Response Details

Response Details
From Deleted User
Date Started: 15 Mar 2017 14:18. Last modified: 15 Mar 2017 14:18
Status Complete
Response ID #528629

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 the following additional key challenges:

• To retain the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge
• To address infrastructure requirements
• To resolve the transport congestion in our areas – Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25 and Long Ditton Village/Hinchley Wood due to A309/A3/Portsmouth Road
• To avoid further development on our Green Belt
• To avoid further urbanisation and in-fill
• To maintain the environment and avoid further pollution
• Elmbridge has already stated previously that a central part of its core strategy is to protect the Green Belt and this should remain an absolute
• To take account of the value of green spaces for the recreation of local people

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
There are the following additional key challenges:

• To retain the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge
• To resolve the transport congestion in our areas - Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25 and Long Ditton Village/Hinchley Wood due to A309/A3/Portsmouth Road
• To avoid further development on our Green Belt
• To avoid further urbanisation and in-fill
• To maintain the environment and avoid further pollution

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
• Maintaining quality of life for residents
• Infrastructure – schools, GPs, etc.
• Infrastructure – currently the traffic congestion and roads in Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott and Long Ditton Village/Hinchley Wood are unable to cope with current levels of traffic
• Urbanisation – increasing encroachment into the Green Belt
• Pollution – levels already unacceptably high given A3/A309 & M25 proximity
• Erosion of environment and not protecting natural habitat
• Provision for the elderly
• Catering for the health of the current population

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?
• Object to the fact that the questionnaire does not provide the opportunity to select either of the other options or provide a “do nothing” option
• We disagree that the provision of housing is an Exceptional Circumstance that will allow the destruction of our Green Belt and heritage
• We understand that the Council’s own figures show that only 50% of the housing planned would be needed by Elmbridge residents
• Once the Green Belt has been taken away it will NEVER be regained. This will result in encroachment of countryside and removal of green spaces
• The Council has not sufficiently explained or justified why it cannot build on brownfield land and a thorough assessment of brownfield sites should be the first priority
• Increased urbanisation of the more major urban areas in the borough. The Council should seek to develop social/affordable housing near to the major sources of employment and nearer to better service provision
• Opportunities should be explored near to established fast transport links with easy transport access. An example would be the fast Woking/Walton/Esher line
• Building social/ affordable housing in Parcel 14 and Parcel 20 is very unrealistic - this is one of the most expensive parts of Elmbridge and placing social/ affordable housing in this area will not meet the needs of those folks who need easy access to job opportunities and good public transport links, neither of which exist in this area. Similarly, Parcel 58 (in Long Ditton) does not allow access to these essential needs
• The Council has not demonstrated that it has sufficiently explored options with neighbouring boroughs through its Duty to Consult, which could reduce the actual housing quota for Elmbridge i.e. reduce the figure of 9,480 houses said to be needed.

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
• No – National Guidelines state that “unmet housing need is not a justification”
• No – the Consultation Documents state that Green Belt boundaries should only be adjusted “with the support of local people”. The Council does not have this
• No – the Alternative Options paper does not demonstrate that the Council has given due consideration to other options e.g. Urban intensification, working with other councils
• No - 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?
• No - We believe that 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
o Methodology and assessment is subjective and flawed. Inconsistency with the scoring and categorisation across all the parcels of land
o Strongly disagree with Parcel 14 (Knowle Hill Park, north Blundel Lane) being included for the following reasons:
o This Green Belt currently prevents the merger of “neighbouring” areas of Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott
o Cobham, Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott are distinct communities – EBC’s own Flood Risk Assessment recognises them as separate entities
o The Green Belt Review scoring is wrong – parcel 14 is only 2.5% built on and therefore should be 4 or 5 not 2.
o Description of Parcel 14 as “semi-urban” is very subjective and patently untrue – it is semi-rural.
o 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
o 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
o Infrastructure, particularly roads would not cope
o We 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, hedgehogs and owls.
iv. Knowle 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

• Strongly disagree with Parcel 20 (next to Portsmouth Road, Cobham) being included for the following reasons:
o Parcel 20 acts as a vital separation between Cobham and Esher
o It protects against ribbon development along the Portsmouth Road (A307)
o The Common Land and Site of Special Scientific Interest in this area must be protected
o Development on such a large scale would change the character of Cobham and damage local community cohesion
o The infrastructure couldn’t cope
o The Green Belt Review undervalues this land which has only 4.6% built structures on it.

