The Ashley Centre Epsom KT18 5AB

Click here to see map for location of The Ashley Centre Epsom KT18 5AB .

21/00327/FUL Alterations and improvements to the East Entrance, including new paving, over-cladding to elevations, new aluminium framed sliding doors, new lighting features, signage zones and associated works.

The Society’s objection to the first version of this proposal was submitted on the EEBC Planning Website as a “Comment” in April 2021. The plans have recently been revised, and while some aspects are an improvement, overall the Society believes the proposals remain a retrograde step inconsistent with the surrounding street scene.

The Society continues to request refusal.

See our letter here.

See our previous post here.

81 College Road Epsom KT17 4HH

Click here to see map for location of 81 College Road Epsom KT17 4HH .

21/01287/FUL Erection of a 3-bed, detached 1 1/2 storey family dwelling with landscaping and other associated works.

81 College Road is a substantial detached house on the corner of College Road and Copse Edge Avenue, a private unadopted road. The application proposes to cut the property’s rear garden in half (the bottom third of the original property having been previously built on to provide an extra dwelling) to add a further dwelling.

The Society has objected to the proposal on a number of grounds. These include the principle of backland development, the lack of vehicular access other than from Copse Edge Avenue, design and appearance, and the inadequate external amenity space for the new dwelling, which is planned to concrete over almost its entire plot creating drainage and potential flooding issues.

Furthermore the design of the property (a flat roof with solar panels) is out of keeping with the existing street scene, conflicting with Epsom’s DM10 planning policy.

Since the Copse Edge Avenue Residents Association has already indicated that permission will not be granted for vehicular access from Copse Edge Avenue, the Society has suggested this application be withdrawn and reconsidered in compliance with the nature of the other dwellings and neighbourhood.

See our letter here.

Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell KT17 1JR

Click here to see map for location of Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell KT17 1JR (corner of Epsom Road and Shaw Close).

Original application for additional house in part of the garden: 21/01167/FUL Erection of a two-storey detached dwelling with associated soft landscaping on “the land adjacent to Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell Surrey KT17 1JR” (actually part of Hollycroft’s garden)

New application for modifications to existing Listed Building 21/01254/FLH Part single storey and part two storey extension following the demolition of existing extensions and structures. The erection of a detached garage.

Hollycroft is a Listed Building, situated within the southern boundary of the delightful Ewell Village Conservation Area. The proposed new house, actually situated in what is at present part of Hollycroft’s garden, would be accessed from Shaw Close at the south of the site.

In August 2021, the Society requested refusal of the original application, effectively for backland development, because it completely fails to recognize that the site is located within the Conservation Area and does not allow for any of the design, landscaping or conservation requirements relating to such Areas. The applicant’s statement within the Design & Access Statement (Section 4.24) is incorrect regarding the site’s location outside the Conservation Area.

While objecting to the proposal on the grounds of inappropriateness in a Conservation Area, the Society also noted a range of respects in which the application and supporting documentation is substantially misleading, in particular the description of its location as outside the Conservation Area and in land not forming the garden and setting of a Listed Building and the prior unauthorised damage already done to a specimen tree, (which tree is now subject to a Tree Protection Order).

Now a second application has been submitted proposing demolition of the existing extensions to the Listed Building and outdoor swiming pool, and replacement with more substantial accommodation using contemporary design and materials.

Bizarrely, this second application and the associated documents make no reference to the prior application and the potential for the second dwelling in the grounds, which would raise potential privacy and other issues for both dwellings, and maintains the pretence that the site is outside the Conservation Area.

Possibly as a consequence, the Council have failed to allocate both applications to the same Officer for assessment and management. So our objection letter not only highlights the lack of consideration shown by the applicant for its location in a Conservation Area, and suggests that both applications should be withdrawn and replaced by a single application considering both proposals, treating the site as a single parcel of land for planning purposes. The Council are also requested to have one officer deal concurrently with both applications.

See our latest letter here.

See our previous letter here.

Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell KT17 1JR

Click here to see map for location of Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell KT17 1JR (corner of Epsom Road and Shaw Close).

21/01167/FUL Erection of a two-storey detached dwelling with associated soft landscaping on “the land adjacent to Hollycroft Epsom Road Ewell Surrey KT17 1JR” (actually part of Hollycroft’s garden)

Hollycroft is a Listed building, situated within the southern boundary of the delightful Ewell Village Conservation Area. The proposed new house, actually situated in what is at present part of Hollycroft’s garden would be accessed from Shaw Close at the south of the site.

