Here are some updates on Borough matters.
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.
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.
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 granted. The 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.