursday 6th May please use your vote and support Cllr. John Beckett, your Ewell Downs Residents’ Association nominated candidate.


Should you want to contact him about any SCC issue then please email on: john.beckett@surreycc.gov.uk


If it is regarding anything to do with the election, then please use beckett.ra@btinternet.com.

SCC Plans for a Single Unitary Council for Surrey – the RASSU (Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary) petition has now closed with 5,321 signatories. Those of you who watched the discussion which was live on 18 March (which still can be done on the link: https://surreycc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts) will see that this matter has been shelved until after the County elections. No work is being done on this issue following the Government decision not to proceed in October 2020. Cllr Hannah Dalton’s 3-minute response can be viewed at RASSU responds to Tim Oliver on our unitary petition – Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary.

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.

From April 12

As at 12 April 2021 this is the breakdown of cases per Surrey district and borough (increase shown is from the previous week).

Check out all of the figures in the table below

Step 3 – not before 17 May

Social contact

As part of Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances. This means that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal. Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply – they will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.

As soon as possible and by no later than Step 3, they will also update the advice on social distancing between friends and family, including hugging. But until this point, people should continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble.

Business and activities

Most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and businesses may not cater for groups bigger than the legal limits. Indoor hospitality will reopen – and as in Step 2, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor will there be a curfew. Customers will, however, have to order, eat and drink while seated.

Other indoor locations to open up in Step 3 include indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and children’s play areas; the rest of the accommodation sector, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs; and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes. The government will also allow some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number). In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).

Events

Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Review of social distancing

Finally, before Step 4 begins, the government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures that have been put in place to cut transmission. This will inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which the rules on 1 metre plus, the wearing of face coverings and other measures may be lifted. This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.

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 to cease its mass vaccination service as the Jockey Club prepares for the phased return of spectator horse racing events. The vaccination service, which opened at the Epsom site on January 11, will be relocated 11 miles north to Esher’s Sandown Park Racecourse from May 17. Both are owned by the Jockey Club.

Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says Epsom Downs Racecourse has played “a huge part” in the success of the vaccination programme so far, but added “there is a need to relocate” due to plans for the phased return of horse racing events at Epsom.

At the moment, horse racing events must take place behind closed doors and without spectators. But according to the roadmap out of lockdownracing fixtures with up to 4,000 spectators could be permitted to take place no earlier than May 17. Indoors, events of up to 1,000 people would be permitted at the same time. On the Epsom Racecourse website, tickets for six different events in the summer are currently on sale.

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”. Permission was granted at the Planning Committee meeting on 1 April which replaced the 11 March meeting which was cancelled.Conditions were imposed to safeguard the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building.

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. This is scheduled for the May committee meeting.

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 parking spaces, 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 isanother 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 on the Agenda for the meeting on 22 April.

Epsom General Hospital Car Park– (20/00249/FUL) Erectionof 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. This was on the Agenda for the 22 April planning meeting but has been withdrawn and referred to a special meeting on 12 May.

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. This is on the Agenda for the committee meeting on 22 April.

6 The Grove Epsom–(20/01855/FUL) Erection of 7 x two bedrooms flats and 2 x three bedrooms flats and associated external works following demolition of the existing building. The appeal against an earlier and separate application was dismissed.

North Looe Estate (170 Reigate Road)– (19/01593/FUL)proposedchange 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 byMcCarthy & Stone. This application has been withdrawn.

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

First an appeal to find Roxie – Roxie went missing on Friday 2nd April whilst out on a walk along the Hogsmill River, Ewell (exact location included in the map in the comments) Roxie is 3 years old chihuahua cross, chipped and spayed. No sightings to date, if sighted or found, or if you have any information at all, please call the owners on 07960 766201. A reward has been offered for her safe return.

Volunteers wanted – St Raphael’s Hospice is looking for an army of volunteers to help reopen its charity shops from 12 April. The Hospice would like to welcome anyone who can commit to giving four hours or more to clean, tidy and remerchandise the stores with summer stock. http://www.straphaels.org.uk.

Epsom Playhouse – Performances start with The Three Musketeers Online production starring Robert Lindsay Tuesday 15th June – Saturday 20th June 2021 The Three Musketeers is a new online farce written by Sydney Stevenson and starring Robert Lindsay.Follow this link for tickets:- The Three Musketeers Online production starring Robert Lindsay Epsom Playhouse.

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 2 May.

The Epsom Vegan Market – Sunday 25 April – Come along and visit the Vegan Market in Epsom 10:30am to 3:30pm

Antiques & Brocante Street Marketreturns to Epsom Market Place his Sunday 18th April from 10am – 4pm . With up to 40 stalls offering a huge array of antiques collectables vintage and retro items.

Epsom Craft MarketSunday 9 May 10.30 to 3.30pm Join us in the high street on the 2nd Sunday of every month for an assortment of local crafts made by local people. At our monthly craft and gift market you will find a wide selection of local makers and artists offering their handcrafted items. Each item is sure to be unique and handmade with love. Stalls include jewellery, candles, artwork and prints, sewn items, pottery, candles and soaps, and so much more! @follyfairs.

If you want a stall contact them direct – don’t miss out. Folly Fairs – Surrey | Facebook

The Nonsuch Town & Country Show and Surrey Festivals of  Dogs Due to Coronavirus 020 show was cancelled – NEW DATE Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th May 2021

The Show with something for everybody. Fantastic Main Rings, cookery demo’s, countryside ring, Jive Dancing, Abba Tribute Band, Jonathan Marshall from Game of Thrones, Festivals of Kids, Festivals of Dogs, Classic Cars, Motorbike Ring, Wrestling, Magic Shows, Punch and Judy, Living History, Comedy, music throughout the day and so much more for the whole family.

The Dog Event with something for all four-legged friends from Dog Shows with over 20 classes daily to Dogs Have Got Talent, Chase the Bunny, Have a Go Agility, Agility Demonstrations, a Main ring and so much more. We can’t wait to see all our four-legged friends there. Booking: https://go.evvnt.com/653116-0?pid=2513. Prices:Adult: £9.00,Concessions: £8.50, Children: £4.00,Under 5’s FREE

The TasteOfTheWorld Market in Epsom Every Friday, every bank holiday and selected Sundays on Epsom’s marketplace 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

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.

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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