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NameOptionTextDate
Duncan Crane The underlying assumption is that demand in Elmbridge should be met at whatever level. Clearly this is unsustainable as eventually demand will drive prices to unaffordable levels (since supply is not unlimited) or quality of life in the borough will deteriorate to unacceptable levels (because of overcrowding and loss of amenities and employment opportunities to housing) until people no longer wish to live here.

Certainly, in the locale of Cobham where I’ve lived for the last 35 years one sees both effects. Over the last thirty years Cobham has turned it into a ghetto for the middle aged and elderly of the upper middle-classes. This has happened because it has been denuded of the services and job opportunities that would sustain a successful mixed community. In that time, Cobham centre has lost its schools, health centre, social services, adult education and police station. Land previously used for small commercial enterprises, including hotels, factories, workshops, retail and leisure have been turned over to housing. Although much of this was originally intended to be affordable, demand has since made it unaffordable. Even modest 3 & 4 bedroom family homes are being replaced by sub-urban villas because the services available in Cobham now only cater for the very well off, and there is little to attract anyone else.

Throughout the country these pressures have been seen in attractive urban centres that are in demand resulting in a creeping ‘gentrification’. This drives the less well-off to the periphery due to lack of suitable services, employment opportunities and affordable housing. Newly built affordable communities aren’t sustainable as they are not served by appropriate services to sustain them and, ultimately, they also become gentrified as the laws of supply and demand make what was previously affordable housing unaffordable.

The real challenge facing Government and also Elmbridge is how to regenerate the less attractive communities that are found throughout the country (including some in Surrey and parts of Greater London). This means providing the package of Services, amenities and employment opportunities that are essential for maintaining mixed communities. This is not possible by filling in odd parcels of land with housing within or on the periphery of existing communities if they do not have the appropriate services to maintain them. This requires greater vision and a pro-active and planned approach to tackle the root of the problem of creating successful, attractive alternatives and so spread demand to where it can be best be fulfilled.

The overriding need should not be to meet a target for housing but to create successful, sustainable, mixed communities including the appropriate public services, employment opportunities and leisure amenities either within those communities or easily reached by fast frequent public transport links.
21 Mar 2017 12:00
Duncan Crane No, I disagree 21 Mar 2017 12:00
Deleted User I believe there are the following key challenges:

• To retain the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge
• To address infrastructure requirements
• To resolve the transport congestion in our area – Cobham/Stoke D’Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25
• 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.
21 Mar 2017 11:46
Deleted User No, I disagree 21 Mar 2017 11:46
Save Cobham Green Belt (Keith… It is ridiculous leading with the question. You should have asked Residents if the Arup report and the three options should have been proposed to Residents in the first place and the answer is No.

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 area – Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25
• 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
21 Mar 2017 11:14
Save Cobham Green Belt (Keith… No, I disagree 21 Mar 2017 11:14
Birds Hill Oxshott Estate Co.… We recognise the key challenges facing Elmbridge in meeting the housing and infrastructure needs of present and future residents, whilst preserving the area’s special character and the aspects that make it a popular and attractive place to live.

The Birds Hill Estate in Oxshott is one such area that has come under intense pressure in recent years from planning applications that increase the density of development significantly. Yet the intensification of this area and others like it risks the loss of the
special verdant character that makes the Estate what it is, and has made it such a popular place to live.

As representatives of the Estate, we are keen to see this character retained, notwithstanding our ready acknowledgement of the challenges that the Borough faces in meeting its housing and infrastructure needs.
21 Mar 2017 11:06
Birds Hill Oxshott Estate Co.… Yes, I agree 21 Mar 2017 11:06
Deleted User The challenge facing the Council to meet its retail needs is underplayed and misrepresented in Section 2. Firstly, the retail floorspace cited in Figure 4 (i.e. over 20,000 sqm) are net sales areas, as presented in the evidence within the Elmbridge Retail Assessment, April 2016 (ERA). Therefore, the floorspace presented does not take into account back of house, which would inflate the requirements by between 20 and 40%, depending on the type of operator. Policy should either be clear that these are net floorspace figures, or also present a suggested gross figure to assist the reader.
Secondly, the reference to the floorspace figure in Figure 4, and in paragraph 2.13 focuses solely on quantitative need. In other words, these are the needs generated by expenditure and population growth. However, in paragraph 161 (first bullet) of the NPPF, there is an obligation for the evidence base to assess the quantitative and qualitative needs for all types of economic activity. Focusing solely on quantitative needs ignores potential qualitative needs in the Borough and therefore misrepresents the challenges. Qualitative needs can include matters of consumer choice.
Thirdly, it is noted in the final sentence of paragraph 2.13 that the Council consider the 'demand for non-convenience goods (clothes, furniture, electrical products etc…) means that in order for towns and village centres to maintain their current market share of demand, between 14,000 and 19,000 sqm would be required'. This sentence is not strictly accurate, since the current market share output in the ERA is predicated on the higher floorspace figure cited in this sentence and the lower floorspace figure cited assumes an overall declining market share of the Borough as a whole (see our answer to question 21 for further details). Furthermore, the floorspace figures are based on all destinations retaining their market share (including out of centre destinations), not just the towns and villages. For example, the overall comparison sector market share for Elmbridge is 28.8% and of this, 5.4% is achieved by retail floorspace at Brooklands. Therefore an appropriate role of out of centre retail destinations supporting sustainable shopping patterns should be recognised within the challenges section of policy. Fourthly, and finally, in Figure 5, the key challenges for the Borough within the Key Economic Challenges circle should be clarified where the comment 'deliver the right floorspace to meet business needs' should be made clear that this addresses business that meet all foreseeable types of economic activity over the Plan period, including retail, consistent with the NPPF. Otherwise the challenge faced by the Council to meet its substantial retail needs are not addressed in policy (see answer to question 2).
21 Mar 2017 10:53
Deleted User No, I disagree 21 Mar 2017 10:53
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