AGM 2021 – AGENDA

Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society

(http://woodcoteepsomresidentssociety.org)

Please join us at our Annual General Meeting (AGM)

3rd March 2021 at 7.15pm for 7.30 p.m.

at Zoom Meeting

Email info@woodcoteepsomresidentssociety.org to be mailed the Zoom meeting details

AGENDA

  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Approval of Minutes of the AGM held on 3rd March 2020*
  3. Approval and adoption of the accounts for the year ending 31st December 2020**
  4. Election of the committee and Hon Auditor for 2021-22 ***
  5. Presentation by Fred Mowbray – Chairman
  6. Reports from your RA Borough Councillors
    1. Liz Frost
    1. Bernice Froud
    1. Steven McCormick
  7. Presentation of adopted RA candidate for Epsom Town & Downs Surrey County Council  – Steven McCormick
  8. Any other business

*    The minutes are available on our website; paper copies will be available at the meeting

**  Copies of the accounts will be available at the meeting, and on the website after the meeting

*** If you would like to stand for the committee please contact Steven McCormick (stevenjmccormick@yahoo.co.uk)

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Chat with a councillor or three? Tuesday 23rd November 2021

Do you have a question or problem that may be helped by talking with one of our borough councillors?

Bernice, Liz and Steven are looking at ways to provide surgeries to our residents and to make themselves more accessible to help and support our residents in Woodcote.

As a start, we would like to offer one to one private zoom calls.

Tuesday 23rd November from 7 pm until 8 pm is a date we are making available. You can of course email or call any of us in the meantime.

In the first instance either drop one of us an email asking for a slot and we will get back to you with a time and a zoom meeting invite or complete the form below:

    Posted in News, Surgery | Comments Off on Chat with a councillor or three? Tuesday 23rd November 2021

    Councillor update – Liz Frost

    Here are some updates on Borough matters.

    Consultations

    Boundary Commission – The Commissioners’ draft recommendations have been published.  These are for a reduction in the number of Councillors from 38 to 35 and the creation of one new (additional) ward.  To achieve these changes, several of the Wards will have their representation reduced from 3 to 2 Councillors and some roads will be moved to different wards.  On the current recommendations, Woodcote Ward may lose Dalmeny Way, but otherwise remains as now. Ward names are designed to reflect the identity of the area and the consultation gives the opportunity to request changes. Since ‘Woodcote and Langley Vale’ more accurately describes this Ward, I’ve asked for this proposal to be included in the Borough’s response.  The consultation on the Commission’s draft recommendations is open until 13th December and you can see the full details of the recommendations and respond at https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/27356.  

    Gatwick Airport – Gatwick is consulting over their plans for greater use of their Northern Runway, improvements to the terminal building and roads, plus additional parking and hotels.  The consultation is open until 1st December and is at https://www.gatwickairport.com/business-community/future-plans/?utm_source=newgate&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nrw21

    Heathrow is ‘modernising’ it’s airspace.  They say that they are working with air traffic control and other UK airports to modernise UK flight paths and make them more efficient.  This should enable flights to reduce their carbon emissions.  There is more information about the plans at heathrow.com/airspacemodernisation.

    Local list of buildings and landscapes The borough’s ‘local list ‘ of buildings and landscapes that are of historic and architectural interest is being revised.  Having them listed as borough assets that have heritage value will mean that their status will be taken into account if there are planning applications that would affect them.  If you are aware of local buildings etc. that you consider to be a rarity, of architectural or artistic value, historic association, landmark status, or archaeological value, and you feel that they should be included, you have until 5pm on 16th November to nominate them.  Details can be found at https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/land-planning-and-development/historical-planning/listproject#:~:text=What%20is%20the%20Local%20Heritage%20List%20Project%3F%20As,22%20areas%20to%20develop%20local%20heritage%20asset%20lists.

    Car thefts

    I am aware of several thefts of cars from driveways at night, including those with keyless access.  The police are working to catch those responsible and thank residents who have provided important information.  They remind residents to ensure that they lock vehicles properly when they leave them, and if you have keyless access, keep the keys well away from doors and windows and store them in a metal or foil lined container.  This stops the signal from reaching the vehicle when not in use.  Please be vigilant – if you see something suspicious and think a crime is being, or about to be, committed, call the police on 999. 

    Planning matters

    Guild Living – The appeal by the applicants against the Council’s refusal of their planning applications to redevelop part of the Epsom Hospital site was heard by the Planning Inspector at a public enquiry in August.  Unfortunately, despite excellent and reasoned objections from Epsom Civic Society and W(E)RS – together with a huge number of residents – and speaking at the Appeal, the decision of the Council to refuse the second, slightly smaller development was overturned, and permission grantedThe Inspector did uphold the refusal for the initial larger development.

    Appeals are currently in progress against the refusal of planning permission for the developments at 22-24 Dorking Road, 64 South Street and Langley Bottom Farm.

    Green Flag awards

    We are very pleased that four of the borough’s parks and open spaces have again achieved Green Flag status.  These are Rosebery Park, Epsom Common, Alexandra Rec and Ewell Court Park.  Our thanks to all those involved in achieving these awards and enhancing our borough.

    South and south East in Bloom

    Earlier this year the Epsom & Ewell did excellently on their first entry into the ‘South and South East in Bloom’ awards and are planning to enter for 2022.  As part of this, the Council are giving spring bulbs to local residents or groups.  The bulbs are for planting alongside street name signs, where they can be seen and enjoyed by the local community.  It is appreciated that some streets – including many in Woodcote – don’t have street signs in grass verges. If you would like to take part, but your street signs are not suitable, and you can suggest a suitable alternative that will enhance the street scene, the council would be happy to consider them.  The bulbs will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis on Sunday 7th November at three venues, including in the market place between 10 and 12.  

    Temporary road closures

    We have been notified by Surrey County Council of the following temporary road closures.  The timing is not confirmed yet.  Warning notices will be displayed, and details can be found on https://one.network/

    Chalk Lane – temporary prohibition of traffic between Woodcote End and the junction with Worple Road.  This is for work associated with a fire hydrant exchange and maintenance work.  The start of the traffic order is 15th November, so the work will be some time after that.  Access for residents, pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, businesses and emergency services will be retained.

    Langley Vale Road – temporary prohibition of traffic between Headley Road and Farm View.  This is for kerbing work / drainage / surfacing and should be carried out between 8am and 4pm.  The traffic order comes into force on 18th November.  Access for pedestrians, equestrians and unmounted cyclists will be retained, but other vehicle will have to use the diversion.

    Councillor surgeries – our next Councillor surgery is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 23rd November.  It will be virtual and details of how to book an appointment will be on the W(E)RS website (www.woodcoteepsomresidentssociety) nearer the time.

    November 2021

    Posted in Councillor Updates, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Councillor update – Liz Frost

    Borough Councillor Update – August 2021- Liz Frost

    I’m contacting you with some updates on Borough Council matters.

    Guild Living Appeal – The appeal by the applicants against the Council’s refusal of their planning applications to redevelop part of the Epsom Hospital site is being heard at a public enquiry.  There are a huge number of papers dealing with this at Appeals Inquiry – Guild Living

    The enquiry is scheduled to take place between 17th and 25th August.  I have requested to either speak at the enquiry or submit a statement on behalf of residents.  The enquiry will be held virtually and will be live-streamed.  Details are at this link:

    https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/planning/epsom-general-hospital-public-inquiry

    22-24 Dorking Road Appeal – This appeal is against the Council’s refusal of their planning application to build a block of 20 flats on the corner of Dorking Road and White Horse Drive.  Although the appeal was registered last December, it is only just ‘live’.  It will be decided by written representations. For those of you who contacted the Council and made comments on the original application, these will be sent to the Planning Inspector.  You should also have received a letter from the Council to let you know about the appeal and how you can make any new additional points to the Inspector if you wish to do so.

