An article by John Beckett, county councillor.
We currently build 181 units per year in Epsom and Ewell.
The local plan is currently under review. Central Government has instructed local authorities to “significantly” increase the number of units they need to build.
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 demand identified as part of the strategic housing market assessment for Epsom and Ewell has been identified as 418 units per year for 15 years.
Land assessment exercise identified 3000 could be built on identified land excluding Green belt, woodland, SSI etc.
So that’s 3000 units short.
Central Government then published proposals in the housing white paper “fixing 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 large numbers of units in previous years and also the value of properties against the national wage.
********They want 579 new homes per year.**********
The Conservative governments solution for Epsom and Ewell is build, build,build. Where are we going to put them? 418 was going to be tough but 579 over 15 years is 8685!!!!
The Borough Council is looking at:
- Re-designating Business land / commercial properties;
- Back land development in gardens;
- Moving open spaces, allotments etc into the green belt to free up land in urban areas;
- Releasing parts of green belt land to build 4000 shortfall and re- designating other areas as green belt.
- Unclassify all green belt
- Use the urban land at a higher density at 6 stories high
All of these are not 100% guaranteed to be honoured by Government as they in future years they could demand more and more even if we hit our targets – no reward for success!
What about infrastructure? Roads, Schools, Doctors, Dentists. We are already bursting at the seems!
Woking Borough Council have argued this as part of their local plan and the Government inspector indicated: ”What’s a few extra minutes stuck in traffic”.
With this type of attitude how are normal people going to change things.
Your Conservative MP’s, many of them are cabinet members, have shown their utter contempt for the residents of Surrey but not standing up to this. They have not even had a strong voice in the severe funding cuts that local authorities have recently been subjected to. Please write to your MP and ask for action.
You also need to fill out the local plan consultation or the place you live in will not be recognisable in years to come.
To go to the Epsom and Ewell consultation please click Here