The Ashley Centre Epsom KT18 5AB

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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.