December Planning Updates

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.

Two applications have now been received to vary the conditions attached to the planning permission allowed at appeal.  The amended proposals are far less attractive and less in keeping with the rural environment which the site is located within and are more akin to a conventional housing estate development.  We have submitted an objection as we consider the amendments are contrary to the national planning guidance that the quality of approved developments should not be materially diminished between permission and completion.

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, near to Dorking Road. 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 has been refused.

Woodcote Grove (Chalk Lane) residential development

WERS, 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. This is now being pursued by the Council’s Enforcement Officer and we will be continuing to monitor the site to ensure the necessary remedial works are undertaken.

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 that the application to fell the protected tree was refused

Epsom Hospital Guild Living site on Woodcote Green Road

This site is an utter eyesore! The roof was taken off the buildings to allegedly avoid paying Council Tax with no consideration to the impact on the local amenity. WERS had previously been advised by Legal and General, who we understand 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 require the landowner to improve the appearance of the site as redevelopment is now probably some years away. 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.

Concerns about start of work on the hospital Multi Storey Car Park

We have raised concerns that there are a number of outstanding pre-commencement conditions that need to be submitted and approved before any work can commence on the new multi-storey car park for Epsom Hospital. We have asked that affected residents should be consulted on any important details relating to the materials to be used, managing site traffic and the arrangements for displaced carparking whilst the building works are underway.

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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