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Response Details

Response Details
From Andrew Birrell
Date Started: 06 Feb 2017 18:09. Last modified: 06 Feb 2017 18:48
Status Complete
Response ID #520152

1

Agree that the challenges set out in section 2 of the consultation document are the key challenges facing Elmbridge?

 

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don't Know

Please explain your answer
The document has not adequately considered the current road and public transport congestion in the Borough, or offered solutions therefore. Simply adding more households into Elmbridge without resolving the issues of congested roads, crowded trains, full schools and other services (e.g. GP practices) is inappropriate. There is no evidence in the document of proposed solutions for these problems.
It is not immediately clear why there is a need to increase delivery of affordable housing, nor is it evident why there is an obligation to provide Traveller pitches, given the level of anti social behaviour exhibited by, and disruption caused, whenever members of this community pitch up.
Finally, it is not clear why there is a need for further retail space, given the evident adverse impact of internet shopping on retail organisations.
The plan does not consider the adverse impact to amenity enjoyed by the current residents of Elmbridge as a result of the proposed development plan

2

Do you consider there are other challenges that we should be addressing?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
see above

3

Do you consider any particular challenge or challenges that are more important than the others?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
The need to retain current settlement patterns and to protect and enhance the natural, built and historic environment must take precedence over the other challenges raised. The need to deal with current congestion effectively is probably the most important challenge, failing which Elmbridge will be stretching credibility that any development can achieve the challenges noted earlier in this paragraph. Elmbridge is presently one of the most attractive parts of England to settle in, and is believed to contribute more income tax to the Treasury than any other borough. In the event that development does not retain the existing character, it is doubtful that Elmbridge will be able to remain as attractive to its current inhabitants.

4

Agree that Option 2 is the most appropriate option?

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don’t know

If you disagree, please explain why and what other option would you support and why?
There is no evidence provided in the document for the required amount of development. At present, it is merely assumed that settlement patterns over the next 19 years will follow a certain pattern. Given Elmbridge is an expensive place to live, it is not obvious that the conjecture as to how many dwellings are required, is correct. Nor is it obvious that the infrastructure in Elmbridge will support the envisaged number of inhabitants of these houses. For instance, where will they work, send children to school, and undertake recreational activities ? There is a lack of evidence of joined up thinking, and no clear evidence given that Option 2 is the preferred option

5

Do you consider the suggested exceptional circumstances are sufficient to support the amendment of the Green Belt boundary?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
The information in the document is merely a guess; there is no strong evidence given for why these circumstances will come to pass, nor why building in these green belt areas is desirable or will give rise to communities that will be supportable in Elmbridge.

6

Agree that, given the appropriate exceptional circumstances, these three key strategic areas are appropriate for removal from the Green Belt?

 

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don’t know

Please explain your answer
I do not believe that the Knowle Park and Fairmile Park areas are weakly performing green belt areas

7

Do you know of any sites within any of the three key strategic areas that could be considered for future development?

 

  • Yes
  • No

Please explain your answer
«No response»

8

Do you consider that other areas of land should be removed from the Green Belt including those that are moderately or strongly performing?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

9

Do you agree that we should seek to provide more of a balance in terms of the size of new homes being built?  

 

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
It is not clear where occupants of affordable or social homes will work, whether they will be able to afford public transport to move around, or how public transport and other infrastructure will be adequate for so many additional inhabitants

10

Given the over delivery of homes with 4 or more bedrooms should we try to limit their delivery in future?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
I am not clear what constitutes over delivery. I presume that property developers are in business to earn profits, and are providing homes of a nature that there is demand for. Given this, and the other questions I have raised regarding where affordable and social housing occupants will earn a living, I am not clear that there is a need to limit delivery or attempt via social engineering to create houses that are not currently as sought after.

11

Should we seek to increase minimum densities at sustainable locations in the urban areas, such as in town centres and at train stations, above 40 dwellings per hectare, where this would not impact on local character?

  • Yes (If yes, what density do you think would be appropriate?)
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
It would appear to be sensible to do so in town centres, if they do not impact on local character. I do not know what the preferred density would be - I believe this will depend on the specific site

12a

Within the three key strategic areas we will be exploring opportunities for accommodating our development needs taking into account site constraints, land ownership, compliance with other planning policies and the need to support sustainable development.  If potential housing sites are identified within these areas, do you consider it appropriate to

a. deliver at higher densities i.e. above 40 dwellings per hectare, in order to maximise delivery?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
The case for this has not been made. Two of the areas (those in Cobham) that are proposed would be inappropriate for higher density

12b

Within the three key strategic areas we will be exploring opportunities for accommodating our development needs taking into account site constraints, land ownership, compliance with other planning policies and the need to support sustainable development.  If potential housing sites are identified within these areas, do you consider it appropriate to:

b. Support lower density developments that maintain the open character of an area and reflects the surrounding character

 

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
The two areas in Cobham are presently in a green belt area of low density. it makes no sense to create a higher density here

13

Agree with our approach to continue to apply Policy CS21 of the Core Strategy e.g. consider on a case by case basis whether local circumstances are sufficient to warrant the requirement of affordable housing contributions on all sites where there is a net increase in housing and where it is viable?