    Horton Cemetery – do you know about Horton Cemetery?  It has been proposed that Horton Cemetery should be added to the Borough Council’s local list of buildings, monuments and landscapes which have historical or architectural interest. The Council is currently asking local residents for their views about this.  If you would like to comment, please email your views to LPenman@epsom-ewell.gov.uk by 31st August.

    Boundary Commission – The consultation on changes to Ward boundaries and numbers of Councillors has now closed, thank you to those of you who contributed.  The next stage will be consultation on the Commission’s draft recommendations.  This should open on the 5 October and run until 13 December when you will be able to comment on those recommendations.

    Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) – The Council is currently consulting on two PSPOs, which are designed to help the Council to address some aspects of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the borough.  The first is the renewal of an order to restrict the consumption of alcohol in certain public spaces as ASB is often fuelled by excessive alcohol. The second PSPO being proposed covers psychoactive substances such as nitrous oxide.  Many of you will have seen the small silver nitrous oxide canisters and other drug paraphernalia littering our parks and open spaces in recent times.  These issues are not specific to this borough, you have probably seen reports of these types of ASB reported in many places.  Both the consultations run until 6th September. 

    For more information and to take part, please go to https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/council/consultations  

    The Downs – I’m sure most of you are aware from my past messages that Epsom & Walton Downs is private land to which we are fortunate to have ‘access for air and exercise on foot’, to quote the Act of Parliament governing its use.  The Act further qualifies this by saying that nothing must interfere with the training of racehorses.  Please remember that until noon, Mondays to Saturdays and until 9.30 on Sundays the Downs is a racehorse training area.  Racehorses can be dangerous and unpredictable animals and need a peaceful surrounding for getting to and from the Gallops and for training.  For your own safety and enjoyment, and for the safety of those who work on the Downs, we would encourage you to avoid visiting the Downs during racehorse training times – please enjoy them in the afternoons.

    Posted in Councillor Updates | Comments Off on Borough Councillor Update – August 2021- Liz Frost

    Chat with a councillor? Thursday 21st July

    Do you have a question or problem that may be helped by talking with one of our borough councillors?

    Bernice, Liz and Steven are looking at ways to provide surgeries to our residents and to make themselves more accessible to help and support our residents in Woodcote.

    As a start, we would like to offer one to one private zoom calls.

    Thursday 21st July from 7pm until 8pm is the first date we are making available. You can of course email or call any of us in the meantime.

    In the first instance either drop one of us an email asking for a slot and we will get back to you with a time and a zoom meeting invite or complete the form below:

      Posted in News, Surgery | Comments Off on Chat with a councillor? Thursday 21st July

      Emergency road works Woodcote Road, Epsom

      Woodcote Road, Epsom.

      An update on the emergency works:

      The road was closed by our Highways emergency team due to there being a possible sinkhole in the road.

      It is located in the centre of the road, 20 yards from the junction with Chalk Lane (going towards town centre), between a white cottage on one side and what used to be a pub on the other side. The tarmac appears to be collapsing next to it.

      Our Highways emergency team have had to close the road as a matter of safety whilst this is inspected and a repair can be planned.

      A diversion route will be added onto our live map this morning.

      Posted in Roads | Comments Off on Emergency road works Woodcote Road, Epsom

      Works postponed: Road closure on Woodcote Side, Epsom- Carriageway patching works

      These works nave been cancelled for Monday due to a conflict in the programme – the signs will be collected tomorrow. The works will be reprogrammed, once there is a new start date SCC will let us know.

      Up to date details and updates of the works can be found on https://one.network/

      Posted in Roads | Tagged | Comments Off on Works postponed: Road closure on Woodcote Side, Epsom- Carriageway patching works

      Epsom Civic Society and Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society: response to Statement of Case

      Appeal by Senior Living Urban (Epsom) Limited – Ref: APP/P3610/W/21/3272074

      Site Address: Epsom Ewell & St. Hellier NHS Trust, Epsom General Hospital Dorking Road,
      EPSOM, KT18 7EG


