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Response Details

Response Details
From Alison Beech
Date Started: 10 Feb 2017 18:10. Last modified: 10 Feb 2017 18:10
Status Complete
Response ID #520960

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
There are many other key challenges in the area. Traffic is already a significant issue in the Cobham/Stoke D'Abernon area, in addition schools and doctor's surgeries are full to capacity. The green belt between Cobham and Oxshott should be preserved to prevent urbanisation and sprawl. The green space is valued by residents and should be preserved.

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
As above, transport and traffic congestion is already a very big problem in the area. Being close to the A3 and M25 means that it can be used as a rat run when there are issues on the M25. The traffic causes pollution and erosion of the environment and makes quality of life poorer for all.

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
Infrastructure should be improved to ensure there is the correct provision of schools and medical services. Levels of pollution are already unacceptably high due to the proximity to the A3/M25 and the two main airports. Encroaching on green belt means increased urbanisation and erosion of the environment. There is little provision for the elderly in the area and this should be improved.

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?
I disagree that the provision of housing is an Exceptional Circumstance that will allow the destruction of our Green Belt and heritage. Once Green Belt has been taken away it will never be regained and will result in removal of much needed green spaces. The council has not explained or justified why it cannot build on brownfield land, this should be the first priority.
The area does not have many job opportunities and is not on a fast line to London. Therefore it doesn't make sense to build social and affordable housing in Parcel 14 and Parcel 20. Other local areas should be explored such as Woking/Walton.

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
National guidelines state that "unmet housing need is not a justification"
The consultation documents state that Green Belt boundaries should only be adjusted "with the support of local people" The council does NOT have this.
The Strategic Options paper has only explored 3 parcels of so called weakly performing Green Belt. The work should have been completed at a much lower level. Who is to say that the next levels of your identified weakly performing Green Belt Parcels are not more suitable and have more developable areas
I believe the Council is taking the easy way out in targeting Green Belt and should re-focus on brownfield sites. Consideration should be given to increasing the densities on these sites.

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
Methodology and assessment is subjective and flawed. There is inconsistency with the scoring and categorisation across all the parcels of land
I strongly disagree with Parcel 14 (Knowle Hill Park, north Blundel Lane) being included for the following reasons:
1.This Green Belt currently prevents the merger of “neighbouring” areas of Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott
2.Cobham, Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott are distinct communities – EBC’s own Flood Risk Assessment recognises them as separate entities
3. The Green Belt Review scoring is wrong – parcel 14 is only 2.5% built on and therefore should be 4 or 5 not 2.
4. Description of Parcel 14 as “semi-urban” is very subjective and incorrect – it is semi-rural.
5. Description of Parcel 14 as having “weak links” to the strongly performing parcel 10 is untrue and solely due to Blundel Lane and the railway line
6. Previous owners of the Knowle Hill Park area had higher protection than Green Belt (via a section 52 agreement). This was removed by the Council – there is no justification for why this has changed
7. Infrastructure, particularly roads would not cope
8. I believe this should be subject to review and independent audit verification
as insufficient weighting has been given to the points detailed below:
i. Ancient woodlands are present on Parcel 14. These need to be
surrounded with buffer zones and wildlife corridors
ii. The verified presence of Greater Crested Newts which are protected
by both U.K. and EU legislation.
iii. It is also a natural habitat for bats, beetles, adders, buzzards, deer
and owls.
iv. Knowles Hill Park as its name suggests is on a hill and the presence
of a flood plain at the bottom of the hill has not been recognised or
scored
v. We also maintain these are actually Absolute Constraints and need to
be recognised and scored as such
I strongly disagree with Parcel 20 (next to Portsmouth Road, Cobham) being included for the following reasons:
1.Parcel 20 acts as a vital separation between Cobham and Esher
2. It protectsagainst ribbon development along the Portsmouth Road(A307)
3.The Common Land and Site of Special Scientific Interest in this area must be protected
4. Development on such a large scale would change the character of Cobham and damage local community cohesion
5. The infrastructure definitely couldn’t cope
6. The Green Belt Review undervalues this land which has only 4.6% built structures on it.

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
The council should be looking at this and provide details of further options. If the council has not fully evaluated all other options it should do so.
Parcel 14 - the topography next to Blundel Lane is steep, a flood risk, and also once a landfill site so not suitable for development. It also has a scout camp which is used by lots of neighbouring borough as well as Elmbridge. There are ancient woodlands and lots of protected animal species, in addition Parcel 14 has a lake at the top and risk of flooding. Also there are clay work mine shafts and underground bunkers.

Parcel 20 - no part of this is suitable for development, there are allotments and also Cobham Rugby club has a long lease on part of the land.

