Langley Bottom Farm Langley Vale Road Epsom KT18 6AP – Appeal
20/00475/FUL Demolition of the existing buildings on the site and construction of twenty residential dwellings, of which eight (40%) would be affordable together with associated access, landscaping and parking.
On 22 February 2021 Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Planning Committee refused the planning application for the demolition of the existing farm buildings and the construction of 20 dwellings of which 8 would be affordable together with associated access, landscaping and parking. The main reason for refusal was that the proposed development would constitute inappropriate development in the Green Belt and was also in an unsustainable location outside the built-up area without good public transport links.
The applicant has now appealed the decision and is still seeking to categorise the site as a “derelict brown field site”, although the majority of the existing buildings are still in commercial or farming use, whereas the reality is that any development of this magnitude on the site would represent construction on Green Belt land which is performing its expected function preventing urban sprawl beyond the existing built-up area. The details of the Appeal and relevant documents can be found here.
The Borough’s Green Belt Study 2 conducted in 2017 and published in May 2018 concluded that the area of Green Belt including the proposed development site “has an overall High Sensitivity to development, combining the values set out for Landscape and Visual Sensitivity. This is comprised of the combined effects of this transitional landscape the amenity and sensitive nature of the viewpoints, some of which are medium to longer distance and [this land] forms a significant attractive element to these views.” The study concluded that “the overall integrity of the Green Belt in this location would be considered compromised should the site be released from the Green Belt”.
The Society’s response to the Inspector holding the Appeal will be available here in due course.
This Appeal constitutes a precedent-setting challenge on the principle of development in Epsom and Ewell’s Green Belt as a whole and it is therefore important that those who share the view of the above Green Belt Study 2 that such development should not be permitted make their views formally known to the Inspector. Accordingly Woodcote (Epsom) Residents Society are holding a briefing at the Langley Vale Village Hall from 7-9 pm on 21st April 2022. You can see their leaflet announcing the meeting and providing details of the issues and arguments and how to object to the Inspector here.
You can also see Epsom Civic Society’s original letter here.