      Preliminary

      1. Epsom Civic Society and Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society both submitted objections
        to the local planning authority about this application and we have been advised that they
        have been forwarded to you along with all other relevant documents submitted to the
        LPA. Our shared view remains unchanged that the proposal, being much higher than the
        hospital’s Wells Wing, presents an unacceptable physical intrusion in terms of height and
        mass. The Report to Committee was, in our view, less than robust and was not balanced
        in its professional analysis and recommendations. To recommend approving this planning
        scheme with the potential for significant long-term adverse impacts on streetscape and
        neighbours’ amenity and one that fails to meet priority housing need is in both Societies’
        view not compliant with key local policies, nor with central government objectives in
        promoting good design and retention of local character and distinctiveness. We support
        our Borough’s transition into a modern market town where character and heritage are
        valued not only for their history but for their contribution to future quality of life and wellbeing. We seek to avoid the transformation of Epsom into a generic high-rise town.
      2. We have consistently stated that local residents cannot support a scheme which does not
        safeguard our local character and identity and which does not protect existing residential
        amenity. To achieve this, we have clearly stated in written representations and in a Zoom
        meeting and separate webinar organised by the applicant that the maximum height of the
        development should be no more than 6 storeys in order not to exceed the height of the
        Wells hospital building. The frontage onto Woodcote Green Road should be set back to
        allow a much more substantial landscaping buffer to the Millennium Green opposite,
        should not exceed 3 storeys next to 40 Woodcote Green Road and should be set further
        away from the south-western boundary to comply with townscape and residential
        amenity requirements. Epsom Civic Society and Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society are
        extremely disappointed that our views and those of over 600 residents who objected to
        the scheme have been largely ignored.
        Response to Appeal
      3. We support the Planning Committee’s reasons for refusal:
        Reason for refusal 1
        The proposed development by reason of its height, mass, scale and design would adversely
        impact and harm the character and appearance of the area (including the built
        environment and landscape setting), failing to comply with Policy CS5 of the Core Strategy
        (2007), Policies DM9, DM10 and DM11 of the Development Management Policies
        Document (2015) and paragraphs 122 and 127 of the NPPF (2019).
      4. The height of the proposed buildings rises to 9 storeys and this would become the
        predominant height across the application site. 9 storeys is equivalent to a height above
        ground level of nearly 33 metres, but when allowance is made for the lift shafts on the
        roofs this would rise to over 35 metres in height. This should be compared to the height
        of existing buildings across the entire Epsom Hospital estate which are mainly 5 storeys
        or less (ie up to 20 metres in height). The roof top plant of the Wells Wing is the exception
        and rises to 28.7 metres height and this dominates the existing skyline out of all
        proportion to the rest of the hospital buildings. The surroundings to the hospital site are
        predominantly two storey brick and tile traditional suburban housing. The 9-storey
        buildings proposed, so massive in scale, would stand out as a prominent and incongruous
        eyesore visible for miles around – including anywhere in fact from where the present
        chimney can be seen, including from Epsom Downs near the Racecourse. They would be
        the tallest buildings in the Borough.
      5. It is considered that the height and massing of the proposed buildings is contrary to
        national and local planning policy guidance. Insofar as national planning policy guidance
        is concerned Paragraph 127 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Feb 2019 requires
        that ‘planning policies and decisions should ensure that developments:
        b) are visually attractive as a result of good architecture, layout and appropriate and
        effective landscaping;
        c) are sympathetic to local character and history, including the surrounding built
        environment and landscape setting’
      6. The National Design Guidance is intended to be used when assessing planning
        applications. This sets out 10 characteristics that form good design and one of these is
        ‘Local Identity’ and that well-designed new development should be influenced by:
        • an appreciation and understanding of vernacular, local or regional character, including
        existing built form, landscape and local architectural precedents;
        and that the following should be considered in response to local character and identity:
        • the height, scale, massing and relationships between buildings;
        • views, vistas and landmarks;
        • the scale and proportions of buildings.
      7. The more recent National Model Design Code provides typical parameters for ‘urban
        neighbourhood’ areas of 12m eaves heights and ‘suburbs’ of 9m eaves heights. Not 32m
        eaves.
      8. Local planning policy is set out in Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s Core Strategy, 2007
        and Development Management Policies Document, 2015. Policy CS5 requires all
        developments to ‘reinforce local distinctiveness and complement the attractive
        characteristics of the Borough’. Policy DM9 requires development proposals to be
        compatible with local character and to relate well to existing townscape and wider
        landscape whilst Policy DM10 requires the distinctiveness of an area to be respected,
        maintained or enhanced through such essential elements as scale, layout, height, form
        and massing.
      9. Local planning policy had more recently been supplemented with the Report “Making
        Efficient Use of Land – Optimising Housing Delivery” agreed by the Council’s Licensing and
        Planning Policy Committee in May 2018. This was intended to introduce a more flexible
        approach to policies DM11 (Housing Density) and DM13 (Building Heights) in order to
        attribute greater weight towards the need to deliver new additional homes. It is clear from
        the minutes of that Committee meeting that this was not intended to allow higher density
        or taller schemes regardless of their setting or context: ‘Concern was expressed that
        implementation of the proposals could result in over development, however it was noted
        that policies already in place would act as further checks and balances to mitigate the
        possibility.’ The appellant’s Statement of Case places heavy reliance on giving less weight
        to policies DM11 and DM13 but it is unclear whether a statutory development plan can
        have its adopted policies DM11 and DM13 changed in this manner with no formal public
        consultation or statutory process.
      10. Notwithstanding the legality and /or interpretation of the May 2018 resolution, the
        important caveat to any increased flexibility in the use of policies DM11 and DM13 was
        ‘whilst responding to the Borough’s visual character and appearance’ and ‘subject to
        conformity with other relevant policies.’ The report further states that potential locations
        for higher buildings and densities “include town centres, sites in proximity to railway
        stations and sites located along transport corridors”. It is clear that the application site is
        not located within one of the above potential locations for higher buildings and it is
        equally clear that development of the height proposed conflicts with the prevailing
        townscape and pattern of development within and around the site. It would introduce a
        dominating and overbearing built form which would be harmful to the visual amenities of
        the surrounding area.
      11. We also challenge the assertion in the appellant’s Statement of Case paragraph 5.24 that
        the scheme is located in an area which would fall within the exceptions to the density
        criteria cited in Policy DM11. The reference under the second bullet point of the policy to
        sites that enjoy good access to services, facilities and amenities is clearly intended, as
        made clear by the explanatory text in paragraph 3.28 of the Development Management
        Policies document, to refer to the likes of Epsom town centre, Ewell village and other
        larger local centres. Not as the text makes clear to the Borough’s predominantly
        residential areas which are suburban in character and tend to have lower housing
        densities. This is also the case with the third bullet point of Policy DM11 when referring
        to surrounding townscape having capacity to accommodate higher density developments.
        This is clearly aimed at the aforementioned centres not suburban residential areas and
        informed by the Borough-wide Environmental Character Study according to paragraph
        3.28. This study emphasises the adjacent residential areas’ high townscape sensitivity
        which affords only limited accommodation of change. Certainly not endorsing capacity for
        intensive high-rise development as proposed by the appellant.
      12. Although Epsom and Ewell Borough Council is subject to the so-called tilted balance in
        paragraph 11(d) of the NPPF, the policies that have been relied upon by the Council in its
        decision are in an adopted development plan, are subject to the statutory S.38(6)
        requirement and are in line with the policies in the NPPF, especially those relating to good
        design. They are therefore not out of date and they do not, of themselves, interfere with
        the presumption in favour of sustainable development for the provision of housing.
        Rather they ensure that any housing or other development that is delivered is well
        designed and respects the character of its surroundings.
      13. The proposal is considered contrary to paragraph 127c) of the NPPF which requires
        developments to be sympathetic to the surrounding built environment, as well as policies
        DM9 and DM10 of the Council’s Development Management Policies Document 2015 and
        policy CS5 of the Council’s Core Strategy 2007, which together seek high quality and
        inclusive design which reinforces local distinctiveness. Planning permission should only be
        granted for proposals which make a positive contribution to the Borough’s appearance in
        regard to compatibility with local character and the relationship to the existing townscape
        and prevailing development typology of the surrounding area. The proposed buildings
        with their architectural detailing, scale and massing and siting within the plot is in stark
        contrast to the established character and distinctiveness of the local area.
      14. The appellant’s Statement of Case refers to the height of the scheme being reduced
        following public consultation and informed by pre-application discussions. There was a
        significant public backlash to the original proposals which resulted in amendments to the
        scheme. It is also clear that there is no public support for the appeal scheme as now
