First of all may we wish you a Very Happy New Year!
Here is a round-up of what has been happening and some news on events to come since our last bulletin.
AGM 10 April 2018 – this has now been fixed to take place at 7.30 pm (drinks beforehand) at Wallace Fields Junior School in Dorling Drive. We are hoping for the same excellent turnout that we saw last year!
Drug Dealing close to Nescot
Following reports publicised in earlier bulletins – several of our Councillors met with Frances Rutter, the Chief Executive and Principal of Nescot, before the Christmas holidays. It would appear that Nescot is very aware of our concerns and some action is being taken. We are following this meeting up with a letter requesting a meeting on behalf of the residents and this will be sent to Ms Rutter in the near future.
Just to keep you informed, we understand that:
Any students found with drugs on their persons are expelled – this is not a funding issue. This is a simple process. There are nine introductory sessions with all new students informing them of what they must and must not do.
A new agreement will apply to the student intake from September 2018 referencing random drug testing.
Security has been taken in-house leading to greater control but this is restricted to the boundaries of the college in line with insurance directives.
The college has liaised with Ewell East station and has a good relationship with them.
Both uniformed and plain clothes police have patrolled the area and inform the college when they do.
Our priority is to have a meeting with Ms Rutter as soon as possible and we will advise you further when we have details.
We have sent an email to the developers of Sycamore Gardens telling them of the drug dealing in case they too wish to take the matter further.
Aldi application on the Old Dairy site – their appeal against refusal of the application has been dismissed. There is an option to come back with a revised planning application but no news on this at the present time.
Lidl – as expected, permission has been granted for the development on Upper High Street.
Reigate Road Traffic Islands – Roman Way – to correct an earlier report, we now understand that there will not be a compulsory “no right turn” out of the development. This was something that we had pressed for but is not something that Surrey County Council deem necessary.
Applications for flats in Ewell Village – there are two planning applications currently being considered for new flats in the High Street. Both relate to the first and second floors: one on 4/5 Market Parade, the site of the present Post Office, application No.17/00932/FUL – four 2-bed flats and the other at 27 High Street the site of the now closed RAM Security application No.17/01025/FUL – six 1-bed flats.
In both applications, as with the recently approved “Star” site, there is insufficient designated parking. The Borough’s “Parking Standards for Residential Development Supplementary Planning Document”, effective from December 2015, requires developers to comply with these standards. The Council has the power to waive this in exceptional circumstances.
Local Plan – as you will be aware the online consultation closed in November. The results are published on www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/localplan under “Summary of Consultation responses”. Basically, the problem is that currently 181 units per year are built in Epsom and Ewell. Central Government has instructed local authorities to “significantly” increase the number of units they need to build and, in Epsom & Ewell’s case, they want 579 new homes per year. The demand identified as part of the strategic housing market assessment for Epsom and Ewell is 418 units per year for 15 years.
Originally the land assessment exercise recognised that 3,000 could be built on identified land excluding Green Belt, woodland, SSI etc., but over 15 years that’s 3000 units short. However Central Government then published proposals under a white paper that to fix “our broken housing market”, they are proposing we rip up our strategic assessment and use their new process.
This does not work well for Epsom and Ewell as we have recently built comparatively large numbers of units and the relative value of properties against the national wage doesn’t help either. The local plan must be completed or” predatory developers” could use the lack of a plan to land grab sites that would not be usually available for development.
The Council/Councillors now have to prepare a report making their case for a reduction in the target given. This is ongoing.
Plan E improvement works – following the Christmas break, works recommenced in South Street on Monday 8 January 2018 as planned. There will be similar lane closures in place to the ones before Christmas. The site compound has now been put back in place in the Market Place. There will be a short term, temporary lane closure on the High Street. This is to allow for materials to be safely delivered to the site compound.
The bus stand on Ashley Avenue has been fully open since Tuesday 9 January. There have been some changes to bus stops and services. Please check the bus timetables webpage for details.
The next step is to lay kerbs along South Street. Once this has been completed there will be alterations to the Marquis and Playhouse junctions. These phases are expected to commence in February.
East Street – still no progress on the road alterations! We understand that due to financial constraints the Kiln Lane Link has been shelved.
Fly tipping – successful prosecution against a man from Mitcham after fly tipping on Epsom Common with a £2,000 fine and driving ban.
166 Bus route – some of you will be aware that there is a question mark over the future of the 166 bus from Banstead to Epsom Hospital. The bus is specified by Transport for London and we understand that there has been contact with both Surrey and the Transport Commissioner to try to secure the future of the route. Its future is in doubt because it crosses the London boundary. Efforts are being made to try to sort this out so that the route continues for the future.
