24-28 West Street Epsom updated

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19/01021/FUL Demolition of existing building and construction of a new part 7 and part 8 storey building containing ground floor commercial/retail (E use class) and 25 residential units (C3 Use) on upper levels and associated development.

The original application for a 13-storey block of flats on this site attracted more than 500 objections (including that of ECS) and led to a major revision of the scheme, reducing the height to 7/8 storeys.

The site is in the Town Centre Conservation Area and, if built to 8 storeys will also overlook the adjacent Stamford Green Conservation Area. Even with the reduced height, the obvious problem remains the sheer bulk, scale, design and height of the proposed building. This would adversely impact and harm the character and appearance of the area, quite apart from the loss of the Furniss building, itself a heritage feature.

In addition, the Society has issues with the lack of parking, and with sustainability related to both building itself and to the construction process, which would appear inevitably to be complex and imply prolonged disturbance to neighbours, traffic flow through the town and possibly the railway.

For all these reasons, the Society has written a further letter of objection, which can be seen here.

See our previous letter here.

113 Longdown Lane South Epsom KT17 4JL – Appeal against Enforcement

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20/00545/CLP Extension of existing outbuildings to rear of site curtilage.

This property has a long and contentious planning history, the most recent episode of which is the current application resulting from the issue by EEBC of an Enforcement Notice regarding the existing self-contained building at the rear of the property. Permission was originally granted to convert the original stable block into a “granny annexe”, but this building has subsequently been used as a separate dwelling, creating a house of multiple occupation (HMO) for which no permission has ever been granted.

An attempt at enforcement was appealed against in 2015, but the appeal was dismissed. In 2020 EEBC has again issued an Enforcement Notice, as a result of which the current application for a Certificate of Lawful Development was made together with a further appeal against enforcement.

Since it is clearly in the general interest that the planning system operate successfully, and all applicants be required to respect planning policies and decisions, the Society has notified the Planning Inspectorate via their website of our support for EEBC’s enforcement action.

See our comments here.

39 Manor Green Road Epsom KT19 8RN updated for Appeal

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20/00525/FUL Change of use of Gym/yoga studio, comprising a single-storey, 40m2 building into a residential dwelling. The only external works required will be some landscaping, the rest is internal.

After the Society wrote again regarding this site recommending refusal, and the Planning Committee’s subsequent refusal of the application, the applicant has appealed.

Accordingly, the Society has submitted on-line its reasons for requesting that the Appeal be dismissed.

In addition to the previously stated objections to the actual proposal, the Society believes the grounds stated by the applicant for the appeal are misleading and inaccurate, and have referred the Inspector to the policy grounds for the original refusal and the invalidity of the stated grounds for appeal.

See our comments here.

Chalk Lane Hotel Chalk Lane Epsom KT18 7FE (Update)

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20/01185/LBA Conversion of hotel and various alterations and extensions to the listed buildings to accommodate 21 dwelling units , car and cycle parking and private and communal gardens. (Listed Building Consent).

This application seeks to vary permission granted in April 2018 to previous developers for conversion of the property to residential use.

The amendments include a proposal to surround the main entrance courtyard with a high wall, thus closing off what was previously an open area. The Society believes this is out of keeping with the area, which is the most important Conservation Area in Epsom, and would adversely impact the visual appearance.

The Society wrote objecting to this proposal, following which the council’s Conservation Officer has confirmed that consent consent should be conditional on the previous low boundary hedge being retained.

See our original letter here.

And see our latest letter here.

Friars Garth, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5DH

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20/01229/FUL Demolition of existing building and the construction of 18 flats above ground floor commercial areas.

This application is for a high density scheme to optimise the site’s redevelopment potential whilst completely ignoring the many relevant current national and local planning policies.

While the Society acknowledges the need for affordable housing, there are too many adverse impacts of this proposal.

The Society’s objection letter highlights its many design deficiencies, as well as the complete loss of a significant green garden space which is currently already surrounded by densely built housing.

Refusal of the application has therefore been requested. See our letter here.

Chalk Lane Hotel Chalk Lane Epsom KT18 7FE

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20/01185/LBA Conversion of hotel and various alterations and extensions to the listed buildings to accommodate 21 dwelling units , car and cycle parking and private and communal gardens. (Listed Building Consent).

This application in a Conservation Area seeks to amend an existing scheme, the site, which incorporates a listed building, having been taken over by new owners mid-development. The amendments include a proposal to surround the main entrance courtyard with a high wall, thus closing off what was previously an open area.

The Society believes this is out of keeping with the area, which is the most important Conservation Area in Epsom, and would adversely impact the visual appearance. Refusal of the application has therefore been requested.

See our letter here.

