Online Response Form

Responses

List of answers to the specified question
NameOptionTextDate
Deleted User • The Arup Consultants were briefed in the wrong way. It should never have been done in the way it was and the three Options should not have been put forward in the way they have been.
• 4500 pages of consultation pages and 32 loaded questions is quite disgusting and unfair on all residents.
• 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
• 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
• Phase 2 should start in September and not July1st as proposed over summer holidays.
• Finally, I think the Council should invite a cross section of Residents from Action Groups such as www.savecobhamgreenbelt to work alongside them as volunteer consultants to resolve this Community Challenge!
21 Mar 2017 16:03
Woolf Bond Planning (strvwn Brown) We trust the above comments are of assistance in producing a revised version of the Local Plan for a subsequent Regulation 19 consultation and we await confirmation of receipt of our representations in due course.

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you in order to discuss the suitability of the site as a housing allocation, including in relation to the masterplan approach, the detailed policy wording to be included in the next iteration of the local Plan as well as any phasing matters in terms of
releasing the site for development you may wish to discuss.
21 Mar 2017 15:42
Deleted User Housing Requirement Overstated

The Association does not believe that, although independently assessed, the requirement or need for 9,500 dwellings by 2035 is correct. The economy has been very severely threatened by the Brexit vote and there is every reason to believe that the requirement for housing will not increase at the same rate as in the past but rather a much reduced number of dwellings will be required between now and 2035 than predicted.

However, we do recognize that there is considerable pressure to increase the number of dwellings in Elmbridge. The evidence is clear as in the last four years alone the number of households in the Borough has increased by some 3,800 an increase of 7%. Such increases cannot be sustainable to 2035 and there are already
clear indications that infrastructure is already failing to meet the increased pressures.

Infrastructure Cannot Cope

The existing road system already cannot cope, resulting in "go slows" and traffic jams in many areas and on a regular basis, particularly on the approach roads to Esher; from the A3 & Oxshott, from Hersham via Lammas Lane and through the High Street.

The air quality has reduced in some areas of the Borough to such a degree that it has become a major consideration in planning applications e.g. the old peoples flats in Cobham High Street.

An additional 9,500 dwellings would presumably create an additional 10,000 to 18,000 cars in this area bringing many roads to a standstill. Should the current proposed redevelopment of Kempton Park go ahead, this would in itself lead to increases in traffic for Hampton Court Way and Esher High Street.

Conclusion

The Esher Residents Association would urge Elmbridge Borough Council to reconsider their proposals for the Local Plan. Concentrating on actual Housing need rather than developer created demand. We believe the need for new dwellings in Elmbridge to be considerably lower than the 9,500 figure quoted and as a result there is no need to encroach on any Green Belt land. Furthermore before any significant increase in housing is provided, attention must be given to improving local infrastructure.

For the reasons mentioned above, the Esher Residents Association does not support any of the three options proposed.
21 Mar 2017 15:00
James Riley I attended the meeting yesterday at St Andrew's Church, Cobham and heard your presentation of the Council's proposals for releasing areas designated as Green Belt, for development in pursuance of the target to build new housing in the local area, as part of "Shaping elmbridge: a new Local Plan".
Not having internet access, I am unable to respond via online EBC Green Belt Consultation questionnaire which I have not seen but which I gather from speaking to residents who have completed it is a very long and complex document, as was brought out at the meeting. For people like myself, who are not technologically competent, I think it unnecessarily difficult and daunting. I am therefore using the "tick box" sheet handed out at the meeting which seems to me fairly comprehensive, together with these supplementary comments of my own.
It seems to be generally acknowledged that this country needs more housing due largely to population explosion, including immigration. What is noticeable to me, however, is the basis on which now our local area this need has been quantified. I have not seen the Ove Arup consultation paper, which came in for a considerable amout of criticism at the meeting and which many regard as flawed. Also, it is not clear from what we have been told whether there has been a detailed assessment of brownfield sites or whether increased urbanisation of the more urban areas in the borough has been fully explained. These are absolutely crucial considerations. Again, in so-called "affluent areas" like ours where housing (like most things) is very expensive, what are the prospects of providing "affordable" housing (whatever that means) to meet the needs of the less well off?
The potential impact of more housing development on the environment, although referred to, does not appear to have been thoroughly thought through particularly in terms of our pollution (already a problem in Cobham) and traffic congestion, particularly on the very busy A3, which will be affected by the proposed Chippings Farm development.
I do not think it is nimbyism to raise these concerns and I urge the Council to think hard and long about the effects of these proposed developments in the Green Belt before any irrevocable action is taken to approve them. After all, developers are only basically interested in making profits and want to be able to build on the way which is least problematical and potentially most profitable for them.