• Strongly disagree with Parcel 58 (land between Hinchley Wood and Long Ditton Village) being included for the following reasons:
o It DOES meet the purposes of Green Belt by checking the unrestricted urban sprawl of the large built-up area of Greater London/neighbouring borough of Kingston. It forms a vital part of the ‘green lung’ entry into Elmbridge.
o Do not agree that this area is “enclosed within the large built-up area of Greater London” or that Long Ditton Village is “part of the greater London built-up area” as described in the Green Belt Boundary Review document.
o Do not agree that the presence of the A309 is a reason to allow existing development to sprawl further over the Green Belt up to that road barrier.
o This area DOES meet the purposes of Green Belt by preventing neighbouring towns/villages from merging into one another. Without it, Hinchley Wood and Long Ditton Village merge into one completely, which in turn then merge into Hook and Tolworth.
o The A309 is said to prevent the merger of Long Ditton Village and Claygate, but Parcel 58 stands in the way of a much more obvious merger of Long Ditton and Hinchley Wood.
o Its removal weakens the Green Belt status of the land south of the A309 (towards Claygate). The ‘thin end of the wedge’ argument.
o This parcel forms part of a wider area (which includes Molesey and Thames Ditton) which was found to perform “very strongly” against the first two purposes of Green Belt (i.e. preventing unrestricted sprawl and towns merging).
o It includes valuable community assets (such as the Hockey Club, Cricket Club, allotments, nature reserve) and without protection from Green Belt status, these assets are likely to come under pressure from future development.
o As part of the Green Belt, it provides valuable open space for the local community - dog walkers, runners, school seasonally based field trips, etc., and is a well-loved and well-used space. Without Green Belt status, this entire area would be available for development, which would deprive the local community of this valuable asset.
o It contains a nature reserve. Building on ANY part of this area would cause fragmentation of rural habitat and a threat to wildlife. It is vital to maintain the biodiversity of the whole area.
o The infrastructure couldn’t cope.
o There has already been a large development nearby (Hinchley Park - 135 houses) with no additional infrastructure provided to support it. The land intended to be taken out of Green Belt in this area (Long Ditton/Hinchley Wood) could provide room for a development more than 12 times the size of Hinchley Park (assuming the same density of housing as Hinchley Park and leaving aside the areas the Council have said they will “maintain” e.g. Nature Reserve etc.).

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
• We believe that this is the responsibility of the Council and would request that details of further options be provided. If the Council has not fully evaluated all the other options in these three areas it clearly must do so.
• We believe that the Council’s approach to only detail the largest three land masses is simplistic and erroneous. The actual amount of developable land is a more relevant and critical component.

Parcel 14 (Knowle Hill Park and north of Blundel Lane, Stoke d’Abernon):

• Parcel 14 topography next to Blundel Lane is steep, flood risk and was also a landfill site – so unsuitable for development
• Parcel 14 This area includes the 26 acre Polyapes Scout Camping site, which has been in constant use since 1929.The appeal of the campsite is that although relatively close to London, it provides a rural and tranquil area for young people’s activities. During the course of 2016 it has hosted nearly 9000 days of camping for Scouts and other young people not only from Elmbridge but also neighbouring boroughs including Kingston. Also Scouts Groups from other parts of the country regularly use the site. Polyapes is also used by other youth groups and organisations.
• The site also includes a registered War Memorial and a consecrated outdoor Chapel.
• Should the Green Belt designation be removed, the site would be faced with the prospect of being completely surrounded by housing, from which there would probably be objections about noise from the site, but more importantly the whole nature and attraction of the camp site would be lost. Access from Blundel Lane could be a problem from what is currently a narrow road subject to flooding.
• Historic memorial present
• Parcel 14 also has a number of Ancient Woodlands
• Parcel 14 is covered with protected animal species
• Parcel 14 has a lake at the top of it and springs around the lower levels and floods
• Parcel 14 has clay work mine shafts and underground bunkers used during the Second World War

Parcel 20 (next to Portsmouth Road, Cobham):
• No part of Parcel 20 is suitable for development
• There are allotments on Parcel 20 which constrain development
• The Rugby Club has a very long lease on part of the land
Parcel 58 (between Hinchley Wood and Long Ditton Village):
• Parcel 58 includes:
o Surbiton Hockey Club (founded in 1874) which has produced 3 Olympic Gold medallists.
o Long Ditton Cricket Club (dating back to 1924) - a local club providing cricket for colts and seniors as well as social events.
o Stokes Field Nature Reserve which has a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland and scrub. It also has a pond. Plant species of note include crab apple, cuckoo flower and pyramidal orchid.
o Sugden Road Allotments, which are well used and maintained.
• The whole of this area must be taken out of Green Belt to allow building on any part of it. Once declassified then it is open for building on and whilst there may be no intention on the part of the Council to develop on all of it now, intentions change. Without Green Belt protection, no part of Area 58 is guaranteed to be safe in the future - even the Nature Reserve, Allotments, Cricket Club and Hockey Club.
• The topography of Parcel 58, which is set upon a hill, means that it is in an area prone to flooding. The land around the Church and the Cricket Club flood regularly and building on this area is likely to exacerbate the issue.