Pothole reporting – Are you aware that pot holes can be reported to Surrey CC? Go to https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/do-it-online/report-it-online. When a pot hole has been reported there is a case for compensation for anyone whose vehicle is later damaged by that pot hole. This web site can also be used to report a problem with pavements, street lighting and many other things.
Community Recycling Centres in Surrey – the collection of recyclable waste over Christmas proved very successful. Despite notices being attached to all bins advising that the grey ones would not be collected for one week, many calls were made to the Council “why wasn’t my bin collected today?” Really!!
We would remind residents that the Blenheim Road site is now closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Epsom Post Office – there is good news! After months of uncertainty, the Post Office has now secured a permanent location for the office. It has now opened in a new card and gift shop at 59, High Street. We wish the new team all the best for the new shop and Post Office and hope this will secure its long term future.
Hessle Grove Allotments – is anyone interested in putting their name on a list for an allotment at Hessle Grove off Epsom Road? If so, please contact us and we will pass the message on.
LOCAL MATTERS AND EVENTS
Herald of Spring – this is on Saturday 10 March at Bourne Hall, Ewell from 9.30 am until 5 pm. This year’s theme is Mother Nature – learn about local green and natural organisations, local open spaces, see the flower displays and buy locally produced honey.
WW2 A Children’s War – at Bourne Hall on February 14 – for children – be prepared with gas mask training and air raid drill, then put out a fire bomb – one of the hundreds that were dropped on Epsom at a time when there were only three fire engines. Learn to play fag cards like wartime children, discover the size of your sweet ration, try a paper puzzle and write a postcard home after being evacuated
Chinese New Year in London 2018 – celebrate the Year of the Dog in London, with the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to enjoy a colourful parade, free stage performances and traditional Chinese food, and to wish each other “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or “San Nin Faai Lok” (in Cantonese).
The London celebrations are taking place on 18th February, which is the Sunday following the date of the Chinese New Year (16 February).
Age Concern – the popular night – “Comedy at the College is being held at Epsom College on Friday 16th February – see flyer
Mayor’s Charity Meal – see flyer below
Epsom Methodist Book Fair – the 2018 Fair will take place on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February (from 10am to 8pm) and Saturday 17th February (10am-4pm). The dealers’ preview will be on Wednesday 15th February (6pm to 9pm). They will be running the Book Fair for the seventeenth successive year over Spring Half Term 2018 from Thursday to Saturday inclusive and are open for donations of books from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 11th February.
Priest Hill – the Surrey Wildlife Estate Team now manage the site through a centralised team. Surveyors, Practical Task Leaders, Liaison Officers, an Administrator and Estate Manager work to deliver the various objectives of the site management.
If you have an enquiry about any of their sites please feel free to contact the estates team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01483 910087 and they can direct your question to the appropriate member of staff.
Epsom Laughter Club – Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine which combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. It is a fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. You can get the full health benefits, whether laughter is real or simulated. Laughter Yoga was started and developed by Dr Madan Kataria in India in 1995 and is now practiced in over 73 countries. Visit www.epsomlaughterclub.co.uk for more information.
FREE taster sessions offered at Alexandra Park, Epsom (between Bowling green & Children’s playground) – 3rd Sunday of every month at 9am – unless heavy rain. Session will typically last about 50 mins. Please wear comfortable clothing and bring either a yoga mat or a picnic blanket as we may sit/lie down.
Sun 21st Jan 2018
Sun 18th Feb 2018
Sun 18th Mar 2018
Sun 15th Apr 2018
Warning re burglaries – there have been several attempted and one actual burglary in the immediate area over the last month. Please make sure you take every precaution to prevent this happening to you. Most of these have taken place in the afternoon.
Nextdoor Ewell Downs – this is a free private social network for your neighbourhood community. Nextdoor is a good way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips. There is one for Ewell Downs and although we would hesitate to recommend this site, there are several members in this area and it has proved a useful method of communication.
Keeping in touch – this bulletin is distributed to all those who have provided email addresses. The return of email addresses on the subscription envelopes has increased numbers dramatically! I hope everyone finds this flow of information useful and thank those who have commented in an appreciative way. Please pass this information on to any resident who may find it useful and ask them to let us have their email address so we can keep them in the loop.
Web site – do visit this – www.ewelldownsra.org. This shows all our previous bulletins and other information.
Facebook – our page is being well visited and “liked”. Do go and use this to put comments or pictures of the area on.
Twitter – this is quite active with many followers of Ewelldownsra.
Comments and news reports – please use this as a two-way instrument and let us know if there is anything you wish to report or comment on.