Response Details

Response Details
From 1939 (Elizabeth Ann)
Date Started: 11 Feb 2017 16:28. Last modified: 11 Feb 2017 16:28
Status Complete
Response ID #521017

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 main challenges facing EBC and the local population is to retain the quality of life for all who live here; and for the large number of visitors to this area who come to relax, see, and enjoy the valuable amenities and surrounding rich Green Belt with its woodlands and open spaces.
For decades, enormous numbers of expensive dwellings have been built in Cobham, Oxshott and Stoke D’Abernon. This has resulted in huge amounts of traffic causing evermore congestion and traffic jams and pollution on the roads – some of the more narrow and winding lanes become completely blocked every day.
Amenities supplying houses are stretched to capacity; commuters travelling in and out of London each day now have to stand on packed trains for long periods.
My family and I have lived here for 45 years and during that time the Countryside Management Teams have cared for, managed and improved the health and beauty of the woodlands, flood plain with its lake, ponds, and drainage waterways.
Their dedication and hard work has long been appreciated by the public. Surely, this should be acknowledged and supported in sustaining the status of Green Belt!? We should, therefore, continue to maintain the environment and avoid further irreparable pollution.

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
It is essential to retain the quality of life for people already living in this area. They are facing increasing and unacceptable levels of traffic congestion exacerbated by the very busy A3, the M25 motorway with thousands of cars and lorries thundering through every day, and the newly built M25 Service Station at Downside.
The increasing levels of pollution that people and children are breathing in are very noticeable when walking along the roads.
The infrastructure is under severe strain and unable to cope.
In my opinion, and that of many friends, and people who live in, as well as visitors to, the area, these are the problems that should be immediately addressed and not ignored.
Further development on local Green Belt should be avoided at all costs. With intelligent and sensitive consideration, other sites could be looked at and assessed including brownfield sites, which could have the space & potential for attractive and really affordable housing with parks and schools etc.

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 key challenges that are dealt with in my answers to questions 1 & 2 are all vitally important and need addressing immediately……they all are very complex and impacting on each other. Overload of traffic causing severe pollution and congestion on the roads – this is dangerous and unhealthy, especially to our future generations growing up here; the infrastructure of schools, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, train services etc., is already under severe strain. There has been continuous building of very large houses filling up spaces in this area for decades, which has added to the massive increase of traffic and drain on the infrastructure.
Also, there has to be some way of accommodating the needs of elderly or infirm people here, who are having to downsize. In many cases, they are being forced, through lack of funds, to move away from the area at a difficult time in their lives. The retirement homes being built above shops in Cobham High Street will enable people to live there without cars and stay reasonably active by walking to shops and also, the surrounding open spaces. Other similar places could be considered without eating into valuable Green Belt.

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 don’t agree with Option 2 being the most appropriate option for new development on this Parcel 14…. and where is the opportunity to choose a “do nothing” option? This is Green Belt land and should be valued and cared for as such.
There is, I agree, a need for more affordable housing all over England. However, there are many brownfield sites that could be considered instead of precious Green Belt in Elmbridge. Many of these would offer good areas for development of pleasant, smaller, and more affordable homes. Their potential for the development of attractive community areas with schools, parks and playgrounds should be very carefully looked at. There is no good reason for destroying the Green Belt and its rich heritage, before other alternatives are considered. Once it is lost it is gone forever!
The Council’s own estimated figures show that only 50% of the housing planned would be needed by Elmbridge residents. Also, affordable housing in Elmbridge wouldn’t meet the needs of the people it would be designed for...there are no good job opportunities or good public transport links in this area to support people in social housing.
So with that in mind, we have to remember that once the Green Belt is taken away, it is gone forever! The rich green spaces that balance the health and feeling of well-being of us all will be lost to our youngsters and future generations.
If more organisations worked to improve industries and working conditions in the northern areas of the UK, our depressing unemployment figures would go down, and communities could settle and flourish further north than in the already congested, and expensive, areas of the country.

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
Unmet housing need is not a justification for downgrading Green Belt land, and certainly not without the support of the local people who look after it, and treasure it. Green Belt is a policy for controlling urban growth and preserving the openness between settlements all around the country.
There needs to be more co-operation with other councils to find solutions, for example, with considerate and careful planning, brownfield sites could be well designed and attractive areas for development in the future.

