Epsom & Ewell Local Plan Consultation 2023

Draft Local Plan is published for Consultation!

After our Autumn 2022 newsletter (No.172) went to press, the Council’s Licensing and Planning Policy Committee approved a revised Local Development Scheme with a revised timetable for consultation and adoption of a new Local Plan, replacing the October 2022 public consultation start date with 1 February 2023.

The draft Local Plan was duly published on 1 February. The Regulation 18 public consultation runs for six weeks and concludes on 19 March 2023. More information is available on the Council’s website at these links:



The consultation’s home page is here:


The home page contains the consultation and supporting documents, including the draft Local Plan and Policies Map, an introductory video, a Made Easy Guide (check out the ‘Myth Busters’) and FAQs sheets. You can sign up for notifications about the consultation and submit your responses (log-in or registration required).

Council Officers will be available to speak to you in person at the following places:

• Monday 13 February 14:30 – 19:30 Bourne Hall, Azalea Room

• Thursday 16 February 12:00 – 17:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square

• Tuesday 21 February 14:30 – 19:30, Bourne Hall, Azalea Room

• Wednesday 22 February 10:30 – 15:30, Community Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road

• Saturday 25 February 11:00 – 16:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square

• Tuesday 28 February 10:30 – 15:30, Community Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road

The Society’s message to members and non-members alike is to get involved and have your say on the proposed policies and site allocations in the draft plan. We will be in the Ashley Centre on Saturday 18 February, so do come and say hello and find out more about the Local Plan and about what the Society has been doing. We have over 1,650 members. Please consider joining the Society if you haven’t already – with you our voice is stronger.

Share your views and questions with the ECS Committee via email to info@epsomcivicsociety.org.uk with the subject heading “Local Plan”. We will endeavour to reply to your emails as soon as possible, but priority will be given in the short term to preparing the Society’s detailed response to the Consultation. All the committee members are volunteers with other demands on their time!

The Society’s committee will be putting together our detailed response to the draft plan in the coming weeks. Here are some key takeaways from an initial read-through:

  • New homes: housing requirement set at a minimum of 5,400 for the life of the plan (2022 – 2040), approximately 300pa (about 5,000 fewer than the ‘standard method’ output) (Policy S1)
  • Provision has been made for at least 5,869 new homes (ie 327pa)
  • The scale of change required to boost housing supply is ‘very significant’
  • This is the beginning of a new period of growth for the Borough
  • ‘Scenario 4’ is the preferred scenario (Sustainability Appraisal interim report, non-technical summary, p9 explains)
  • Four strategic site allocations for development within Epsom Town Centre:
    • Site SA1 – Hook Road Car Park and SGN Site between 2-7 storeys
    • Site SA2 – Town Hall, Hope Lodge and Epsom Clinic between 2-4 storeys
    • Site SA3 – Depot Road and Upper High Street between 2-4 storeys
    • Site SA4 – Ashley Centre and Global House between 5-8 storeys
  • There will be changes to the Green Belt boundary: five Green Belt sites are proposed to be ‘removed (in planning speak “inset”) from the Green Belt’ as part of its ‘controlled realignment’ and allocated for housing:
    • Land at West Park Hospital (SA5)
    • Horton Farm (SA6)
    • Land at Chantilly Way (SA7)
    • Land adjoining Ewell East Station (SA8 – building heights up to 6 storeys)
    • Hook Road Arena (SA9)
  • Kiln Lane and Longmead Industrial Estates remain most appropriate for employment uses (Policy S11) with these two sites supporting 160 businesses and 1,900 jobs
  • No detailed policy on building heights; references to increased densities (minimum of 80 dwellings per hectare in the town centre, 60 dph (min) for principal movement corridors and transport hubs beyond Epsom Town Centre boundary, and 40dph (min) in the ‘remaining urban area’, Policy S3). Currently 40dph is the maximum not minimum for the Borough (Policy DM11 Development Management Policies Document 2015)
  • Big changes in prospect around Ewell East Station
  • Relocation of playing pitches to Hook Road Arena
  • At least 18 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers
  • Other urban sites may be available for development (Appendix 2).

The draft Local Plan is not solely about housing. It also focuses on supporting businesses, creating jobs, infrastructure improvements, environmental protection, protecting the historic environment, leisure development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Another (Regulation 19) public consultation is scheduled for February 2024 before the council submits the draft plan to the Secretary of State for approval, involving a public examination by a Planning Inspector. The new Local Plan has a final adoption date of May 2025 (nearly 7 years after the original estimated adoption date referred to in the Society’s Winter 2016 newsletter (No 150) available on the Society’s website).

Key milestones for the Local Plan are:

• February – March 2023 – Draft Local Plan public consultation (Regulation 18)

• February – March 2024 – Submission Draft Local Plan public consultation (Regulation 19)

• June 2024 – Submission to the Secretary of State

• Spring 2025 – Estimated date of Adoption

A reminder why the draft Local Plan is important:

  • It’s the key strategic document underpinning massive transformational change facing the Borough, especially in determining how many new homes by 2040, where to build them and who they should be for
  • All existing key policies are under review
  • The adopted Local Plan is out-of-date and leaves the Borough vulnerable to speculative development.

In broad terms, the Society’s view is that:

  • Local Plan policies must reflect community priorities in shaping the future of the Borough, retaining the Borough’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and learn while growing sustainably
  • Appropriate, well-designed, environmentally responsible development should be supported reflecting the impact of the built environment on residents’ wellbeing
  • Inappropriate development undermining the Borough’s character must be resisted
  • A strong community voice is needed to do this
  • As many people as possible in the Borough should get involved with this consultation and with the one next year – your views can help shape local plan policies through to 2040 and influence the outcomes on key planning applications.