This application, effectively for backland development, completely fails to recognize that the site is located within the Conservation Area and does not allow for any of the design, landscaping or conservation requirements stated within this document. The applicant’s statement within the Design & Access Statement (Section 4.24) is incorrect regarding the site’s location within the CA.

While objecting to the proposal on the grounds of inappropriateness in a Conservation Area, the Society also notes a range of respects in which the application and supporting documentation is substantially misleading, in particular the description of its location as outside the Conservation Area and in land not forming the garden and setting of a Listed Building, and the prior unauthorised damage already done to a specimen tree (which tree is now subject to a Tree Protection Order).

The Society has therefore asked the Council to refuse this application.

See our letter here.

Friars Garth, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5DH

Click here to see map for location of Friars Garth.

21/00701/FUL Erection of three storey building comprising 9 residential flats (6 x 2 bedroom and 3 x 3 bedroom) together with alterations to vehicular access, landscaping and associated works, following demolition of existing dwelling.

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

The Society objected to the previous application 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 present application is a better-designed, lower-density proposal, the Society remains concerned at its remaining adverse impacts on existing residents and the natural environment. While no longer formally objecting to the proposal, the Society suggests a number of conditions should be attached to permission, including the need for a Construction Management Plan and an Environment Protection Plan, as well as a number of outstanding design and landscaping issues together with the need for a detailed proposed Site Layout to enable the full impact on neighbouring properties to be assessed.

See our latest letter here.

And see our previous letter here.

20 Burghfield Epsom KT17 4ND

Click here to see map for location of 20 Burghfield Epsom .

21/00870/FLH Demolition of link attached garage. Erection of two storey side extension and front porch extension.

Previous application 21/00366/FLH Demolition of Link attached garage, construction of 2 storey side extension and front porch.

The Society objected to the previous application by comment on the EEBC planning website rather than by letter as usual, viewing it as an over-large extension for its setting.

The current application is not dissimilar, and many of the previous objections continue to apply. In particular, the change to the street scene and the potential affect to the pleasant suburban residential road of Burghfield is unacceptable, the extension is not subordinate to the existing house and too close to its neighbour No 19, and proposes an unsuitable white render finish out of keeping with the estate. Finally, the Society felt it was a complete misnomer to call a space of 1.46 meters depth a garage when it is clearly not.

For all these reasons, coupled with our previous representation, refusal of this application is also requested.

See our letter here.

And see our post for the previous application here.

Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road Epsom KT18 7EG – Appeals Update

Click here to see map for location of Epsom General Hospital.

Since our post of 8th June regarding the Guild Living proposal for this site, the applicant has further amended the design of the original proposal, reducing the height by one storey, and asked for this amended scheme also to be considered at the Appeal. So Appeals of both designs are to be heard in August 2021, effectively in a single hearing. In the light of these developments, the Society and Woodcote Epsom Residents Society have submitted a further joint response and representations document in respect of each of Appeal A (19/01722/FUL) and Appeal B (the reduced height scheme).

You can see our revised Representations and Responses by clicking Appeal A and Appeal B.

The text of the original post for this Appeal is shown below.

19/01722/FUL Demolition of the existing hospital buildings, accommodation block and associated structures and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings, comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites proving transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services Use Class C2, 24 key worker units Use Class C3, childrens nursery Use Class D1 as well as associated back of house and service areas, car and cycle parking, altered vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, private amenity space and public open space.

This application for the NHS “Sold Off existing hospital buildings site” by Guild Living involves the demolition of an accommodation block and other associated structures, and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites providing transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services.

The EEBC Officers recommended approval, despite many public objections to its scale, bulk & massing, including those of the Society and Woodcote Epsom Residents Society, but the members voted to refuse permission in November 2020. Since then the applicant, Guild Living, has both submitted a revised, slightly smaller application (see our post here.) and appealed the decision to refuse their original application.

As a major development application, the Appeal will be heard in August as a full Inquiry, lasting up to five days, with both parties being legally represented by specialist planning law barristers. In view of the Officers’ original recommendation to accept, EEBC have appointed an external planning consultant to lead the defence of the decision to refuse.

