Ewell Downs News Bulletin – Christmas 2021

First may we wish all our Residents a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Prosperous 2022. There is a special thank you to all of you who responded to our carol singing in Longdown Lane North last Tuesday and welcomed us so warmly! We raised £140 for The Princess Alice Hospice. Thank you so much for your generosity!

Here is a very short round-up of important issues: –

Burglars alert – there are burglars targeting the area again – three attempted break-ins were seen on cctv in Wallace Fields on Friday last week. These were at 12 mid-day so just take care when you pop out that everything is secure. Luckily the burglars were unsuccessful despite hiding behind bushes and watching the properties.

Links Road back-land development – Planning application 21/01762/FUL Proposed Erection of three dwellings on Land Rear of 23a to 29 Links Road.

The Association has opposed this application and here is an excerpt from the letter which is on the Council web site: –

“This is the latest of a series of unsuccessful applications since 2007made by the same family who are the owners of the land. The site is located between Links Road and backs onto the gardens of Higher Green that is a conservation area that should be treated with sensitivity.

There have been similar applications for development in 2014 (Withdrawn), 2016 (Refused), 2017 (2017 Appeal – Dismissed), 2019 Refused (2019 Appeal – Dismissed).

During this period there have been alterations to the site to make any application more acceptable for the Council. This involved the destruction of forty trees and the fencing-off of the site. It also involved the mechanical devices to discourage wildlife and the destruction of habitat. The residents took photographs whilst this destruction took place. I have attached a sample of these photographs for your attention.

This site forms part of the sylvan piece of land typical of this area. The owner bought back-land gardens from his neighbours to make up this piece of land acquired by the owner over the years. This land had a tennis court and play area. It was not partitioned, and it was used as a garden area to his houses at 27 and 29 Links Road.

This site, as it appears today, is the result of wholesale destruction of the trees and wildlife since 2007 by the same developer. Sonic meters were set to deter wildlife seen in the area and associated habitat. In short, this site was damaged and made to appear to be isolated. The owners created this area by making multiple purchases of garden spaces from neighbours.

The applicant has reduced the number of houses. The three properties on the site remain on the same scale and positioning as in previous proposals. He has not reduced the overall size of the properties by 45% as claimed.

In particular, the houses are pressed to the borders of Higher Green and Links Road giving a cramped appearance which would have a harmful effect on the character of the surrounding area and nearby trees.

The applicant claims that this proposal remedies the concerns expressed previously. This assumes that by doing so makes the pathway clear for approval when in fact it fails to meet the concerns of the harmful effect it will have on the character of the area.

It is a non-sustainable development of back-land gardens covered by DM16 of the Epsom and Ewell Development Management Policy.

This has always been the proposition held by the residents and individuals within the Council and there has never been any consensus to the contrary. DM16 applies an assumption for declining proposals for the development of gardens. This development falls squarely under this category……..

Summary

We would encourage the Council to reject this Application. By doing so it would firmly support its own Policy documents for the protection of the nature and character of Epsom.The development does not represent quality sustainable development and the scale, position and density would have a detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the area.”

The photo below shows the area prior to illegal felling

These pictures below show the destruction caused to the area and what it looks like now!

We have until 22 December to object so please do what you can to help stop this development!

The Chalk Pit

The retrospective planning application at the Chalk Pit has again been moved and is now to be heard by the Surrey County Council planning committee on 26 January 2022. Again, it is unclear as to why this has been moved. Both John Beckett (our SCC Councillor) and Steve McCormick (Resident Councillor for Epsom Town and Downs) will be speaking in opposition on behalf of the residents at this meeting.

This is what has been and is happening.

There was a Residents Multi-Agency Meeting held on Wednesday 24th November 2021 in the Council Chamber which was attended by 8 Borough and SCC Councillors, Chris Grayling, EEBC, SCC and EA representatives. Key residents who directed questions to the relevant authorities and a further 14 residents watched from the gallery.

In essence, the meeting comprised: –

Introductions – Attendees introduced themselves

Ground rules for the meeting – Each agency was asked to provide an update and then answer questions pre-arranged by the residents, with additional questions at the end of the meeting.

