Building vs parking, continuing the debate

A message from Brian Angus, chairman of EVRA:

My thoughts on a) whether planning applications should be permitted with sub-standard parking standards and b)whether residents should be offered special permits for our car parks:
 
a)   No, we took the political decision to make exception for The Star because its occupation is top priority for residents and EVRA. Without Inner London’s public transport infrastructure, most people round here need a car and somewhere to park it.
b)   No, developers and buyers make their decisions on the basis of parking availability. We need to retain the ability to regulate the use of our limited supply of car park spaces to match the demands of different groups including shoppers. We might want to make special exceptions in special welfare circumstances but not because a developer fails to make space for parking.
 
Our problems around Glyn Schools and Ewell West station (£7.50 per day), demonstrate why every potential parking space is precious.  
 
This is conventional logic, please argue why we should do different ?
 

 

Two planning applications for flats in the village.

There are two planning applications currently being considered for new flats in the High Street both relate to the first & second floors:

  1. 4/5 Market Parade the site of the present Post Office application No.17/00932/FUL – four 2-bed flats.
  2. 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 no sufficient designated parking.

The Borough’s “Parking Standards for Residential Development Supplementary Planning Document” and effective from December 2015 requires developers to comply with the standards. The Council has the power to waive this in exceptional circumstances.

In the case of The Star the absence of designated parking was discussed at the July EVRA committee with the decision that in the exceptional circumstances of the prospect of getting the building back into use, the additional flats (without parking) on the site made the development more viable. That was agreed and thus transmitted into the planning approval.

Precedence comes over as being important in planning decisions and therefore our councillors would like to hear reaidents views on which direction to take in relation to these two and any further planning proposals, when parking spaces  are an issue.

Planning application: 27 High Street

We would like to inform our residents that a new planning application has been submitted for the building on 27 High Street, where RAM Security used to be located.

The application submitted is to convert the existing first and second floors from former office use to residential coupled with some new building at the rear. Six units of accommodation will be formed.

The current site provides two parking spaces, the new application makes no additional provision for parking for the new six units proposed.

Please find more details on the application and the comment sections here. We appreciate your comments on the matter, please assure any support or adverse comments are logged using the link above. The consultation process is open until 2nd November.

237E26AC-4FE6-4303-A56F-6358F929E178

 

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

Our Autumn newsletter is out

We are happy to announce that our Autumn newsletter is out. It will start being distributed physically next week but available earlier online in the following link: Ewell Village Autumn newsletter

IMG_4510

In his issue we are inviting our residents to our Annual Public Meeting on Wednesday 18th October starting at 8pm in Bourne Hall and reminding everyone that it is the time of the year in which we collect our subscriptions.

We are also discussing the plans and consultation launched by Epsom and St. Helier NHS trust for the future of our hospital and the housing consultation by Epsom and Ewell council. We are providing updates on street lighting, Ewell Grove school development, new signs at Bourne Hall lake, plans for Mill Lane and Old School Lane development, the Christmas market and Ewell Yule, amongst others.

In the upcoming weeks we will be featuring most of the articles directly in our website and facebook. But most of this issues will be part of our discussions at the public meeting, so we encourage all our residents to attend.

Old School lane update

We have received an update from Graham Walker, Chairman of Abbeyfield Southern Oaks. He reports that their solicitors are now working with their lenders and Trustees to prepare the various funding and construction agreements, with a view to achieving financial close by or before early November.

They hope that it should be possible to undertake some preliminary works on the Old Schools Lane site in the second half of October. If this timetable is achieved, they expect the main construction programme to start in November, and for practical completion of the Extra Care facility to be achieved by June 2019.

“Our chosen contractors will be communicating with all our neighbours before the preliminary works are started, and before the main programme is started. We look forward to involving the local community ever more closely throughout the period from the commencement of works until the opening of the new building in  early Summer 2019.”

Public meetings: The future of our hospitals

As a result of the increased interest in the past meeting held at Bourne Hall, and many of our residents wanting to understand more about the hospitals’ trust. We are sharing in our site the dates of the upcoming meetings in which Daniel Elkeles, chief executive of the trust, and his team, will be presenting their plans and consultation papers.

Date Time Organised by Venue
26/09 17:30 – 20:00 Merton Healthwatch Vestry Hall, Mitcham
27/09 19:30 Belmont & South Cheam Residents Meeting

 

AvenueAcademy, Avenue Road, Belmont, Surrey
28/09 19:30 Belmont & South Cheam Residents Meeting

 

ChilternChurch, Chiltern Road, Belmont
28/09

8a, 11 am 4pm 7pm (1 Hour)

Sutton Healthwatch Epsom Downs Racecourse
29 /09 18:30 – 19:30 Public Meeting – Reigate and Banstead Banstead Community Hall, Park Road, Banstead, SM7 3AJ
3/10 19:30 – 21:30 Ashtead residents Association Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
4/10 19:00 Tom Brake Public Meeting Venue to be confirmed
4/10

 

19:00 – 21:00 Merton Park Ward Resident’s Association MertonParkPrimary School, Erridge Road SW19 3HQ

 

​6/10 19:30 Leatherhead Residents Association Abraham Dixon Hall, Leatherhead Institute

Government’s housing consultation – more houses to be built?

This week the Government published its latest consultation on further measures set in the Housing White Paper to boost housing supply in England.    ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’  (see here) sets out a number of proposals to reform the planning system to increase the supply of new homes and increase local authority capacity to manage growth.

Of most immediate concern is the inclusion of a standard methodology for calculating local authorities’ housing need.  Attached to the consultation is a  ‘Housing need consultation data table’ which sets out the indicative housing need for each local planning authority using the Government’s proposed methodology, how many homes every authority in the country is currently planning for, and, where available, how many homes they believe they need.

For our Borough the Government’s data provides an indicative calculation which estimates that there is demand for 579 new homes each year.  This is an increase of 39% above the demand figure of 418 new homes per year that were identified in the Borough’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which was published in 2016.  Officers maintain that our SHMA was robustly prepared and utilised the most up to date information at the time.

Officers are considering the consultation document and drafting a response.  A special Licencing & Planning Policy Committee meeting will be held on the 26 October to agree the Council’s response to the consultation.

It is a concern that the govt wants to force councils to accept higher numbers of housing, without saying how these will be supported, or how this can be achieved without damage to green belt.

We will continue to publish updates and follow this matter closely and we urge our residents to take part in the consultation.