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
I believe that urban regeneration is the way forward and that cooperation across boundaries is required in order to find an optimum solution
 The Council has admitted it has not assessed the viability or contribution of the moderately performing sites and this seems an oversight that must be urgently corrected
 Providing infrastructure for the three identified sites is considerably more complex and expensive than linking one larger site in a logistically better positioned area
 Any plan of this complexity cannot be considered in isolation and hence I fundamentally disagree with an approach that just singles out housing
 It is worth reiterating that housing is NOT an exceptional circumstance to remove Green Belt and does not meet with the majority support of the residents
Ie must also strongly object and put on the record that the nature of the questions is in our opinion manipulative and self-serving seeking to justify the Council’s recommendations and is thus not consultative but merely ticking boxes

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
Yes definitely, but not on green belt land.

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
Some of the houses built in this area are far too big, imposing and have a detrimental affect on surrounding homes. I am amazed that planning have allowed this sort of building. I can only assume that Elmbridge council benefits from payments from developers in some form.

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
I'm not able to give a density I think is appropriate as it depends on many factors, but creative design should be used to maximise density.

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
With regard to Parcel 14, the is a semi-rural area and high density dwelling would destroy that. Infrastructure is totally insufficient and the additional dwellings would overwhelm the area in terms of traffic, which is already unacceptable.

The infrastructure and traffic point also apply to Parcel 20, in addition the destruction of the environment.

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
I do not believe Parcel 14 and Parcel 20 should be developed at all. Green belt must be preserved.

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
Each area is different so needs to be considered on its own merits.

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
Mixed residential/retail/small business developments have been proven and are the norm in many other countries.

17

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

Complete flexibility.

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
There are the same challenges of infrastructure and traffic.

19

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

Traffic and transport issues,

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
It sounds a good idea but there are still the problems with traffic that are a big problem in that area also.

21a

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

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
There should be a focus on mixed residential/retail/small business developments in these areas

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
There should be a focus on mixed residential/retail/small business developments in these areas

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
Flexible usage of urban/high street areas should be encouraged.

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
We need green spaces for the quality of life of all residents. Creative design should be used to maximise the opportunity around these areas.

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
More creative design should be used to maximise the opportunity around these areas

27

If not what approach do you think we should take?

More creative design should be used to maximise the opportunity around these areas

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
Any plan of this complexity should not be considered in isolation and I disagree with an approach that just singles out housing

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
«No response»

30

Are there other approaches we should consider?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

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?

Fast transport links with easy transport access - this does not apply in these areas
Current infrastructure and services are already not fit for purpose
Looking at 3 separate sites is more complex and expensive than linking one larger site in a logistically better positioned area

Essential infrastructure developments that must be considered before
development of the proposed areas include:
o Alternative road patterns be developed to ease existing and future traffic congestion, including improvement of rail road bridges, roundabouts and traffic lights.
o Adequate number of schools, surgeries and green areas to ensure
quality of life for residents.
o Parking at or near transportation links, including Stoke d’Abernon and
Cobham Stations.
o Improvements of bus services in area offering alternative to travel by car.

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?

The following improvements should be made in any event, even before considering new development:

o Alternative road patterns be developed to ease existing traffic congestion, including improvement of rail road bridges, roundabouts and traffic lights.
o Adequate number of schools, surgeries and green areas to ensure
quality of life for residents.
o Parking at or near transportation links, including Stoke d’Abernon and
Cobham Stations.
o Improvements of bus services in the area offering alternative to travel by car.

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 Strategic Consultation paper contains numerous flaws and inconsistencies. The methodology is subjective and flawed
The entire premise of the consultation rests on the requirement to build 9480 new homes. The probability of this forecast being correct needs to be understood – is it enough to remove Green Belt status forever?
The paper has only explored 3 parcels of so called “weakly performing” land – other parcels of so called “weakly, moderately or strongly” performing may be more suitable for development e.g. nearer to higher urban areas
 No consideration given with the proposals for the Cobham & Stoke d’Abernon proposals of access to jobs and employment. Limited employment opportunities in the immediate area as opposed to exploring options in Walton or Weybridge
 Economics of building lower cost housing on areas of Elmbridge (parcels 14 and 20) that are focused on high value homes. Risk if Green Belt is removed that Millgate Homes (current owners of 45 acres of parcel 14) will look to build more high-end (4+ bedroom) homes and pay the Council off as they have done on the existing building. What makes the Council think this would change in the future?
 Elmbridge strategy does not support the stated EU requirement which seeks to preserve and enhance the quality of life of its residents, both current and future. In our opinion Elmbridge proposals directly contradict these EU directives
 Timing of this consultation being launched just prior to Christmas, the lack of information provided to local residents and the length and complexity of the questionnaire seem to lead to the conclusion that the Council is simply going through a process and not seriously open to any challenge from local residents

34. Files

«No files»