        presented. The appeal scheme, however, must be considered on its merits and not by
        reference to the degree of change from previous iterations.
      15. Whilst the scheme must be considered on its own merit, we do question why this proposal
        in suburban Epsom is by far the highest density and tallest of any of the Guild Living
        schemes being sought by the appellant. The other schemes in Walton on Thames,
        Uxbridge and Bath are all in City/Town centre locations. The Epsom scheme equates at
        237 dwellings per hectare compared to 219 d/ha in Walton, 195 d/ha in Uxbridge and 158
        d/ha in Bath according to information submitted by the appellants to the Walton Public
        Inquiry. Given that the prevailing density of the adjacent residential area is nearer to 20
        d/ha we question how a scheme that is well over 11 times the prevailing density can,
        notwithstanding the need to make efficient use of land, be considered in any reasonable
        sense to comply with paragraph 122 d) of the NPPF namely the desirability of maintaining
        an area’s prevailing character and setting.
      16. We are deeply concerned that the use of selective CGIs by the appellant and the inclusion
        of mature landscaping give a misleading impression of the visual appearance and impact
        of such a massive scheme upon the surrounding area. None of the visuals shows the
        impact from the residential area to the west showing the entire elevation of the western
        block. Residents of Digdens Rise and Hylands Road have advised our Societies that nobody
        representing either the appellants or officers from the Council have visited their
        properties to gauge the impact of the development. It is respectfully suggested that the
        Inspector should arrange to view the development from the rear of Digdens Rise
        properties and householders there will be pleased to facilitate such a site visit.
      17. It is not just the scale and massing that is so out of keeping with its suburban surroundings.
        It is also the design and use of materials that is alien to the suburban brick and tile
        townscape of the Woodcote area of Epsom.
      18. In summary it is considered that the scheme fails to comply with relevant national and
        local policies concerned with respecting local character, design and appearance.
        Reason for refusal 2
        The siting of the development leaves insufficient landscaping opportunities to the frontage
        of Woodcote Green Road and along the south-western boundary with neighbouring
        residential property to mitigate the impact of the proposed development, presenting an
        over-developed and hard edge to the appearance to the development, which would cause
        harm to the character and appearance of the area. Causing harm to the character and
        appearance of the area fails to comply with Policy DM5 of the Development Management
        Policies Document (2015) and the NPPF (2019).
      19. The ‘stepping down’ of the West Block to 5 storeys at its southern end next to Woodcote
        Green Road and 4 storeys at the southern end of the East Block does little to minimise the
        massing and bulk of the scheme as seen from the Millennium Green and public views
        along Woodcote Green Road. This is because the West Block would be some 10m nearer
        the Woodcote Green Road frontage than the existing Woodcote Lodge and would be 5
        storeys compared to the existing 2½ storeys of Woodcote Lodge. Similarly, the East Block
        whilst remaining at 4 storeys would be between 5m and 12m nearer the Woodcote Green
        Road frontage than the existing Rowan House, minimising the scope for effective
        boundary landscaping and urbanising the street scene in this sensitive location opposite
        the Millennium Green which is currently an oasis of calm much valued by the local
        community, including hospital workers.
      20. In a scheme of this magnitude, it could reasonably be expected that significant continuous
        screen landscaping of around 5m width would be provided along this sensitive southwestern residential boundary to offset and reduce harm to residential amenity. Minimal
        planting is proposed which is considered totally unacceptable in terms of separating the
        impact of the development from surrounding dwellings but also in providing an
        appropriate level of amenity for the prospective residents of the scheme. Widening the
        landscaping along this boundary and then punctuating it with parking spaces would not
        be an acceptable solution. It is clear from the statement submitted on behalf of the
        residents of 40 Woodcote Green Road that they are deeply concerned about the
        inadequate landscaping and the proximity of such a massive development to their
        property.
      21. In summary this aspect of the application is considered to be contrary to paragraph 127
        of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the National Design Guide (Oct 2019)
        and to policies CS5 (Conserving and Enhancing the Quality of the Built Environment), DM5
        (Trees and Landscape), DM9 (Townscape Character and Local Distinctiveness) and DM10
        (Design Requirements for New Developments).
        Reason for refusal 3
        The proposed development by reason of its height, massing and design would adversely
        impact on the neighbouring amenities of the occupiers at 40 and 46 Woodcote Green
        Road, by means of overbearing, loss of privacy and loss of outlook, failing to comply with
        Policy DM10 of the Development Management Policies Document (2015).
      22. The residential occupiers at 40 Woodcote Green Road would have a 5 storey block
        projecting 10m forward of their building line and within 10m of their flank boundary. This
        would result in loss of outlook at the front and overlooking of the rear lounge and garden
        from the proposed flank bedroom windows and balconies.
      23. The appellant’s Statement of Case refers to 4 secondary living room windows and 2
        bedroom windows overlooking the front garden and approach to 40 Woodcote Green
        Road as if that is of minor consequence. Similarly, it states that only a single unit per floor
        (ie 4 units in total) would overlook the rear of the property and rear garden. This would
        not be a marginal impact; it would result in a severe loss of amenity to the current
        occupiers. This concern is admirably conveyed in the statement submitted on behalf of
        the residents of 40 Woodcote Green Road.
      24. The appellant’s Statement of Case also suggests that by increasing the separation distance
        between 40 Woodcote Green Road and the proposed West Block by some 5 metres over
        the existing situation justifies an increase in height from 3 storeys to 5 storeys. This is not
        credible. Not only would the proposed building be much higher and considerably larger it
        would have flank windows which the existing building does not have. The building would
        be visually obtrusive and give rise to overlooking and the perception of being overlooked.
      25. These occupiers will also suffer serious noise and disturbance and loss of amenity from
        the positioning of the main access road adjacent to the flank boundary of the property.
        This road would accommodate all cars and servicing vehicles visiting the development and
        between this access road and the neighbouring occupiers would be 16 parking spaces
        hard up against the flank boundary fence. These spaces are mainly intended as short- term
        parking for visitors and it is considered that such an arrangement is likely to result in
        significant harm to the enjoyment of the rear garden and therefore on the living
        conditions of the occupiers.
      26. The residential occupiers at 46 Woodcote Green Road would in particular suffer from loss
        of outlook and visual intrusion from looking directly across from the rear living rooms to
        the 9 storey element which would only be about 45m away. This would result in
        overlooking, a loss of privacy and an increased perception of overlooking.
      27. Other residents in Digdens Rise and Hylands Close directly back onto the western block.
        Whilst their rear living room windows would be some 25m -35m from the 4-storey key
        worker elevation and some 40m-50m from the 9-storey element, there is considered to
        be a serious risk of overlooking from the proposed unit windows and balconies together
        with the loss of residential amenity from loss of outlook and visual intrusion from the
        overbearing and oppressive impact arising from the scale and massing of the western
        block. The level of overlooking is likely to be exacerbated by the single aspect nature of
        many of the proposed units, the sheer number and extent of windows adorning the
        elevations and the use of full height glazing. Existing residents’ expectation of privacy
        would be seriously compromised by the appeal scheme.
      28. In addition to the above the Construction Environmental Management Plan proposes the
        erection of a 4-storey high site accommodation block that would provide a canteen,
        toilets, showers, messroom and offices for an extended period whilst building works are
        undertaken. This is proposed to be erected immediately adjacent to the rear boundary
        fence of 14-20 Digdens Rise. The Arboricultural Assessment also proposes the felling of 3
        boundary trees in this location. It is considered wholly unsuitable for this site construction
        block to be erected in a position which would be visually obtrusive and result in a serious
        loss of residential amenity to the nearby occupiers. This is another example of the total
        disregard by the appellant for neighbouring residents’ amenity, similar to undertaking
        partial demolition of existing buildings on the site and then leaving a semi-derelict site
        until the outcome of this appeal is known.
        Reason for refusal 4
        In the absence of a completed legal obligation under Section 106 of the Town and Country
        Planning Act 1990 (as amended), to secure an affordable housing contribution, the
        applicant has failed to comply with Policy CS9 (Affordable Housing and meeting Housing
        Needs) of the Core Strategy (2007) and the NPPF (2019).
      29. We have considerable concerns that this scheme is not contributing the required amount
        of affordable housing. There is an acute shortage of unconstrained land available to meet
        identified priority needs in Epsom and Ewell Borough. This includes a minimum of 40%
        affordable housing. In not providing the required level of affordable housing we contend
        that the appeal scheme fails to make efficient use of land as required by Policy CS5. By
        resulting in an over-concentration of a type of housing which does not meet priority
        housing needs it is also considered that the benefit of the additional housing is overstated. Re-provision of key worker housing should similarly only be given very limited
        weight as this results in no net gain over the previous position.
      30. We also consider that the benefit of regenerating an under-utilised site as claimed in the
        appellant’s Statement of Case is exaggerated as this would apply equally to any
        development coming forward on the site.
      31. The employment and economic benefits are also questionable as in many cases these
        would result in jobs being displaced from elsewhere. Being more orientated towards a
        self-contained community for elderly and vulnerable residents it is also likely to generate
