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