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
• We believe that urban regeneration is the way forward and that more joined up thinking and 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 we 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
• We 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. But we believe smaller sized houses are feasible in existing urban areas and that a more joined up thinking and cooperation across boundaries is required in order to find an optimum solution
• Urban renewal and regeneration continues to be of higher priority and we believe the Council should be seeking to further identify and invest in brownfield sites. Increased density in such areas will allow for the provision of smaller, more affordable homes

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
«No response»

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
• Density depends on many factors so a definitive answer is subjective.
• Creative design should be used to maximise the opportunity with these developments.

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
Parcel 14 (Knowle Hill Park and next to Blundel Lane, Stoke d’Abernon):
• With regard to Parcel 14 – the semi-rural nature, the topography of the land and the existing housing in the surrounding area
• Economics of building social/affordable housing in an area that is one of the most expensive in Elmbridge is unrealistic
• Infrastructure totally insufficient
• Moving from the current 8 hpd to the proposed 40 or 60 is quite totally out of keeping with the current environment
Parcel 20 (next to Portsmouth Road, Cobham):
• Infrastructure totally insufficient
• Will adversely affect air quality in a heavily polluted area

Parcel 58 (between Hinchley Wood and Long Ditton Village):
• Infrastructure totally insufficient to support high density housing. For example:
o Hinchley Wood Secondary School cannot cope with the current numbers in the feeder schools so any development on this area would disadvantage people from those feeder schools living further away e.g.. Claygate and Thames Ditton pupils who are offered places in Hersham and Epsom as alternatives.
o Surbiton Station is already exceeding capacity.
• The Council says it is committed to sustainable development, but it has not carried out a sustainability study per parcel alongside the Greenbelt Review, as other local authorities have. If they had done so, their conclusions might have been quite different.
• Economics of building social/affordable housing on a large scale is unrealistic for any developer - the council’s track record of delivering affordable housing in this area would seem to support this.
• Will adversely affect air quality in an area already polluted by nearby roads
• This would mean an even higher density of housing than the existing Hinchley Park development.

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
• Do not believe Parcels 14, 20 or 58 should be developed. The analysis is subjective and flawed
• Infrastructure insufficient to support any development in these areas

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
• A blanket approach to the challenge around development of affordable housing regardless of the quality of life and/or environmental impact is not the right way to go. Each area is different and there needs to be some accurate science behind the proposed development of each site 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
«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 are very viable and effective.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are the norm in many other countries in Europe and have proven successful.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are likely to draw the required talent/labour resources to the strategic employment areas in the Borough and 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?

Complete flexibility 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
«No response»

19

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

«No response»

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
«No response»

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.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are the norm in many other countries in Europe and have proven successful.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are likely to draw the required talent/labour resources to the strategic employment areas in the Borough and do so in a more affordable manner.

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.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are the norm in many other countries in Europe and have proven successful.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are likely to draw the required talent/labour resources to the strategic employment areas in the Borough and do so 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
• Flexible usage of urban/high street areas should be encouraged.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are likely to draw the required talent/labour resources to the strategic employment areas in the Borough and do so in a more affordable manner.

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 spaces provide the “green lungs” to counter the increasing urbanisation
• 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
«No response»

27

If not what approach do you think we should take?

• Creative design should be used to maximise the opportunity around these areas.
• There are opportunities for commercial development close to open spaces that should be considered.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments are likely to draw the required talent/labour resources to the strategic employment areas in the Borough and do so in a more affordable manner.

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 cannot be considered in isolation and hence we fundamentally 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?

• Opportunities should be explored near to established fast transport links with easy transport access. An example would be the fast Woking/Walton/Esher line
• Providing infrastructure for the three identified sites is considerably more complex and expensive than linking one larger site in a logistically better positioned area
• Current infrastructure and services are already not fit for purpose.
• 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, Cobham Oxshott and Surbiton 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?

«No response»

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
• 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»