32 Victoria Place, Epsom KT17 1BY

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20/01224/FLH Replacement of existing single glazed wooden front (including bay) windows with double glazed uPVC windows

This application for a property in a Conservation Area seeks to replace existing wooden windows with UPVC double glazing units.

While double glazing is an obvious improvement, UPVC is an inappropriate material in a Conservation Area, significantly modifying the appearance of the property and adversely impacting the street scene.

The Society would prefer replacement with modern wooden window-frames capable of housing the same double-glazing units without impacting the visual appearance, and has therefore requested refusal of the application.

See our letter here.

Woodcote Grove Ashley Road Epsom KT18 5BW updated

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19/00999/FUL Development of 98 apartments/dwellings, including conversion of the Grade II* Listed Woodcote Grove and Grade II Listed Stable Block, with parking, access, landscaping and other associated works, following the demolition of the existing reprographics centre and conference centre.

This application and an associated one regarding amendments to listed buildings proposes the redevelopment for housing of the site of the old Atkins office buildings and conversion of the listed buildings of Woodcote Grove and associated stables.

The Society objected strongly to the first design proposals in September 2019, and again following revisions in March 2020.

Further amendments have been made but, in the Society’s view, still do not constitute an acceptable revision of the setting of a major heritage building in an important Conservation Area.

The Society continues to have objections under various headings, including the planning history of the site, density and housing mix, impact on the heritage building and Conservation Area, and road safety for both vehicles and pedestrians.

In addition, there are practical issues regarding access for and sequence of development to prevent further damage to walls in the narrow streets behind the site by construction traffic seeking access other than via Ashley Road.

The Society has therefore continued to recommend refusal of the application.

See our third letter on this proposal here.

And see our previous letter here.

And our original letter here .

107-111 East Street, Epsom KT17 1EJ

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20/00797/FUL Demolition of the existing buildings and erection of part 3 storey, part 4 storey building comprising 23 residential flats (7 x 1 bedroom, 12 x 2 bedroom and 4 x 3 bedroom) with associated car and cycle parking and refuse storage.

This planning application seeks to demolish two existing small two-storey buildings on the corner between East Street and Kiln Lane and replace them with two blocks of flats, one of three storeys, the other of four storeys. The new blocks and associated parking would completely fill the back gardens of the existing houses as well as the footprint of the houses themselves. The total proposed accommodation would consist of 23 flats, 7 1-bedroom, 12 2-bedroom and 4 3-bedroom.

The Society believes it important to regard this location in East Street, on the Ewell side of Kiln Lane, as being different from that part nearer towards the Town some of which is in a town centre location. The situation here is very different with generally single and two storey residential development prevailing towards Ewell and away from the higher buildings in East Street nearer the town.

We also believe that the bulk mass and density is excessive for this location, the absence of any affordable provision unacceptable, and the proposal fails to meet the required accommodation mix, in particular in respect to 3-bedroom units.

Further concerns are over the safety and acceptability of the proposed method of access to the proposed accommodation via a narrow lane, to the rear but not part of the property over which no right of way may exist, and which in any event would need to be widened. The Society has therefore requested refusal of the application.

See our letter here.

Epsom General Hospital Site

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20/00885/DEM Prior Notification of the proposed demolition of buildings at Epsom General Hospital, including York House, Woodcote Lodge, Rowan House, Beacon Ward, the boiler house and ancillary buildings and structures, under Schedule 2, Part 11, Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended)

This planning application seeks permission (under Permitted Development rights) to demolish unwanted buildings on the hospital site at the location of the proposed Guild Living “later living” accommodation, for which a planning application (19/01722/FUL) has yet to be approved and has drawn very significant volume of objections from local residents (and the Society).

The Society is concerned that the applicant is proposing to separate the demolition of existing buildings in advance of securing permission for the replacement, which is contrary to accepted practice and may significantly increase the total duration of disturbance from demolition and building work for local residents. In particular, the proposed siting of a 4 storey contractors’ accommodation set up at the rear of Digdens Rise is completely unacceptable, since it looks directly into the bedrooms and gardens of these residences.

We are also concerned that this may also represent a plan to pressure the Council to agree to aspects of the development application which would otherwise be unacceptable, using Epsom’s lack of a 5-year housing supply to leverage the National Planning Policy Framework in the applicant’s favour.

The Society has therefore written suggesting that the demolition application be withdrawn and all matters relating to both demolition and building be dealt with under the existing application (19/01722/FUL). See our letter here.

Nevertheless it transpires that the Council could not adopt our suggestion, as the proposed demolition is Permitted Development under current legislation, but has been made subject to conditions set out in the Decision shown under the Documents tab of the planning application referred to above.