24 South Street Epsom KT18 7PF

Click here to see map for location of 24 South Street.

22/00509/RES Removal of Condition 4 (Secure Parking of Bicycles) of planning permission 21/00044/FUL.

Planning permission was granted in May 2021 for the conversion of the 3 storey office building into 2 one-bedroom dwellings on the first and second floor and a commercial unit on the ground floor. Given the absence of any associated car parking, permission was subject to a condition to ensure provision of secure bicycle parking inside the building once converted.

The applicant is now seeking removal of this condition, since the planned layout leaves no space for bicycle storage.

The Society believes that the proposal would undermine an important policy requiring facilitation of sustainable transport, and that, while the applicant states that accommodation of secure cycle parking cannot be provided on the site, this is a matter which is capable of being overcome by appropriate redesign at ground floor level and the applicant must show a desire to pursue this and produce a solution, which in any event should have been thought through and shown at the initial design rather than applying for a waiver at the build stage.

Furthermore, given this is a town centre location with car ownership of the prospective flat occupiers unlikely, the facility for ground floor cycle parking is very important, especially in the light of recent increases in energy and fuel prices and in the absence of any change of policy justifying a waiver or slackening of an important listed condition within 12 months of permission being granted.

Finally, the Society is concerned that, if allowed, permission granted to waive/omit cycle parking policy could set a precedent in other locations.

For all these reasons, the society has requested refusal of the application.

See our letter here.

Langley Bottom Farm Langley Vale Road Epsom KT18 6AP – Appeal Update

Click here to see map for location of Langley Bottom Farm.

21/00044/REF 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.

See the original planning application at 20/00475/FUL

The Society has now written to the Planning Inspectorate confirming our view that the Appeal should be dismissed.

The Society has pointed out that first, the majority of the existing buildings remain in use for agricultural purposes (we have photographs to demonstrate this); secondly, the area of land on which building is proposed is much larger than the footprint of the existing buildings; thirdly, the impact on this highly effective part of the Green Belt would constitute serious harm to the effectiveness of the whole Green Belt in Langley Vale; and finally, since the original application and as a result of Covid 19, there has been a significant increase in use of the Downs and Langley Vale Centenary Wood for leisure purposes, all of which would be disadvantaged by the proposed development.

See our letter here.

Marsden Nursery & Garden Centre, Ashtead KT21 1HU

Click here to see map for location of Marsden Nursery & Garden Centre Ashtead.

MO/2022/0474 Erection of 26 dwellings with associated access, car parking and garaging, refuse/recycling storage, landscaping, earthworks and infrastructure following demolition and removal of existing buildings and structures.

This application proposes demolition of the existing commercial buildings and nursery grounds, and replacing it with 26 dwellings.

The Society is concerned at the proposal for three reasons: first, its location in the Green Belt and impact on it; secondly, replacing the existing commercial/horticultural usage with housing would effectively link the housing areas of Ashtead and Epsom, thus creating further urban sprawl which the Green Belt seeks to prevent; and finally the loss of employment for more than 20 local individuals.

Exceptionally, since the site is actual in Mole Valley rather than Epsom and Ewell, the Society has alerted our own Borough Planning team and written to Mole Valley setting out our objections and requesting refusal.

See our letter here.

Green Gables, Ashley Road Epsom KT18 5BB

Click here to see map for location of Green Gables, Ashley Road.

22/00133/FUL Demolition of existing building and erection of two linked, two storey buildings containing 22 student bedrooms, associated parking and cycle parking.

This application proposes demolition of the existing two storey house in a triangular plot, and replacing it with two linked blocks, effectively doubling the footprint of building on the block. One of the blocks would be sited along almost the complete width of the boundary at the rear of the adjacent property in Ladbroke Road.

The Society is sympathetic to the proposal since it would bring back a currently vacant site into use for a purpose (student accommodation) very appropriate to the location in easy walking distance of the UCA and town centre, but concerned at the scale of the proposed development and its impact on surrounding properties. Were the accommodation to be used for other purposes than student accommodation, the Society would be concerned about the lack of internal and external amenity space and have numerous other objections. In any event, some modification to screen the new Block A from neighbouring properties, especially No 2 Ladbroke Rd, would be necessary, and sustainability/climate issues have not been adequately addressed in the current proposal.

For these reasons, the Society has submitted a “neutral” letter, accepting the principle of development but suggesting that further consideration of the details is necessary before any permission is granted.

See our letter here.