Since the case may well set a precedent for “acceptable” height of new buildings in Epsom in order to “optimise” land use in the context of the lack of land supply in the Borough for the scale of new housing required by HMG policy, the Society has taken the unusual step of pooling resources with Woodcote Epsom Residents Society to present to the Planning Inspectorate a detailed statement of all the reasons why we feel the Appeal should be dismissed. See our joint response here.

24 – 28 West Street Epsom KT18 7RJ

Click here to see map for location of 24 – 28 West Street Epsom Surrey KT18 7RJ .

21/00986/FUL Demolition of existing building (associated with application 19/01021/FUL seeking redevelopment of the site for mixed use development).

The previous application for this site (19/01021/FUL) attracted more than 500 objections and was deferred at the May 2021 Planning Committee Meeting, following many concerns being expressed by the Committee Members on the suitability of the main development, including several demolition-specific points.

Since the previous application also included demolition of the existing buildings, the Society believes this additional application to be entirely superflous, if not a spurious distraction, serving only as a possible way of prematurely creating a derelict or semi-derelict site available for development, thus ostensibly increasing the weight of argument for allowing a further application to be made in due course.

The Society argued in the previous similar case of the Guild Living proposal on the hospital site that, to ensure that all planning issues arising from both demolition, the subsequent (possibly lengthy) period of construction, and the enduring consequences of the finished development can be considered together. In the Guild Living case, permission to demolish was granted, demolition commenced, and then ceased part way through once the replacement building proposed was refused permission. Leaving sites half-demolished with no extant permission for any replacement is clearly the worst temporary outcome for local residents.

The Society has therefore urged the Council to ask the applicant to withdraw this application, failing which to refuse it, denying the opportunity to create a similar undesirable situation in West Street.

See our letter here.

Consultation on EEBC Draft Planning Enforcement Plan July 2021

The Society has responded at length to the Borough Council’s consultation, which ran from 28th May to 9th July, on their Draft Enforcement Plan, which purports to set out the way the Borough proposes to deal with potential planning breaches.

The EEBC document has not yet been put on their website but can be found via this link.

The Society believes that Planning Enforcement in the Borough has been weakening over the last few years, almost certainly as a result of resource constraints and the pressures of preparing a new Local Plan against a back-drop of ever-changing National Planning Policy and a significant increase in the volume of planning applications. The document reflects this, lacking detail and suggesting insufficient urgency and priority for effective dealing with most types of planning breach.

The Society has responded in detail to the consultation, suggested amendments and/or omissions in almost all sections of the document, and offered an additional 16 Comments and General Observations, many relating to enforcement support of climate change, bio-diversity and green heritage preservation. It should be noted in passing that other Local Planning Authorities have produced much more detailed and rigourous documents regarding Planning Enforcement. The Society has therefore requested an opportunity to discuss with the relevant Officers our comments and suggestions and, more generally, our views on the importance of stricter enforcement in planning matters, especially concerning unauthorised development or commercial activity and failure to abide by planning conditions when applications are permitted, to ensure greater compliance in future by both property owners and developers.

Our detailed comments can be seen here.

Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road Epsom KT18 7EG – Appeal Inquiry Update

Having requested of the Planning Inspectorate and been granted a further 7 days to review the Appellant’s Statement of Case (which was only very shortly available to the Societies before the original deadline), ECS and WERS committee members have updated and expanded their previous response to the Appeal. The revised version, including a new Appendix, strengthens our case for dismissing the Appeal with more detail, and challenges specific inaccuracies of fact and misleading assertions in the Appellant’s Statement of Case.

The revised version can be seen here.

The text of the original post for this appeal is shown below.

Click here to see map for location of Epsom General Hospital.

19/01722/FUL Demolition of the existing hospital buildings, accommodation block and associated structures and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings, comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites proving transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services Use Class C2, 24 key worker units Use Class C3, childrens nursery Use Class D1 as well as associated back of house and service areas, car and cycle parking, altered vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, private amenity space and public open space.

This application for the NHS “Sold Off existing hospital buildings site” by Guild Living involves the demolition of an accommodation block and other associated structures, and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites providing transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services.

The EEBC Officers recommended approval, despite many public objections to its scale, bulk & massing, including those of the Society and Woodcote Epsom Residents Society, but the members voted to refuse permission in November 2020. Since then the applicant, Guild Living, has both submitted a revised, slightly smaller application (see our post here.) and appealed the decision to refuse their original application.