        much lower expenditure in Epsom town centre and other local centres compared to a
        conventional housing development.
        Officer Report and Appellant’s Statement of Case
      32. Our Societies have previously raised concerns about the objectivity and failure to
        rigorously assess the merits of the scheme within the Council’s Planning Officer report to
        Committee, see Appendix (p10) for document (edited for this submission) which was sent
        to Planning Committee members and officers prior to the Committee meeting. The
        appellant’s Statement of Case in numerous places refers to the Officer report as
        supporting the assertion they wish to make and in many cases this is misleading. For
        example, in paragraph 6.26 of the Statement of Case the appellants assert that ‘Paragraph
        13.8 of the Committee Report confirms that the Appeal Scheme “integrate[s] high-quality
        landscaping, green roofs and planted window boxes, to help the buildings integrate into
        their surroundings. As a result of mitigation through design, impact on many of the
        surrounding townscape and visual receptors would be none or negligible”. This reference
        in the Committee report is merely repeating what the appellant’s own Heritage
        Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment report says on the matter. It is highly misleading
        to present this as if this is what the Planning Officer considers the situation to be.
      33. The appellants in paragraph 5.8 assert that the proposal complies with Policy DM21
        (Meeting Local Housing Needs) in: a) not resulting in an over-provision of the particular
        type of accommodation and b) being flexible to readily convert to other uses in the event
        the need for the particular use declines. The Officer report concluded that officers did not
        have the expertise to analyse the need – so just accepted the appellant’s findings and did
        not object to the fact that according to Surrey County Council’s Adult Social Care response
        the proposal equated to approximately 98 units above the requirement in accordance
        with the SHMA update. It is our contention that the proposal would result in an overprovision of specialist elderly extra care accommodation, especially in the context of
        limited land availability and an outstanding priority need for 2-4 bed C3 housing, 40% of
        which should be affordable. The proposal accordingly must surely fail to comply with the
        second bullet point criteria of Policy DM21.
      34. In relation to the third criteria of Policy DM21 relating to the need for specialist
        accommodation to be designed to be readily convertible to other uses, the appellant’s
        Statement of Case in paragraph 5.8 claims that ‘the bulk of the accommodation is selfcontained residential accommodation that could readily be used for alternative, non-age
        restricted use, in the unlikely event that a development of this nature is no longer needed
        in the future.’ The Officer report acknowledges that the 38 Guild Care Residences and
        Suites would not meet minimum space standards and these units would not therefore be
        readily convertible to other C3 residential use. Of the self-contained units referred to in
        the appellant’s Statement of Case a number do not have access to any private amenity
        space and of those that do many have very limited private external space. If these units
        were to convert to C3 use in the future they would fail to meet the minimum housing
        standards of DM12 regarding private, usable and functional amenity space. The limited
        private car parking that is only available through the automatic parking system via a
        concierge service would also be a significant deterrent in allowing alternative residential
        uses. Accordingly, we contend that the proposal also fails to meet the third criteria of
        Policy DM21.
        Changing government agenda: good design and building back better
      35. Our Societies support central government in its recognition of the importance of good
        placemaking, local distinctiveness and quality of design, evidenced most recently by its
        consultation on the National Model Design Code which sets out helpful parameters
        regarding density and building heights which are considerably less than presented in this
        scheme.
      36. We have been encouraged by the Secretary of State’s written Ministerial Statement to
        Parliament (16/12/20) that sound planning decisions are not about housing numbers
        alone.
      37. We have also been encouraged by the Planning Inspectorate’s decision in May 2021 to
        dismiss the appeal relating to 140 & 142 Ruxley Lane, West Ewell KT19 9JS (Ref:
        APP/P3610/W/20/3263842) notwithstanding the application of NPPF paragraph 11 d) (ii),
        the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the engagement of the ‘tilted
        balance’. The Inspector nonetheless decided that development proposed (the erection of
        20 flats within two blocks) would be out of proportion with adjacent dwellings and with
        the character and appearance of the street scene. Essentially the scale of the
        development was at issue (paragraph 8), albeit of a different (and considerably smaller)
        scale to the Guild Living appellant’s scheme. By reason of its scale, in the Inspector’s view,
        the proposed development would give rise to an overbearing relationship with both
        adjacent buildings. The Inspector considered that the site would appear over developed
        and would be in conflict with the suburban pattern of development. The Inspector
        concluded that overall, the harm that would be caused to the character and appearance
        of the area by the proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits,
        when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole. We have set out
        above our similar concerns in the commentary on the Planning Committee’s reasons for
        refusal in the instant case.
      38. We have noted with interest that the new London Plan for our near neighbours has a
        much-reduced height default threshold definition for tall buildings, now at 6 storeys or 18
        metres reportedly responding to calls for an approach more sensitive to local context. This
        provides strong persuasive arguments to resist unacceptably tall buildings here, in a lowrise borough just beyond the limits of outer London, where no tradition of ‘building tall’
        exists.
      39. Excessive focus on housing numbers at the expense of other material considerations, and
        an apparent disregard of the height policies in the current Local Plan in favour of an
        informal policy change of dubious validity by the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee
        in May 2018 has been unduly relied upon and has led, we suggest, to inappropriate
        encouragement to developers to build higher and higher.
      40. Our respective Societies hear from members and from non-members alike about their
        desire to resist the proliferation of tall buildings in the Borough and prevent the
        consequent erosion of local character and distinctiveness. We know that our concerns
        about unacceptably tall buildings are shared by local residents, their associations and
        societies, pressure groups and a local Neighbourhood Forum. On their behalf we seek to
        enable and support our Council’s ability to take forward the 6 key principles1
        into the emerging draft Local Plan.
        1 https://www.epsom-ewell-localplan.co.uk/news-and-updates.html#6principles
        Conclusion
      41. This application represents a significant watershed for the Borough in terms of identifying
        acceptable building heights for new development. It is our joint view that the scheme is
        insensitive to local context and constitutes a brutal intervention that erodes local
        character and distinctiveness, is contrary to key local policies and to the government’s
        commitment to good design and building back better.
      42. We consider that the appeal proposal would result in a level of harm to the character and
        appearance of the area and to neighbouring residential amenity that would significantly
        and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the NPPF
        taken as a whole. We ask for the appeal to be dismissed.
        1 June 2021, revised and updated 7 June 2021
        Following permission from the Planning Inspectorate on 28 May 2021 to extend the deadline
        for representations to 8 June 2021 due to the late availability to interested parties of the
        appellant’s Statement of Claim, we reserve the right to submit further representations by the
        extended deadline. We are grateful to the Inspectorate for allowing us this further time.
        Margaret Hollins Fred Mowbray
        Chair, Epsom Civic Society Chair, Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society
        47 The Parade
        Epsom John Mumford
        Surrey Committee Member, W(E)Residents’ Society
        KT18 5DU Committee Member, Epsom Civic Society
        chair@epsomcivicsociety.org.uk
        https://epsomcivicsociety.org.uk/
        APPENDIX
        Commentary highlighting factual inaccuracies and misleading assertions in Planning Officer
        Report on 19/01722/FUL – Agenda Item 2 Planning Committee 18 November 2020
        Using the same headings and paragraphs of the officer report
        2 Summary
        2.4 The variety of extra-care accommodation reduces pressure on local hospitals, GPs and
        emergency centres. Not only does extra-care accommodation provide a positive health
        influence on all senior residents, it also directly impacts on and improves a range of social
        factors, such as loneliness and isolation.
        Response:
        There is a concern amongst local Health partners that the building of more residential and
        nursing care homes in an area may lead to an “influx” of new patients from those nearby areas
        with additional and acute health needs that actually create additional strain on the local
        health system.
        2.6 Surrey County Council (SCC) Adult Social Care recognises that further extra-care
        accommodation is warranted. The proposal contributes towards the need for specialist
        retirement housing in the Borough. It seeks 344 care units, equating to approximately 96 units
        above the minimum need of 248 units within the Borough (in accordance with the SHMA
        Update).
        Response:
        This is inconsistent with paragraphs 11.14-11.15 of the report. If allowance is made for
        recently commenced schemes and another submitted extra-care scheme on the former police
        station site in this borough there could be an over-provision of 269 extra care units. If
        allowance is made for the Legal and General scheme being currently marketed at nearby
        Kingswood then there is an additional 280 extra care units to take into account within the 5
        mile catchment area referred to by the applicant in their market assessment of competing
        schemes. Moreover Surrey Count Council’s Commissioning Statement – Accommodation with
        care, residential & nursing care for older people Epsom & Ewell Borough April 2019 throws
        doubt on presenting clear demand figures for residential and nursing care in any area when
        local demand figures need to take into account Surrey County Council’s strategic direction to
        maximise the impact of preventative services, provide additional support to carers and to
        diversify the range of community support on offer, so that people are able to live in their own