Visit to Weald & Downland Museum Wednesday 18th May 2022

There are a few remaining places available for the Society’s visit to the Weald & Downland Museum on May 18th, and these are now open to friends and families of members of the Society.

For more details and booking form, see on page 9 of our Spring 2022 newsletter here.

Langley Bottom Farm Langley Vale Road Epsom KT18 6AP – Public Briefing Langley Vale Village Hall from 7-9 pm on 21st April 2022

Click here to see map for location of Langley Bottom Farm.

On 22 February 2021 Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Planning Committee refused the above 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. The details of the appeal and relevant documents can be found here.

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 that such development should not be permitted make their views formally known to the Inspector. Accordingly Woodcote (Epsom) Residents Society are holding a public 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.

Langley Bottom Farm Langley Vale Road Epsom KT18 6AP – Appeal

Click here to see map for location of Langley Bottom Farm.

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.

107-111 East Street, Epsom KT17 1EJ (update)

Click here to see map for location of 107-111 East Street, Epsom KT17 1EJ .

20/00797/FUL Demolition of the existing buildings and erection of part 3 storey, part 4 storey building comprising 23 residential flats (7 x 1 bedroom, 12 x 2 bedroom and 4 x 3 bedroom) with associated car and cycle parking and refuse storage.

This planning application to demolish two existing small two-storey buildings on the corner between East Street and Kiln Lane and replace them with two blocks of flats, one of three storeys, the other of four storeys totalling 23 flats in total, was refused by the Planning Committee in August 2021, together with a following later application (21/01708/FUL) refused in March 2022. The refusal of the earlier application has been appealed. The new blocks and associated parking would completely fill the back gardens of the existing houses as well as the footprint of the houses themselves. The total proposed accommodation would consist of 23 flats, 7 1-bedroom, 12 2-bedroom and 4 3-bedroom.

Following announcement of the Appeal, the Society has confirmed to the Planning Inspectorate via their website its objection to the proposals as follows:

Epsom Civic Society supports the refusal of the development because:-

  • The building proposed is far too large for the site; for the Society, height bulk and mass are important considerations and the submitted and refused proposals are excessive in this regard resulting in a building out of keeping with its surroundings.
  • It is considered that the East side of East Street from Kiln Lane (towards Ewell) is very different from that of the Western side goining towards Epsom . The typography and building mass changes at Kiln Lane to a more open and lower scale than exists closer to Epsom. The site is in the smaller side of this style. The proposals would overshadow 113 East Street and be on its Southern side.
  • The absence of on site affordable housing within the prescribed scale is an omission of concern. Fundamental costing and design should be part of the development process from its concept to ensure incorporation.
  • Local knowledge of the site and its surrounds tells us that the access service road to the rear is unsatisfactory. The potential ingress/egress would be hazardous to drivers on the busy Kiln Lane with restricted site lines. Additionally the existing quiet service road doubles as a footpath we do not feel that this aspect has been respected in the proposals.
  • The car parking proposed is short of the required standard as set out in parking policy requirements.

Dismissal of the appeal is requested.

See our original objection letter to EEBC here.

39 Dorling Drive Epsom KT17 3BH

Click here to see map for location of 39 Dorling Drive Epsom KT17 3BH.

22/00133/FUL Demolition of existing dwelling house. Erection of 4 bedroom two storey dwelling house (with roofspace accommodation).[sic]

This application proposes demolition of the existing two storey house and construction of what is effectively a three storey building on a significantly larger footprint, leading to more than doubling the existing floor area. The proposed roof line would be significantly higher than the surrounding properties and of a different style.

The Society believes that the proposal would result in a building overlarge relative to its plot size and particularly out of keeping with the locality of the estate of Dorling Drive, St John’s Avenue and Wallace Fields. A less extreme proposal for the adjacent property was refused in December 2021, for reasons equally applicable to this application.

Furthermore, the proposed demolition would produce far more CO2 output than a more modest extension to the existing building, which would thus be a far more sustainable approach.

For these reasons, refusal has been requested. See our letter here.

30 South Street Epsom

Click here to see map for location of 30 South Street Epsom KT18 7PF.

22/00025/FUL Erection of first floor front aluminium framed conservatory extension.

This application proposes erection of a first floor extension over the protruding part at the front of the existing building in South Street, part of the Town Centre Conservation Area, using conservatory-style materials.

The Society believes that the choice of materials is totally out of keeping with both the existing building and its surrounding properties. The proposal would constitute very poor design and would result in harm to the character of the area and the street scene. This would fail to accord with Policy CS5(The Built Environment)as well as Policies DM9 (Townscape Character and Local Distinctiveness) and DM10 (Inc Design Requirements for new extensions).