The Cobham area needs more housing, but the Consultation paper is not clear on what type or where.
The Strategic Areas would not necessarily release the land for necessary and desirable development.
The Consultation is unclear on how many homes would be delivered by removing Green Belt status and how these would be "affordable" (whatever that means!).
Until the nature of potential development is known it is not possible to assess relative priorities.
21 Mar 2017 14:41
Deleted User I am aware that there is much local anger at the proposals for Long Ditton and having lived here for 33 years and been a governor at the infant and nursery school I have tried to look at the proposals as rationally as possible. I do feel there has to be some give and take but I really don’t think that full scale development in this area would be unfortunate and change the local ethos of the area. It is difficult to see how sufficient additional school places could be provided for a large scale development too.
Paragraph 3.17 of the consolation document states ‘Small sites coupled with the desirability of the area mean that small houses are not as attractive to developers’ but that has to change because of the requirements that you have identified. I cannot believe that developments of between 50-200 dwellings can’t be financially viable. If this has to change then Central Government will have to take this on board with the appropriate legislation.
21 Mar 2017 13:38
Deleted User • 80% of local residents are unaware of the situation. Far better consultation around Cobham, Oxshott and Stoke d’Abernon is required, as amazingly two parcels are within walking distance of each other, with a 1200 student school about to open up. This flawed and totally unrealistic proposal will turn vast numbers of residents against the Council instead of moving the communities and Council together. Shame on those who lead these initiatives.
• The timing of this consultation being launched just prior to Christmas, the lack of information provided to local residents, and the complexity of the questionnaire suggest that the Council is simply box ticking, and not open to any challenge. This is extremely disappointing as you are supposed to be our elected representatives. As such, you should stand up for and protect our interests.
• Similarly, the timing of the second phase of Consultation over the summer is further evidence of a lack of willingness to engage local residents. You know very well that the majority of residents will be away on summer vacation. This is an outrage.
• The Council’s proposal gives no consideration to the availability of jobs and employment. Limited employment opportunities in Cobham will put more pressure on commuting when the level of congestion (roads and trains) is already barely manageable.
• The Council’s proposal 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.
21 Mar 2017 13:15
Deleted User  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
 These proposals have no regard to the size of the existing settlements where the new house building is being considered and the impact on their existing communities and infrastructure. Because Elmbridge is neither a place of being or a community in its own right but a collection of very separate and different communities and settlements, any sensible housing strategy has to be broken down and as a starting point to look at each settlement / community and assess how many additional dwellings need to be accommodated having regard to the size of that settlement to Elmbridge as a whole.
 As the whole purpose of deselecting green belt land is for meeting housing need, it is a flawed process that ignores infrastructure. Green belt land in an urban or semi urban community may be more appropriate for development where there is adequate or good infrastructure than where it is in a rural or semi rural community where there is inadequate or poor infrastructure.
21 Mar 2017 12:22
Duncan Crane Please see the answers above where I feel I have discussed alternative views of the problem and solution at length. I hope this has been constructive as I am very much in favour of creating successful, sustainable and attractive communities for those that live in them. I and my family have discussed these responses and agreed them as a family and this is reflected in our collective response.

Thank you for your continued efforts.
21 Mar 2017 12:00
Deleted User Hinchley Wood Residents' Association (HWRA) represents residents' interests in the local area, including through sponsorship of two councillors on Elmbridge Borough Council. Our subscription income and the numbers voting for our candidates demonstrate that HWRA has the support of the great majority of our residents.

HWRA contests the requirement to find space for 9,500 new dwellings in Elmbridge over the next 20 years. The infrastructure in Elmbridge and surrounding areas is already near breaking point. Massive investment would be needed to cope with development on the scale envisaged, and there is no evidence that this would be forthcoming.

Strategic considerations:
We fully understand pressure for more housing and related infrastructure in the South East and nationally. For many years Elmbridge has played its part in dealing with the problem by accommodating increments to its housing stock, but has seen little in the way of infrastructure improvements to compensate. As a result, we are approaching a tipping point, after which further housing provision is likely to cause the Borough to seize up. Far from being a spur to growth, implementing plans to attract more residents to the area runs the risk of reversing past gains.

We do not believe that targets dictated by national government for individual local authorities, regardless of local circumstances, are the answer to alleviating the current chronic national housing shortage. The government should be seeking to deliver attractive surroundings (houses, employment and infrastructure) in all regions rather than exacerbating what is an already overheated South East. At a national level this should include job creation, rehabilitating empty houses before building new ones, and encouraging occupiers to free up under-occupied dwellings.