 

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don't know

Please explain your answer
It is not clear what the true demand for affordable housing is in the Cobham area of Elmbridge, or whether the demand is elsewhere in the Borough

14

Are there any other aspects of Government policy which you think we should consider with regard to meeting the accommodation needs of non-travelling Travellers?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
We should consider the impact on existing residents. Past experience of travellers arriving in Elmbridge has not been positive, and the travellers concerned have behaved in an anti-social manner to residents. It is not clear why there is an obligation to provide pitches in Elmbridge. In the event that these are provided, what are the requirements for travellers to pay council taxes, in the same manner that other residents have to ? If there is none, this would appear inconsistent with the obligation placed on permanent residents.

15

Do you consider there to be any other specific housing needs that are an issue within Elmbridge and that we should seek to address as part of the new Local Plan?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
There is a need to provide for elderly care. Although the document covers this, it is not covered in much detail

16

Do you agree that the Council should seek to protect our most important and strategic employment areas from redevelopment to uses other than offices, warehousing and factories?

 

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don't know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

17

If not, what degree of flexibility do you consider would be appropriate with regard to alternative uses in such areas?

I am not clear why warehousing and factories are attractive in Elmbridge. There may be better alternative areas for these to be located.

18

Do you think that there are any exceptional circumstances that would support the amendment of the Green Belt boundary at Brooklands to support the further development of employment uses at this site?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

19

Other than Green Belt what other barriers do you consider could prevent further development at Brooklands?

Roads etc are very congested in this area. There is insufficient delivery of reductions in congestion in the area

20

We will seek to maintain our broad support for tourism related development as set out in the Core Strategy. However, to recognise the importance of Sandown Park Racecourse as both a sporting and exhibition venue should we:

Encourage the redevelopment of Sandown Racecourse to provide improved and extended conference and hotel facilities?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
Unless there is a strong market demand for extended conference and hotel facilities, there is substantial risk that these will be a white elephant.

21a

Maintain our policy of focussing new retail development to town and village centres?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
Retail development should be in the town and village centres, to the extent it is required. It would appear that internet based services are substituting for retail at present, so it is not clear to what extent additional retail facilities are required.

21b

Continue to protect primary shopping areas from other uses as set out in the current Core Strategy?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
If there are better uses, these should be considered

21c

Consider allowing other important uses in primary high street shopping frontages such as doctor’s surgeries, dentists and libraries?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

22

Should the Council continue to give a high level of protection to all open spaces and designate those spaces that meet the criteria for Local Green Spaces?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
The open spaces in Elmbridge provide substantial amenity to the residents.

23

Do you agree with our approach to biodiversity and mitigating the impact of new development on the Thames Basin Heaths habitat?

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

24

Do you agree that our strategic and pro-active approach to supporting our heritage assets is appropriate?

  • Yes, I agree
  • No, I disagree
  • I don't know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

25

If not, what approach do you think we should take?

«No response»

26

Do you agree that the Council’s current approach to considering design and character is appropriate?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

27

If not what approach do you think we should take?

«No response»

28

Should we look at including a policy providing more detailed advice on what is required to limit the cumulative impact of small scale development on flood risk?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

29

Do you consider the existing policies seeking to reduce the impacts of new development with regard to delivering more sustainable travel patterns outlined above are still appropriate?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
It is preferable to increase density near the existing public transport and existing services. However, the existing train service is crowded already from Oxshott and Claygate, so it is not clear how the existing public transport will cope. The existing roads are congested at peak times, and outside of peak times, drivers tend to speed through the villages. Better traffic management is required since sometimes residents cannot exit from their streets into busier roads for substantial periods of time

30

Are there other approaches we should consider?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
It is not clear that the existing approach is adequate or leading to preferred outcomes. It would be useful to compare actual delivery to expectations.

31

What do you consider to be the essential infrastructure items required to support new communities e.g. the potential development of the 3 key strategic areas?

Enhanced road and transport infrastructure, additional schools and additional GP and other health facilities

32

What smaller infrastructure improvements do you think could be made within your local area to address some of the negative impacts arising from new development?

Don't do the development ! There are very few obvious benefits arising from new development.

33

We recognise that there may be other issues or options we have not considered that you would like to raise. If there are we would like to hear these and consider them as part for this consultation. Please use this space to write anything else you would like us to consider.

 

The need for an additional 9,480 houses has not been proven, nor is it clear why the 2 areas in Cobham are weakly performing. The existing townscape and landscape will be permanently changed should this development proceed, and it is not clear that existing residents are in favour. It follows that at present, there do not appear to be exceptional circumstances to build on this green belt land. Cobham and Oxshott are separate communities, and a large part of the amenity that arises from living in this part of Elmbridge is a result of the green areas. The roads are already congested, and the public transport has become noticeably crowded over the last decade. Although many figures are presented in the consultation paper, it is not clear from reading the paper, nor the supporting evidence provided, that these figures are realistic. At present they appear to be an opinion presented by the Council, however should these developments proceed and the resulting demand be lower, the residents of Cobham and Oxshott will have suffered a reduction in their amenity for no good reason

34. Files

«No files»