        homes for longer. ‘These measures mean that a link between demographics and residential
        and nursing care provision should not be assumed.’
        2.7 In line with the above, the estimate of future demand is much more conservative than
        that presented in the Applicant’s Planning Need Assessment. It is acknowledged that people
        who do not currently live within the Borough may choose to move into Epsom, to live within
        this scheme, subject to planning permission being granted. This is not detrimental to the
        consideration of this application.
        Response:
        The applicant’s planning need assessment report by Carterwood refers to their usual 10 mile
        catchment for extra care assessment. The applicant’s viability assessment report by Savills
        states that ‘occupants of such schemes frequently come from long distances’ and that ‘the
        number of buyers in this sector at any one time is limited, and sales rates for these types of
        developments is typically slow’. This is borne out by the Churchill retirement scheme in Ashtead
        which 3½years after launch is still only 50% sold. Given the huge outstanding housing need in
        this borough it cannot be right to claim that providing for the needs of residents elsewhere is
        not detrimental to the consideration of this scheme. The priority should surely be to provide
        types of housing actually required by local people in this borough and not accommodating the
        needs of people from a wide number of surrounding borough and district councils.
        2.11 The proposal has been designed to respond to its immediate surroundings, including
        local views. This proposal is considered to represent a relatively modest increase in height in
        comparison to existing buildings at Epsom General Hospital (which are up to eight storeys in
        height). The proposal seeks taller elements towards the rear of the Site, stepping down
        towards boundaries with residential dwellings, in response to the surrounding heritage and
        townscape context, to mitigate adverse impacts on surrounding views and neighbouring
        amenity. The Local Planning Authority’s Design and Conservation Officer has confirmed that
        the proposal would lead to “less than substantial harm” to the significance of designated
        heritage assets.
        Response:
        This is patently untrue in terms of height levels and impact on local townscape. It is even
        contradicted within the same report at Paragraph 3.3 which states that ‘The tallest building is
        positioned immediately to the north and is six storeys in height, with roof plant structures.’
        The prevailing height across the hospital site is 5 storeys or less ie up to 20 metres in height.
        The proposal incorporating a 9 storey scale of development over an expanse of some 220
        metres length of elevations means that the predominant height is 34 metres or with roof plant
        over 36 metres in height. The difference between the majority of existing hospital buildings
        and the proposal is 4 storeys or 14 metres.
        The so called stepping down approach involves replacing the existing 3 storey Woodcote
        Lodge adjacent to the 2 storey scale dwellings on Woodcote Green Road with a 5 storey
        element of the West Block and some 10 metres forward of the existing building line.
        To assert that this scale of development represents a modest increase in height is clearly a
        total nonsense.
        The reference to the impact on heritage assets is misleading because the properties most
        directly affected by the proposal are the 2 storey dwellings surrounding the site to the southwest and west which are non-heritage assets. Significant harm would be caused to these
        dwellings because of the excessive scale and siting of the development resulting in a serious
        loss of amenity.
        Site description
        3.7 The Site is considered a highly sustainable location, located approximately 1km from
        Epsom train station (approximately a 15 minute walk).
        Response:
        This is completely incorrect the site is some 1.6 km from the station and for an elderly person
        would be at least a 25 minute walk. This is not a highly sustainable location which is why retail
        and leisure facilities in Epsom town centre are having to be replicated within the development
        site.
        4.8 Drop off/collection for the nursery provided as part of the scheme will be accessed via the
        main access where parking bays are provided with vehicles departing via the separate egress.
        Response:
        This will result in significant levels of noise, disturbance and fumes to the neighbouring
        residential occupiers at 40 Woodcote Green Road. The parking spaces are immediately
        adjacent to the flank boundary fence and within 4 metres of the side kitchen glazed door and
        window of that property. There should be a substantial landscaping buffer between a major
        access and parking arrangements such as this and neighbouring residential occupiers. There
        is none.
        9 Principle of development
        9.18 The tilted balance of paragraph 11d cannot be disapplied due to the proposed use class
        of development.
        Response:
        This is not considered correct. As set out in paragraph 11d of the NPPF, it is necessary to
        ascertain whether there are any up-to-date relevant policies in the development plan, which
        are most important for determination of the application. It has now been established in case
        law (Paul Newman New Homes Ltd v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC 2637) that even if there was only
        a single policy relevant to the determination of the proposal that was up-to-date, in line with
        paragraph 213 of the NPPF, this is sufficient for the ‘tilted balance’ not to be engaged, i.e. a
        ‘flat balance’ applies. Furthermore, a clarification in association with the term ‘relevant’ was
        offered, meaning ‘no more than some real role in the determination’.
        Policies DM9 and DM10 relevant to the consideration of this application are considered to be
        consistent with the NPPF and therefore up to date.
        In the absence of a tilted balance, it is considered that the significant identified harm clearly
        and demonstrably outweighs the benefits when assessed against the policies in the
        development plan and the NPPF taken as a whole.
        11 Provision/Need of accommodation for older people
        11.6 Policy DM21 sets out that planning permission will be granted for specialised forms of
        residential accommodation, subject to the following requirements being met: • That the
        application documentation includes clear and robust evidence that demonstrates that there
        is a need for the new accommodation; • The delivery of the new accommodation does not
        result in an overprovision of that particular type of accommodation; and • The design of the
        proposal is demonstrated as being sufficiently flexible to readily accommodate conversion to
        other appropriate uses, either residential or non-residential, in the event that the need for
        the permitted use declines.
        Response:
        The criteria under Policy DM21 are not met. The proposal would result in an over-provision of
        this kind of accommodation give the provision elsewhere and existing vacancy rates. The
        design is not flexible to allow conversion to other uses, namely conventional C3 residential.
        The 38 Guild Care Residences and Suites do not meet minimum space standards, most units
        do not meet private amenity space standards and the parking provision is less than half the
        minimum residential standard with the majority of spaces only accessible via a concierge
        because of the proposed Automatic Parking System. The scheme as proposed is accordingly
        anything but flexible for other uses.
        11.22 Officers do not have the expertise to analyse markets in health and social care or the
        data insight into care homes, older people’s housing and specialist care. Carterwood,
        regulated by the RICS, specialises in this field and has put forward its need assessment, to
        support this application. Officers cannot analyse the findings, so this report is accepted.
        Response:
        This is a wholly unacceptable stance and demonstrates a complete lack of scrutiny. The
        applicant’s consultant unsurprisingly puts the brightest gloss on the case but this is at odds
        with the advice from Surrey County Council (see response to Para 2.6 above).
        Design and Heritage
        12.22 The existing hospital buildings rise to 29.83 metres in height, to the tip of the rooftop
        plant structures. The proposed scheme’s tallest elements will be approximately 3 metres
        taller than the hospital buildings.
        Response:
        This follows on from the response comments on Para 2.11 above. This statement totally
        underplays the height difference by suggesting it is less than half of what it would actually be.
        The proposed scheme’s tallest element within the West Block, including plant would be 6.5m
        higher at 36.3 metres in height and the equivalent in the East Block would be 5.61 metres
        higher.
        12.29 The largest block on the Site is the West building, which is an imposing building. The
        southern elevation is lower at 4 and 5 storeys, which is more sensitive to the parkland to the
        south, but there is quite a strong dislocation of the elevation scale between this and 40
        Woodcote Green Road.
        Response:
        This admission that 5 storeys doesn’t relate to the 2 storey scale of the adjacent dwelling (and
        10 metres forward of the building line) begs the question how the officer conclusion can
        possibly be that ‘the scheme is considered appropriate and acceptable, complying with policies
        CS5, DM8 and DM9.
        12.30 Various material finishes are proposed, mostly comprising brick and aluminium rain
        screen. The variation of material finishes has the advantage of providing variety of intent,
        without being too excessive, but the aluminium may not be an entirely complimentary finish
        to the building. There is the danger that the cool finish of the aluminium may look at odds
        with the warm finish of the brick and the softening effect of the proposed planting. To ensure
        an appropriate material palette, a materials condition is proposed, subject to planning
        permission being granted. The Officer sets out that generally the approach of using brick is
        accepted and again details should be secured by condition, should planning permission be
        granted.
        12.31 Further detail is required of the drop off entrance, including details of doors, glazing
        and soffit sections. The car park entrance is considered harsh and industrial in appearance.
        Response:
        This demonstrates that there have been no serious negotiations with the applicant or
        willingness on the part of the applicant to amend the scheme to address the legitimate
        concerns raised by residents and local representative bodies for example on relatively simple
        matters such as the design and appearance of the scheme. The same applicants were required
        to significantly amend their schemes elsewhere in the country, including the scale and massing
        and reduction in ancillary uses, but no such amendments have been sought here.
        12.34 The Local Planning Authority has a high level of assessed housing need, but lacks a