Elmbridge has already absorbed enormous development in recent years. The borough’s population has grown from 112,400 in 1981 to 132,769 in 2014 – an increase of 18% in a period when the UK population has grown by 15%. In the last four years alone (2011 to 2015), the number of households has increased from 52,900 to 56,715, an increase of 7%.

The growth in housing has not been matched by investment in infrastructure, so we are now at bursting point. The Surrey infrastructure gap to 2030 is estimated at £161m, with no indication where funding for investment on this scale is going to come from. Residents have never been adequately compensated for past development and now are paying too much for past policy failures.
The pressures are particularly felt in the north-eastern part of the borough, which abuts London and which is more densely-populated. They affect:
• Schools. Schools have been closed and the buildings and playing fields sold for housing. Senior school places are over-subscribed: children living more than 1km away from Hinchley Wood senior school are denied places and have to travel to other parts of the Borough, contributing to the vicious circle of road congestion. The junior school is bulging: a single form entry has had to increase to three forms. Across the borough it has been estimated that three new junior schools and two senior schools would be needed for cater for the 9,500 extra dwellings envisaged, but where would these be put?
• Roads. The last strategic investment in the area's trunk roads was the building of the A3 Esher bypass (opened December 1976) and the Chertsey section of the M25 (opened December 1983). Walton Bridge opened in July 2013. There are 66% more cars on Surrey's roads than in the national average. Chronic under-investment in local roads and junctions means public transport is in a self-fulfilling, downward spiral as it cannot compete, thereby driving further car use. Road journey times are extended and growing, with congestion estimated to be costing the local economy £550m p.a. The knock-on effects of an M25 closure can, and do, impact large parts of the borough significantly, on a regular and increasing basis. Neighbouring areas are impacted negatively by the activities of Elmbridge residents passing through (mainly by car) and vice versa.
• Trains. Despite investment, rush hour trains and stations continue to operate beyond capacity. Station entries at Surbiton (not the same as train passengers passing through) have doubled in the last twenty years, resulting in rush-hour entry restrictions, a situation which will only get worse if yet more pressure is added by more passengers travelling through the station to and from Elmbridge.
• Health services. There are no general hospitals in Elmbridge, so residents have to travel to Chertsey (8.7 miles – at best 27 minutes by car), Epsom (7.2 miles – at best 20 minutes by car), or Kingston (5.5 miles – at best 21 minutes by car). At certain times of the day, a journey to any one of them from Esher could take an hour each way. The only route with a bus connection is Esher to Kingston (scheduled journey time 44 minutes). Healthcare facilities cannot support existing numbers of residents: GP surgeries are unable to take on new patients or see the ones they have, and dentists decline to provide services under the NHS.
• Drainage/flooding. Flood defences and drainage systems are regularly exposed as being inadequate, resulting in, for example, flooding in Thames Ditton in the winter of 2015 and at Hinchley Park in June 2016. Concreting over further large areas for housing and related infrastructure can only exacerbate the problem.
21 Mar 2017 11:49
Save Cobham Green Belt (Keith… SAVECOBHAMGREENBELT would collectively like to comment on the Council’s consultation on their Strategic Options Consultation. Our Group comprises of several hundred members of highly concerned Residents and Families from Stoke D’Abernon, Cobham and Oxshott and a Core Team of ten Residents. Our Team works closely with the other major Organisations who are also opposed to these proposals such as CRPE, Residents Associations, Chambers of Commerce, MP’s and Cobham Heritage. We have used most of these Groups materials and findings to input into our own findings and this report. Our Group has a particular focus on Parcel 14, just as there are other teams particularly focussed on Parcel’s 20 and 58. Therefore much of this communication will specifically focus at the top line of why we think Green Belt is not the correct solution and secondly why Parcel 14 specifically is not. Although we appreciate the difficulty that the Council finds itself in concerning the requirement to provide additional housing whilst at the same time take due regard of the Borough’s environmental and infrastructural constraints, we strongly disagree with the preliminary decisions that the Council has arrived at in opting for Option 2 and proposing the removal from the Green Belt of the three land parcels at Stoke D’Abernon , Cobham North and Long Ditton. The Green Belt is a long established successful policy that for many years has served the Borough of Elmbridge and its Residents well. It has prevented the spread of London into the Borough from the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Mole Valley and Guildford. This has enabled the many individual communities of Elmbridge to remain largely separate by preventing merging and also preventing the loss of countryside, especially in Stoke D’Abernon. So, as we get into the detail of our Case, we start with the Statement that the way in which the Arup Reports were Commissioned were Flawed from the outset, with the wrong principles, information and direction provided to the Consultants in the first instance. The results were very much in line with the Counsel’s briefing principles. 21 Mar 2017 11:46
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