Resident presentation – Resident, Fiona MacDowel gave a presentation that demonstrated the noise and dust issues around the Chalk Pit which were confirmed by the EA to be at CICS2 that have impacted and continue to impact local residents since summer 2020.

Update EEBC – the representatives gave an update on behalf of EEBC which included: –

Obtaining legal advice to support the nuisance investigation; Carrying out 5 early morning visits to the area in an attempt to witness the noise; analysis of 11 hours of audio recording taken by a resident; assessment of many logged instances of noise nuisance reported both to the EA and to the Council; objection to the planning application from one of the site’s main tenants; issuing a Community Protection Warning notice to the land owner in order to secure cooperation and to require steps to alleviate some of the issues on the rim itself; meeting with residents and Councillors on many occasions to listen to their concerns and continuing to meet and share information with the Environment Agency.

They also outlined the future action to be taken.

Time Frame – Residents were keen to allow the planning hearing to take place before the Council proceeds to the next stage with the hearing is currently scheduled for 8 December. In the meantime, the Council continues to take account of the representations made by residents and other interested parties. 

Update from EA – the representative gave an update on behalf of the Environment Agency and confirmed that air quality monitoring equipment is being installed and will be in place for six months.

Update from SCC – two representatives gave an update on planning permissions and confirmed that the current NJB planning application is expected to be considered at the SCC Planning Committee on 8th December.

Questions to Agencies – there were multiple questions raised, both by representatives of the residents, Councillors and Chris Grayling. The replies will lead to further investigations and issues which will be reported in due course.

Please do what you can to keep the pressure up on the authorities to keep us all safe!

If you are impacted in any way by noise or dust from the Chalk Pit, please email EEBC, the EA and SCC. Should you have a specific question, please email us on ewelldownsra@gmail.com and we will do our best to answer.

For complaints about continued trommel and machinery noise and dust from the Chalk Pit, email “incident_communication_service@environment-agency.gov.uk

For complaints about noise nuisance from both the Chalk Pit Upper Rim and the Chalk Pit itself, email “chalkpit@epsom-ewell.gov.uk

For Surrey County Council go to :- Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

Advance notification of pre-application enquiry – we have been advised of a proposed 15 metres high Telecommunication Mast installation at: Reigate Road, Ewell, Epsom and ewell Surrey, KT17 3DW. This site is to give coverage to the surrounding area and link other sites into the Network. This is as part of a project to give 5G coverage to the surrounding area. More information will follow in the January bulletin but here is a picture of the proposed location. A review of available mapping shows that Glyn School (Priest Hill) Playing Fields is close to the site of the proposed mast. Glyn School (Priest Hill) Playing Fields be sent this sheet, by email, informing them of proposal:-

Coronavirus update the Government website is Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)The link above shows the Government guidance and if you wish to remind yourselves of this ever-changing scenario, please visit this.

There are three major changes in effect from now for the next few weeks. 

  • Face coverings are required by law in most indoor settings outside the home. This does not apply to hospitality settings where you are eating or drinking.
  • People who can work from home are now being asked to do so.
  • From today, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption. This includes nightclubs and big sporting and entertainment events.

Self-isolation

The self-isolation requirements have also changed. If you test positive for Covid you are still required to isolate for a period of ten days, even if you do not have symptoms. But if you live with or come into contact with someone who tests positive, you do not have to isolate but are instead asked to take a daily lateral flow test to continue to check that you are not positive yourself.

Who knows what will happen next!!!!

Infection rates – One Surrey area has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the UK. Reigate and Banstead recorded 1,499 new cases and has an infection rate of 982.3 per 100,000 people, according to the latest figures. It is the highest infection rate in Surrey and the tenth highest infection rate in the country. Epsom & Ewell also has a rising infection rate. The area recorded 624 new cases and has an infection rate of 770.3 per 100,000 people, up from 660.5 a week earlier.

In case you are still waiting for your vaccination or booster this the link – https://www.nhs.uk/bookacoronavirusvaccination/doyouhaveannhsnumber

PLANNING ISSUES AND EVENTS AND NEWS – these will be reported in the next issue in January.

Web sitedo visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org.

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.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

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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