        sufficient supply of available, developable and deliverable housing sites to fully meet this
        need. As such, there is a requirement to optimise all sites and this Site is considered
        appropriate for development.
        Response:
        This highlights how important it is to provide housing that actually meets priority housing
        needs. Since the SHMA (2016) was published, the NPPF was revised in 2019 to include the
        National Standardised Methodology for the calculation of the Local Housing Need figures. For
        Epsom this figure is currently at 579 homes per annum. On the basis of the qualitative
        information within the SHMA (2016) applying 9.56% to the housing need figure would give the
        Council an estimated need figure of 55 units for older people accommodation per annum.
        From these figures it is clear that at 90.44% (524 units) of all needed residential
        accommodation there is an overwhelming and significantly higher annual need for C3
        accommodation (other than elderly accommodation) in comparison with a modest need for
        older people accommodation.
        It is also a wasteful use of scarce housing land to provide extensive ancillary uses such as
        restaurants, cafes, retail, leisure and nursery.
        14 Affordable housing
        14.16 In summary, the proposal has been subject to viability testing and Officers have taken
        the professional advice of BPS Surveyors. Whilst the scheme is not policy compliant, it does
        seek the re-provision of key worker units and provides an on-site affordable housing offer,
        which is a public benefit and should be considered positively.
        Response:
        The affordable housing offer is minimal equating at 12% when the policy requires a minimum
        of 40%. This should not be considered positively. The viability of the scheme is clearly affected
        by the provision of so much ancillary accommodation and expensive automatic parking
        arrangements. A conventional C3 housing scheme should be able to provide a much higher
        land policy compliant level of affordable housing.
        16 Ancillary uses
        16.10The accompanying documentation, including the Planning Statement, does not provide
        specific reference to the proposed retail provision at the Site.
        16.12 SCC Highways formally commented on this element of the scheme and recommends a
        condition, should planning permission be granted, which ensures that the proposed retail unit
        excludes the sale of food.
        16.13 Officers consider that the proposed retail provision is ancillary to the main scheme.
        Given the modest size of this and the condition proposed by SCC Highways, the retail
        provision is not considered to adversely impact the existing retail offering at the adjacent
        hospital. A condition is proposed, should planning permission be granted, which controls
        opening times for trade or business, in order to safeguard the amenities of the area and to
        prevent nuisance arising.
        Response:
        We understand that the applicant is negotiating to relocate the existing WHS Smith and M&S
        into the retail units. Any suggestion of restricting the retail provision by planning condition is
        unlikely to be successful because of the flexibilities in the new commercial, business and service
        Use Class E recently introduced by the Government. The provision of these facilities will do
        nothing to help the recovery of Epsom town centre by discouraging residents from visiting
        Epsom and equally is likely to encourage passing motorists and surrounding residents to
        undertake top up shopping.
        16.17 The principle of a nursery in this locality, adjacent to the hospital and residential
        properties, to provide childcare to NHS workers and local residents is considered to be
        acceptable in principle, as long as it does not adversely impact neighbouring properties in
        terms of noise or disturbance and highways considerations are deemed acceptable.
        Response:
        As set out in the response to Paragraph 4.8 above the proposal would have a significant
        adverse impact on 40 Woodcote Green Road. These occupiers will also suffer serious noise and
        disturbance and loss of amenity from the positioning of the main access road adjacent to the
        flank boundary of the property. This road would accommodate all cars and servicing vehicles
        visiting the development and between this access road and the neighbouring occupiers would
        be 16 parking spaces hard up against the flank boundary fence. These spaces are mainly
        intended in connection with the proposed child care nursery or as overspill for visitors and staff
        and it is considered that such an arrangement is likely to result in significant harm to the
        enjoyment of the rear garden and therefore on the living conditions of the occupiers.
        17.15 The Local Planning Authority’s Tree Officer commented on this application 03.09.2020.
        The response sets out:
        17.16 The fundamental objection is loss of T36, T2, and G46 and the encroachment of the
        buildings/hard surfacing into the root protection areas of T15, T26, T29 and T30. The impacts
        will cause tree damage and harm to the amenity of the treescape.
        17.17 A further fundamental objection is on the lack of landscape space. On the side of the
        development facing Woodcote Green Road, the proposal erodes the frontage tree cover and
        then fails to provide adequate space for a sufficient landscape buffer fronting the Site. The
        environs of Woodcote Green is attractive (still retains semi-rural character) and there needs
        to be sufficient width of a landscape buffer to the Site to integrate with the special landscape
        character of the pond and Woodcote Millennium Green.
        17.18 Specimen large canopy (forest size) trees would be highly desirable on this frontage to
        benefit community and environmental health as well as helping to mitigate climate change.
        The forest size trees will need adequate room for full canopy expansion, so the buffer needs
        to be at least 10m in width. Given space for development, the trees will help mitigate the
        building mass at the more macro scale. Additional soft landscape understory should be
        provided to help soften the development in the street scene.
        17.30 In summary, whilst the proposal would result in tree loss, the scheme would seek a
        greater number of new trees, which would be managed appropriately through a LEMP. The
        proposed landscaping entwines the proposed buildings, character areas and the Woodcote
        Millennium Green, creating a sense of place. In conjunction with the public benefits of this
        proposal, including a contribution for the ongoing maintenance of the Woodcote Millennium
        Green, the proposal is considered acceptable, complying with policy DM5.
        Response:
        In a scheme of this magnitude it could reasonably be expected that significant screen
        landscaping of around 3m-5m width would be provided along the sensitive western residential
        boundary to offset and reduce harm to residential amenity. Minimal planting is proposed
        which is considered totally unacceptable in terms of separating the impact of the development
        from surrounding dwellings but also in providing an appropriate level of amenity for the
        prospective residents of the scheme.
        Similarly, the Tree Officer’s advice is strongly endorsed that there should be a minimum 10m
        landscape buffer on the sensitive Woodcote Green Road frontage opposite the Millennium
        Green. What is proposed is a minimal landscaping strip at back of footpath because of the
        bringing forward of the new blocks right up to the road frontage and totally disregarding the
        established building line.
        Given the above circumstances, and the disregard of the Tree Officer’s advice, it is clearly
        ridiculous to assert that the landscaping proposals comply with Policy DM5.
        18 Neighbouring Amenity
        18.5 40 Woodcote Green Road is to the west of the Site and is a two-storey detached
        property. The proposed building, forming part of the west building, is five storeys in height.
        The applicant sets out that this will not face habitable rooms within 40 Woodcote Green Road,
        so there should be no significant impact on the privacy at this neighbouring dwelling. The
        proposed building is angled away from the garden of this property, which serves to mitigate
        any impact on the privacy of the garden.
        Response:
        This is one of the most contentious assertions and considered to be seriously misleading and
        in error. There are habitable rooms on the flank elevation, namely a kitchen/dining area with
        a glazed door and window on the flank elevation. The side of this dwelling and the immediate
        rear garden would be directly overlooked by the 5 storey elevation of the West Block
        incorporating flats with balconies facing across to the flank elevation of the house and rear
        garden within about 10 metres of the property curtilage. The angling away of the 9 storey
        element doesn’t occur until about 10 metres down the rear garden so the assertion that this
        would have no significant impact on privacy is nonsense. The proximity, scale and orientation
        of West Block to the residential occupiers of 40 Woodcote Green Road would result in a very
        serious level of overlooking, loss of privacy and consequently loss of amenity. Combined with
        the aforementioned adverse impact from the access road and parking arrangements
        (response to Paragraph 16.17 above) there would be a significant loss of amenity to the
        residential occupiers of Woodcote Green Road. Drawing ‘Elevation 4-4’ and Section D-D
        clearly show the impact on the residential flank boundary of this huge facade. So serious is
        this loss of amenity that it is considered that for this reason alone the application should be
        refused.
        18.13 The results of the technical assessments indicate that the majority of windows and
        rooms within the neighbouring buildings that were tested would satisfy Building Research
        Establishment (BRE) guidelines. It is anticipated that the proposed development will result in
        effects beyond suggested guideline levels on a small number of isolated areas, including 46
        Woodcote Green Road. 18.16 In summary, the Applicant’s consultant set out that the
        proposed development is considered acceptable in terms of daylight, sunlight and
        overshadowing, despite a small number of isolated transgressions, which are not uncommon
        with increased development levels on a site of this nature.
        Response:
        This is considered to be complacent. It is only because of the height of buildings and lack of
        separation distances that the BRE guidelines are breached.
        19 Highways and parking
        19.12 SCC Highways approved the level of parking proposed for the development and have
        stated that the existing parking restrictions in place in the surrounding area would avoid any
        issues with illegal parking in streets around the Site.
        19.13 SCC Highways has not proposed to restrict residents of this scheme from applying for
        resident parking permits as the level of parking proposed at this development is considered
        sufficient. In any event, the nearest residents parking zone is Woodcote Side, which is
        approximately 600 metres from the Site and significantly more than the typical distance
        people would be prepared to walk to park a vehicle.

