Monthly Archives: October 2017

Your Borough, Your Village, your say

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.

Or

- Unclassify all green belt
Or

- 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

Ewell Village Residents’ Association public meeting

We invite all our residents to attend our open meeting to be held on Wednesday 18th October at 20.00 in Bourne Hall.

We hope to have a number of presentations from councillors and external speakers on key issues facing us at the present time. This includes an update on the Epsom & Ewell Local Plan, which is only reviewed every 10 years or so. It is a process that will affect us all, and with government pressing for higher housing numbers will involve tough choices. A consultation is underway and we hope to encourage as many as possible to take part. Other topics may include Epsom & St Helier Hospital Trust’s proposals for 2020- 2030; water quality in the Hogsmill; this year’s Ewell Yule; keeping the streetlights on; and an update on various planning applications including The Star and the Lower Mill. But this is your meeting; so come along and set the agenda!

After a break for refreshments, when there will be an opportunity to purchase limited edition EVRA 90 mugs, there will be a question and answer session with your three Borough Councillors, Michael Arthur, Humphrey Reynolds and Clive Woodbridge, as well as County Councillor, John Beckett. We hope a representative from the Police will also be in attendance. If you have any issues you wish to raise with them, please do come along. We look forward to seeing you.

Streetlights – the fight continues

EVRA remains opposed to Surrey County Council’s decision to turn off the streetlights from 12 midnight to 5am, and is looking to step up the campaign to reverse the change.

One way we think we we can do this is by encouraging residents to lodge a request for their streetlights to remain on. RA councillors have continued
to raise the matter with Conservative politicians at County Hall, but at the moment they remain resistant to calls for a change in policy. Given this intransigence we are encouraging all residents who wish to keep the lights
in their street on to lodge a request via the appeal process on SCC’s website. This can be found here.

The process enables a resident to say why they want the lights on full time, including for example increased incidents of night time crime or sight problems, and it also asks for signatures of support from neighbours. One street in Ewell, Corbet Road, has recently submitted a petition signed by all residents, and others are encouraged to follow suit.

It is interesting to note that currently on the SCC website they state that they are experiencing a high volume of review applications, and those applications are currently taking up to nine weeks to be processed. That should tell them something about local concerns, and hopefully that will lead to a re-think