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
We have lived here for 45 years, and our family grew up here. Our youngsters and their children have made their homes in Manchester and further north. Being able to afford to live here is completely out of the question for them.
The villages of Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham and Oxshott are all separate historic and attractive community areas, each with its own character and charm. It is with dismay that we have read the points system and the resulting, unfair and inaccurate, assessments of these areas. These attractive historic villages and towns have nestled and thrived within their surrounding Green Belt, and are rich with wildlife and nature. As separate entities and distinct communities, each compliments the other.
The gardens are visited by a huge variety of wild life which has evolved and increased over the decades. Many birds and creatures, some ‘protected’, have increased within the rich woodlands and the flood plain, with its lake and ponds.
It is a very valued and intricate eco-system. Its rich and varied habitation and drainage ditches have been managed with care by Elmbridge Council’s Countryside Management Team for decades. It is rich with treasures ranging from old Oaks and Silver Birch to Green Woodpeckers, Great Crested Newts and Scarlet Elf Cap fungus. The wild life thrives by living and travelling around these areas of merging habitat, and the wildlife corridors should continue to be protected and should not be built on any more than they already have been! Residents and visitors to these areas are very lucky and privileged. Let’s continue to protect it and put our efforts into turning some brownfield sites into beautiful and workable places where people will want to live and work.
In my view, and almost without thought of the future, reckless numbers of large expensive houses have been squeezed into the area of Parcel 14 over recent years. It must stop before it is spoiled forever! Any more building works of large numbers of houses on this flood plain area will pollute the natural waters that flow from the drainage network into the lake and ponds. That in turn will poison the habitat and myriad creatures that live in, on and around the lake area.
I, and other nature lovers, have long lists of creatures that have increased here over the decades. They live and visit all over these wildlife corridors of Green Belt and gardens that nurture them.
Amazing numbers and species thrive here on Parcel 14: Birds (from owls and buzzards to Woodpeckers and Long-tailed tits); Butterflies (from Blue, Painted Lady to Red Admiral and Tortoiseshells); Bats, Insects, Reptiles, Newts (Great Crested, Palmate and Smooth); Deer etc. Also, on the lake and ponds there are: Swans, Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes, many species of Fish, Dragonflies, fresh water molluscs etc. etc.
Building on, and thus poisoning, this flood plain area would immediately undermine and destroy the incredible collection of wildlife and their habitat. This area should be given a much higher positive assessment score.
This area was being assessed some years ago, with a view to it possibly qualifying as a Local Nature Reserve. It was already, to quote a letter from the Council “a designated site of Nature Conservation Interest at a County Level, one step below SSSI status and ensures the site is listed in the Local Plan. There is a long term aim to designate the site as a Local Nature Reserve.” However, funding dried up and it was shelved until a time when it may be prioritised for further consideration. There are records and photographs by many people in the area to support any further investigation.

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
They all have their part to play in the balance of the urban areas around them. They are part of the important and supportive ecological and wildlife corridors linking these urban areas.
In my view, Parcel 14 is too valuable an amenity to even think of destroying!
Polyapes, with its memorial, is a very valued community area, giving Scouts and young people fun and life experience in the open air. It is shared with neighbouring boroughs, including Kingston-Upon-Thames, and commemorative Remembrance Days for people who fought and gave their lives for this country.
It is a historic treasure with its mineshafts and underground bunkers used during the Second World War.
These areas are made up of Ancient Woodlands, flood plain, lake and ponds formed from natural springs.
Parcel 20. This, too, forms part of the green, wildlife corridors together with its ecologically friendly allotments.
It is the responsibility of the Council to consider and give details of other options.

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
Housing is not enough reason to destroy or eat into beautiful Green Belt. Other avenues should be really explored and made use of. The Council has not assessed the viability or contribution to the physical health, and spiritual uplift of the communities and nature, of these so called moderately performing sites.
Providing infrastructure for these identified sites would be vastly complex and expensive.
Other options outside Green Belt should be assessed and considered first.

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
Without doubt, more cheaper homes should be built for people who are less well-off, and who have lower incomes. These need to be built in appropriate areas where there are suitable jobs and a community structure to support them in the way of accessible train links, bus services etc.
The suitability of brownfield sites and their potential for being developed into attractive community areas should be thoroughly investigated.
There should be more cooperation and discussion across boundaries, in order to move forward for the sake of future generations who will have to live with the decisions being made at this time.

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
There has been relentless building of massive, expensive houses in this area for decades. Garden space is being sacrificed for close proximity to neighbouring houses going up.The result has been a huge increase in cars, often several per home. The area is straining to cope with the heavy traffic, pollution, inadequate infrastructure and services. There is noticeably louder noise pollution over increasingly wider areas with the traffic congestion from the M25 and A3. This, together with inappropriate light pollution from the increasingly lit up house fronts and gardens is unacceptable.