      Response:
      There is serious concern that with such low levels of parking provision on site and the concierge system for utilising the Automatic Parking System visitors will be likely to try and park in surrounding streets. The retail and other ancillary facilities may also attract additional parking which if unable to be accommodated on site will be displaced onto surrounding streets. There is also the loss of hospital staff parking with no guarantee that the Multi-Storey Car Park application will be permitted. The inability of the LPA to condition any permission to the provision of the MSCP (Para 19.32 of the officer report) is a serious shortcoming. This impact of displaced car parking on residential amenity is a matter which the LPA needs to seriously address as it did with the refusal of the 20-22 Dorking Road proposal. The application cannot patently comply with policies CS16, DM36 or DM37.

      Posted in Planning, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Epsom Civic Society and Woodcote (Epsom) Residents’ Society: response to Statement of Case

      Councillor Update – Liz Frost

      Waste and re-cycling

      A recent update from Surrey County Council contractors has stated that they will now not accept shredded paper in the green bin.  It cannot be put in the bins in plastic bags, and if loose, it gets caught up in the sorting machinery and causes damage and line slows.  However a small amount can be put in the brown garden waste bin, or you can compost it at home.  See https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/residents/recycling-and-waste/simply-weekly-recycling for more information on waste and re-cycling.

      Surrey County Council elections

      The elections on May 6th were slightly different from normal because of the pandemic restrictions and guidance.  More people registered for postal votes.  In a very close-run contest, Steven McCormick was elected for Town and Downs – which includes Woodcote Ward, as well as College and part of Town.  Congratulations to Steven.  Full details at https://democracy.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/mgElectionAreaResults.aspx?XXR=0&ID=500000024&RPID=504449813

      The Boundary Commission

      The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is an independent commission that looks at electoral boundaries.  It is reviewing Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to ensure that the arrangement of Ward boundaries and numbers of Councillors per ward result in each councillor representing about the same number of electors and that the borough can work effectively.  Similar reviews in other boroughs and districts in the area in recent years have often resulted in a significant reduction in the number of councillors.  The LGBCE has decided that the number of councillors for Epsom and Ewell should be reduced from 38 to 35.  The proposals are currently being consulted upon and you are urged to read, digest and provide feedback and comments.   Please see https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/surrey/epsom-and-ewell.  .  The consultation closes on 19th July.

      Planning

      There have been several major planning applications in Woodcote Ward recently, and some that have been refused have gone to Appeal.  Details below –

      Guild Living This is the application for the very large development on part of the Epsom Hospital site.  There have been two application by Guild Living and the Planning Committee refused both.  Guild Living has appealed the first refusal and the  Appeal is in progress.  Notification was been sent to neighbours and objectors on 04 May 2021.  (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/appealDetails.do?keyVal=QQTYE5GY0BY00&activeTab=summary).   We don’t yet know whether the developer  will appeal the second refusal for the slightly smaller development.

      64 South Street.  This was an application for a change of use from business to residential and the building of 6 two bedroom properties.  An Appeal has been lodged, and the council is awaiting confirmation that it is valid.  (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/appealDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QTAZ5GGY0BY00)

      22-24 Dorking Rd.  An appeal has been lodged against the refusal of the application for a block of 20 apartments on the corner of Dorking Road and Whitehorse Drive.  The Council is now waiting for the Start letter from the Inspectorate, at which point they will notify neighbours and objectors that the Appeal has started.  (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/appealDetails.do?keyVal=QKPLMXGY0BY00&activeTab=summary)

      Langley Bottom Farm.  This is an appeal against refusal to discharge an agreement relating to occupancy of the properties at Langley Bottom Farm.  The Appeal in progress, and we are awaiting a decision from the Inspectorate.  (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/appealDetails.do?keyVal=QKM2Y0GY0BY00&activeTab=summary).  An application to build 20 houses on the Langley Bottom Farm site was refused. (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q7I1Y3GYHH300&activeTab=summary). 

      Epsom Hospital.  The application for the multi-storey car park at Epsom Hospital was refused.  It is too soon yet to know whether the Trust will appeal or submit an application for a different design of car park.  (See https://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=Q5NDX2GYH7100&activeTab=summary)

      Racing

      With the easing of lockdown, racing is again taking place on the Downs.. The Derby Festival will take place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th June…Unlike last year when the racecourse raced behind closed doors, the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions will allow them to welcome 4,000 spectators to enjoy this incredible event, the first time racegoers will have been on-site since September 2019.

      Whilst this is a great step forward, they are still very much under the guidance of government and local safety advisory groups as they navigate out of the pandemic and this sadly means that they are unable to welcome members of the public to the Downs – or ‘The Hill’ while the meeting is on.. Tickets have now sold out for the Cazoo Derby Festival and will not be on sale on the day.

      We can look forward to a resumption of a more normal programme as soon as restrictions are fully lifted.

      Council meetings

      More people have watched and listened to Council meetings while they were virtual during the pandemic.  The Government has refused requests for councils to be able to choose whether to continue to hold meetings virtually – so they are now in person.  However they are continuing to be live streamed if you would like to see what happens.

      Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Councillor Update – Liz Frost

      Roadworks – Woodcote Estate area

      We have received the following message from SGN –

      In collaboration with Surrey County Council, 360 Group of Companies will be carrying out a project on behalf of SGN in the Cedar Hill area of Epsom. This work will replace existing metal pipes with plastic PE pipes to ensure that the local area continues to receive a safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come.

      The work started on Tuesday 6 April and will continue until Monday 29 November.

      The list of roads and the dates when the work will be completed is shown below.

      Most of the work we are carrying out will require local transport to ‘Give and Take’ to safely pass our work area, However, in October and November, we will be working in Woodcote Green Road.  To ensure the safety of everyone around the site we will need to install temporary three-way lights between 04/10/2021 until 18/10/2021 and then again between 01/11/2021 until 15/11/2021. Further information about the temporary traffic lights will be provided nearer the start time of this work.

      Please feel free to share this information with anyone you feel may benefit.

      If you have any enquiries about this project, please contact our Customer Service team on freephone 0800 912 1700 or email customer@sgn.co.uk quoting reference SOE3363

      Sunny Bank06/04/202124/05/2021
      Barons Hurst03/05/202121/06/2021
      Woodcote Hurst24/05/202105/07/2021
      Hambledon Vale14/06/202112/07/2021
      Hambledon Hill28/06/202102/08/2021
      Warren Hill19/07/202123/08/2021
      Pine Hill26/07/202109/08/2021
      Oak Hill02/08/202106/09/2021
      Cedar Hill23/08/202127/09/2021
      Chantry hurst23/08/202106/09/2021
      Woodcote Hurst06/09/202118/10/2021
      Axwood13/09/202104/10/2021
      Woodcote Green Road04/10/202118/10/2021
      Digdens Rise18/10/202115/11/2021
      Woodcote Green Road01/11/202115/11/2021
      Sunny Bank08/11/202129/11/2021
      Woodcote Green Road15/11/202129/11/2021
      Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Roadworks – Woodcote Estate area

      AGM 2021 documents

      Posted in Meeting | Comments Off on AGM 2021 documents