As a major development application, the Appeal will be heard in August as a full Inquiry, lasting up to five days, with both parties being legally represented by specialist planning law barristers. In view of the Officers’ original recommendation to accept, EEBC have appointed an external planning consultant to lead the defence of the decision to refuse.

Since the case may well set a precedent for “acceptable” height of new buildings in Epsom in order to “optimise” land use in the context of the lack of land supply in the Borough for the scale of new housing required by HMG policy, the Society has taken the unusual step of pooling resources with Woodcote Epsom Residents Society to present to the Planning Inspectorate a detailed statement of all the reasons why we feel the Appeal should be dismissed. See our joint response here.

Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road Epsom KT18 7EG – Appeal Inquiry

Click here to see map for location of Epsom General Hospital.

19/01722/FUL Demolition of the existing hospital buildings, accommodation block and associated structures and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings, comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites proving transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services Use Class C2, 24 key worker units Use Class C3, childrens nursery Use Class D1 as well as associated back of house and service areas, car and cycle parking, altered vehicular and pedestrian access, landscaping, private amenity space and public open space.

This application for the NHS “Sold Off existing hospital buildings site” by Guild Living involves the demolition of an accommodation block and other associated structures, and redevelopment of the site to provide a new care community for older people arranged in two buildings comprising 302 to 308 care residences, 8 to 12 care apartments and 26 to 30 care suites providing transitional care, together with ancillary communal and support services.

The EEBC Officers recommended approval, despite many public objections to its scale, bulk & massing, including those of the Society and Woodcote Epsom Residents Society, but the members voted to refuse permission in November 2020. Since then the applicant, Guild Living, has both submitted a revised, slightly smaller application (see our post here.) and appealed the decision to refuse their original application.

As a major development application, the Appeal will be heard in August as a full Inquiry, lasting up to five days, with both parties being legally represented by specialist planning law barristers. In view of the Officers’ original recommendation to accept, EEBC have appointed an external planning consultant to lead the defence of the decision to refuse.

Since the case may well set a precedent for “acceptable” height of new buildings in Epsom in order to “optimise” land use in the context of the lack of land supply in the Borough for the scale of new housing required by HMG policy, the Society has taken the unusual step of pooling resources with Woodcote Epsom Residents Society to present to the Planning Inspectorate a detailed statement of all the reasons why we feel the Appeal should be dismissed.

See our joint response here.

It would do no harm for the appointed Inspector to receive representations from local residents requesting the Appeal be dismissed. If you wish to do this, having read our formal response, please contact the case officer at the Planning Inspectorate by mail or email, in each case quoting the Appeal Reference APP/P3610/W/21/3272074. Mail address: Alison Dyson, The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN. Email to: ALISON.DYSON@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

You can also submit representations via the Planning Inspectorate Portal. Extended deadline for submissions is 8 June.

Madan Cottage Avenue Road KT18 7RD

Click here to see map for location of Avenue Road Epsom KT18 7RD .

21/00528/FLH Erection of two storey side extension and enlargement of existing rear dormer window.

This application is for the erection of a two storey side extension to a house in a prominent location abutting the footpath which is a continuation of Madans Walk a well-used route from Woodcote, including the hospital, to the town centre via the attractive Rosebery park.

There is a considerable elongated effect of the previous extension which is built up hard on the boundary against the footpath, and it is proposed to build another story perpendicularly above.

The Society believes this does not comply with the design guide for house extensions requiring the first floor eaves level to be inset 1 metre to prevent a terracing effect, and as proposed would present a tunneling and darkening effect on the footpath which is much narrower at this point and also has extensive vegetation on its opposite side.

Accordingly it has been suggested that a modification to the application is needed to lessen the impact of the proposals being overbearing to users of the footpath.

See our letter here.

The Ashley Centre Epsom KT18 5AB

Click here to see map for location of The Ashley Centre Epsom KT18 5AB .

21/00327/FUL Alterations and improvements to the East Entrance, including new paving, over-cladding to elevations, new aluminium framed sliding doors, new lighting features, signage zones and associated works.

The Society’s objection to this proposal was submitted on the EEBC Planning Website as a “Comment” in the interests of speed of visibility. We have found that sending letters, even as email attachments, results in a variable and potentially long delay before they are processed by the Council and become visible on their Planning Website. The text is repeated in full below.