For these reasons, refusal has been requested. See our letter here.

Eco Coffee Morning

Sustainable Epsom & Ewell are holding a coffee morning event on 28th February 2022 with a focus on cycling to improve our carbon footprint and improve air quality. All welcome!

Focus on Cycling

35 Alexandra Road Epsom KT17 4DA

Click here to see map for location of 35 Alexandra Road Epsom .

21/01920/FUL Demolition of the existing dwellinghouse including associated hard landscaping and ancillary structures; construction of new building containing 7 no 2-bed flats and 2 no 2-bed maisonettes, associated hard and soft landscaping and new highways access point.

This application proposes demolition of a fine Edwardian house on a corner plot to be replaced by a four-storey block of flats with two attached “maisonettes” in the rear garden facing Ashdown Road.

The Society believes that this heritage building should be retained as the boundary between the flatted developments towards Epsom town centre and the more open-spaced buildings towards Epsom College, a locality worthy of consideration for Conservation Area status. Reservations about the proposed building itself include excessive height, bulk & massing and density, about which many local residents have already complained. Indeed the Society noted many similarities between this site and one in Dorking Road where demolition and redevelopment out of keeping with the locality was refused and refused again on appeal. The Society drew attention to these similarities and the Inspector’s comments in that appeal decision.

For all these reasons, refusal has been requested. See our letter here.

Land to the rear of 23a-29 Links Road Epsom

Click here to see map for location of 23a-29 Links Road Epsom .

21/01762/FUL Erection of 3 new dwellings and associated access, parking and landscaping.

Two previous applications to develop this backland site (16/00213 in 2017, and 19/00369 in 2019/20) have been refused and dismissed on appeal.

This application, although now for only three detached houses, reduces only marginally the total footprint and involves one very large house with a detached outbuilding. It remains a very dense form of backland development. The proposal remains contrary to DM16 – development of back gardens – and out of keeping with the character and sylvan setting of the area. For these reasons the Society requests a further refusal.

See our letter here.

6 The Grove Epsom KT17 4DQ – a further Appeal

Click here to see map for location of 6 The Grove Epsom KT17 4DQ.

20/01855/FUL Erection of 7 x two bedrooms flats and 2 x three bedrooms flats and associated external works following demolition of the existing building.

This property is located within the delightful Church Street Conservation Area and close by to the Grade 2 listed Grove House.

Application 20/1855/FUL is a modified version of Planning Application 20/00313/FUL which would have been refused by the council had it not been appealed. That Appeal directed that the former application should be refused. ECS wrote in February 2021 objecting to 20/01855/FUL as inappropriate to its setting in the Church Street Conservation Area, by converting 90% of the garden to car parking and road access would contravene local policy regarding Backland Development, destroy a green asset contributing to the value of the Conservation Area, and severely impact the adjoining property No 7 The Grove. See that letter here.

A previous application 18/00647/FUL (Conversion of house into 5 Flats) has already been permitted by the council for this site.

Application 20/1855/FUL was also refused in July 2021 but has also now been appealed.

Accordingly the Society has written again to the Planning Inspectorate confirming its objection to the scheme. See our latest letter here.

Proposal to close Old London Road across the Race Course 7 p.m. – 12 midday

In our most recent newsletter (Number 169 – Winter 2021/2022), we reported that The Downs Conservators had asked Surrey County Council to make a Traffic Regulation Order that would close the part of the Old London Road leading to the top (Seven Furlong) car park on Epsom Downs overnight and during racehorse training hours. The reasons for this request were set out in a paper presented to the Downs Conservators meeting in June last year (Request for a Traffic Regulation Order).

The draft Order to effect this change of access was published for consultation on 6 January and can be found on the SCC website here: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/old-london-road-epsom-prohibition-of-vehicles-prop/. As yet, there do not appear to be any public notices on the Downs to inform users of the proposed changes, so we are bringing it to members’ attention in case they wish to register their views.

The consultation period runs until 3 February and the Council is inviting objections, expressions of support, or comments on the proposal. These can be provided by way of an online survey or in writing to: TRO Team, Hazel House, Merrow Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7BQ.

The Committee recognises that members will have a range of views on the proposed access restrictions to part of the Downs, and the Society itself will not therefore be responding to the consultation. However, we encourage interested members to submit their own comments and representations, whether in favour or against the proposal.