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
There may be places where sensitive and careful consideration could be given to the building of affordable homes, but certainly in small numbers and only in sustainable locations. A good example of this seems to be happening in the High Street in Cobham (although I don’t know what the asking prices will be!?)
The retirement homes being built above some of the shops in Cobham are a good use of space - and well suited to the needs of old folk, who can then walk to the shops and need no cars. However, the numbers of dwellings like this should be not only creative and restricted in numbers to preserve the character of the villages or towns, but also of truly affordable prices.

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
a. There should be no more high density building in the area of Parcel 14. It is already overstretched, and it would be completely out of keeping with the current environment.
This area is one of the most expensive in Elmbridge, and it would be a mistake to try and build social housing here. The people who need to be helped with social housing could not afford Elmbridge prices nor would they be supported with jobs or services in this area. The economics of building this type of housing here is unrealistic.

Parcel 20. The infrastructure here is totally insufficient and the Portsmouth Road is already heavily polluted. The open land alongside it helps to counteract this.

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
Parcels 14 and 20 should not be developed. In my view, the analysis of their performance is totally inaccurate.

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 imperative to look at the circumstances of each individual area whether it is considering the quality of life for residents or the environmental impact of housing etc. There need to be expert, accurate and realistic assessments made in order to approach this huge challenge scientifically.

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
This is because Elmbridge Borough, for all the reasons already discussed, is totally unsuitable an area for providing places for Travellers to settle. The borough is not equipped for providing the type of jobs to support these families, let alone the lack of travel facilities, and the strain on the present infrastructure, for enabling them to reach work destinations. Further afield, outside Green Belt areas but close enough to enjoy and feel the benefit of them, sites could be considered. It is essential, however, that any area allotted should be properly managed and looked after by that community.

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
Yes, there are increasing numbers of old people in Elmbridge - some needing to downsize to smaller homes within walking distance of shops, doctors’ surgeries etc. Other old folk, whose youngsters have had to move away to less expensive areas to live and work, need help within the security of sheltered housing etc.

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
Areas that are a balanced mix of residential, retail and small business outlets are more likely to attract the talent and labour resources that are required and would do so in a more affordable manner.

17

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

There needs to be complete flexibility, discussion and open mindedness.

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
This is Green Belt and should be protected as such. There are no exceptional circumstances that would justify downgrading its status.

19

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

The areas around Brooklands are already severely congested and polluted for large portions of the day.

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
Sandown Park is an attractive and popular venue already. No need to waste money there

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 keeping a mix of residential, retail and small business developments in these areas…..I think we have enough estate agents in Cobham, though!

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
Developments of mixed residential, retail and small businesses have been proved successful in other European countries. It would be an asset for attracting the required talent and labour resources to strategic employment areas in the Borough, and in a more affordable manner.

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
Doctors’ surgeries, dentists, etc should be considered for occupying primary shopping frontages in high street areas.

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
Green Belt was set up to prevent urban sprawl and to provide a healthy environment between towns and villages, not only for the population but also for our valuable wildlife and their habitat. The healthy ecological balance to our island is vital and should be cared for, and preserved, for future generations.

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
Your proactive strategy is good. However, it is your responsibility, and it is important,; that the public are listened to also, in order that the right decisions are made in determining the future of these important issues. Once bad mistakes are made there will be no going back!

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
Yes, I agree. Your strategy is positive for resisting the loss of Heritage assets, and yet recognising the potential for supporting the long term protection of that asset and its key features.

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?

There are opportunities for commercial development close to open spaces that should be considered. Creative design of mixed residential, retail and small businesses, and if done in an affordable manner, could be an asset.

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
The issue of flood risk is of very high importance in the area. This is why the reckless building in the areas of the flood plain should cease; and the situation should be dealt with by experienced advisers on the subject.

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?

Everything is under strain because of the huge building programmes that have been changing, not only the built-up look of the area, but also the overcrowded schools, doctors' surgeries, overloaded, crowded train services etc. Station car parks and other car parks, plus parking in the town streets are under strain and getting worse all the time. Utilities systems such as sewage, power systems etc. are all being stretched to the limit. To consider yet more large scale housing plans is counter-productive and certainly the destruction of Green Belt is not the answer.

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?

There are many services that would need improving to accommodate even more new developments - from roads, rail services, bus services, waiting times in doctors' surgeries etc. etc.All this would be extremely complex and very expensive.

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.

 

There has been very little time for the public to air their views on these important matters, most of us only having been made aware in the last three weeks of the consultation process, and the deadline is very imminent.
It is a bit bewildering and alarming to read varying numbers relating to the likely building applications that threaten to be put forward....for example, is it "9480" houses or "1000" houses on each of two parcels of Green Belt; 9 or 16 Travellers' sites?
This area has been filled with high value homes - what's to stop these developers building more of the same if they had the chance?

34. Files

«No files»