This Comment is submitted on behalf of Epsom Civic Society.

The proposals broadly fall into five parts; 1, Replacement Paving; 2, Replacement sliding mall entrance doors; 3, Lighting features; 4, Overclading existing elevations and columns in framing and aluminum cladding; 5, Signage zones and their associated lighting works.

1. Replacement paving. Given the recent town centre and market paving scheme, there is no justification that the public highway section is removed and replaced. This would interfere with the flow and feel of the paving continuous along the High Street. Proposals here should be confined to paving within the applicant’s ownership.

2. There is no objection to the installation of the replacement of the mall sliding entrance doors.

3. There is no objection to the proposals for the undercroft lighting upgrade. see item 5 for other lighting comments.

4. The proposed over-cladding of columns, front elevation brickwork, and first-floor windows are the most objectionable parts of the application. They would destroy the rhythm of the traditional High Street conservation area facades with its mixture of Surrey-type brickwork and rendered panels. The Society believes it to be contrary to the direction of the NPPF in that the development would certainly not make a contribution to the local character and distinctiveness. There would also be a conflict with Policy DM8 requiring resistance to the loss (here the facade) of a Heritage Asset.

5. Signage Zones and associated lighting works. Broadly, these have been designed in conjunction with the works at No.4. In our opposing No.4 proposals a reassessment is required, there may be some scope for limited lighting improvements but not to the scale indicated.

In conclusion, the application is not welcomed and refusal is therefore requested.

Epsom General Hospital Multi-Storey Car Park

Click here to see map for location of Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road Epsom KT18 7EG

20/00249/FUL Erection of a multi storey car park comprising ground plus 5 storeys and 527 car parking spaces, reconfiguration of surface parking to provide 104 car parking spaces and improvement to the access road from Dorking Road.

The Society wrote in March 2020 to object to a previous proposal under this application reference number for a new 6-storey Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) to be erected on the existing ground-level car park at the side of the current hospital site next to Epsom Sports Club.

At that time the Society, in common with many others, objected strongly to the proposal, on the grounds of its excessive height, massing and scale, the impact it would have on the adjacent sports facilities and surrounding area, which includes the Woodcote Conservation area, and its general unsuitability for the context of its setting.

A revised design has now been submitted, allegedly to address the criticisms of the previous scheme, but is, in the Society’s opinion, if anything even worse than the original. It remains a utilitarian structure with a large bulk and mass and a bland, boxy design devoid of any quality architectural features, which is totally out of keeping with the surrounding residential area. The overall detrimental effect and harm to nearby heritage assets is, in the Society’s view, substantial.

For these reasons, the Society has requested refusal of this proposal too. See our letter here.

See our previous objection (which was submitted as an on-line comment via the EEBC planning website) here.

20 Burghfield Epsom KT17 4ND

Click here to see map for location of 20 Burghfield Epsom .

21/00366/FLH Demolition of Link attached garage, construction of 2 storey side extension and front porch.

This application is for an over-large extension for its setting. In view of the short time remaining for comments, the Society’s response was by comment response on the EEBC planning website rather than by letter as usual. The text of our comments is set out in full below:-

Epsom Civic Society has reviewed this application and considered it relative to Planning Policy Documents of(1) Development Management Policies;(2) NPPF;(3) SPG for Householder extensions; and (4) Environmental Character Study.

The following comments are submitted:-

  1. The house extension is of greater bulk and not subordinate as required in design guide (SPG)
  2. Does not conform to the prevailing development typology including housing types and sizes (DM 10)
  3. The scale, massing, and size excessively detracts from the openness and space of the locality and being too close to adjoining No.19
  4. Building materials and detailing of elevations particular the change to white rendered walls being inappropriate
  5. Failing to achieve well-designed places as required by NPPF section 12
  6. Failing to function well in not adding to the overall quality of the area (NPPF 127)
  7. Not sympathetic to the local character and the built environment (NPPF 127)
  8. Not being visually attractive as a result of the designed architecture and layout (NPPF 127)
  9. The EEBC Environmental Character Study (an important planning tool) in section 39 specifically refers to Burghfield as having an open feel with buildings of a higher quality in terms of build, materials, individuality with a med-high townscape quality. It is considered to application would detract from this standing.

The Society requests that the application is refused.

on behalf of Epsom Civic Society,

Michael Arthur MBE. FCIOB. FCMI