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.
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)
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.
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.