September 2023

  • Langley Bottom Farm
  • Bucknills Close
  • Woodcote Grove Chalk Lane
  • Epsom Hospital Guild Living
  • Ashtead Park Garden Centre

Langley Bottom Farm

Many residents, including especially those of you living in Langley Vale, will be interested to know what is happening with the Langley Bottom Farm site. This you may recall was regrettably granted on appeal by a Government appointed Inspector last year for a residential estate despite being in the midst of the Green Belt.

WERS is keeping a very careful eye on this site and our suspicions that the developer may seek to reduce the quality of the scheme and trim costs now that it has won permission are seemingly being realised.

An application to amend the appearance of the scheme (23/00743/NMA) was submitted in June. This sought to delete highly decorative features, such as the chimneys, decorative ridge caps, parapet copings, arched window headers, first floor feature glazing and decorative doors and reduce bedroom sizes. These down-gradings all related to the 7 units earmarked as the ‘affordable units’ which is at odds with national design guidance requiring high quality and inclusive design in mixed tenure developments. Fortunately, the application was refused on the grounds that the changes sought were not ‘non-material’ and would have to be submitted for planning permission including public consultation.   We will let you know if this happens.

We do know from the developer that demolition is scheduled to take place in September, groundworks commence in October and site completion is scheduled for June 2025.

Bucknills Close residential scheme

WERS supported local residents in objecting to an application for a residential redevelopment comprising 6 houses on land between Whitehorse Drive and Bucknills Close. WERS was concerned in particular at the sub-standard access arrangements which were considered to provide unsafe conditions especially for pedestrians. These concerns were reiterated by the County Highways Officer and the application is expected to be refused.

Woodcote Grove (Chalk Lane) residential development

WERS, and in particular local ward Councillors Steve McCormick and Liz Frost, have been heavily involved in raising construction problems and non-compliance with planning conditions relating to this large residential scheme on the former Atkins site between Ashley Road and Chalk Lane. WERS also objected to the unnecessary felling of an old established yew tree within one of the new garden curtilages as this was considered to have high amenity value within the Chalk Lane Conservation Area. We are pleased to confirm that the application to fell the protected tree (23/00615/TPO) was refused

Epsom Hospital Guild Living site on Woodcote Green Road

This site is an utter eyesore! The roof taken off the buildings to avoid paying Council Tax. WERS had previously been advised by Legal and General, who are still the owners of the site, that demolition of the semi-derelict buildings would commence by the end of June. As you will know this has not happened.  This is a completely unacceptable and shameful situation and WERS will be pursuing action via Council officers to try and rectify this situation as soon as possible. The scandal is that the former nursing accommodation could have been used for housing some of the homeless people in this borough and saved the Council hundreds of thousand pounds in putting families up in Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Ashtead Park Garden Centre, Wilmerhatch Lane

WERS has supported local residents in objecting to Mole Valley Borough Council who are responsible for determining the planning application for redeveloping the site to a residential estate comprising 23 dwellings. This site lies within an important part of the Green Belt that separates Ashtead from Epsom which would be undermined by residential development. We hope that Mole Valley refuses the application but even if they do we know from bitter experience with Langley Bottom Farm that a Government appointed Inspector may totally disregard the wishes of the local community if it were to go to appeal.

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