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Response Details

Response Details
From Michael Gadbury
Date Started: 11 Jan 2017 16:36. Last modified: 13 Feb 2017 16:08
Status Complete
Response ID #515635

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
I feel the policy to build more houses in the areas proposed, and in the South East generally is wrong. The government is putting pressure on local government to change Green Belt land to allow building development in areas where the fundamental infrastructure will not support such developments.
A policy of building new towns and villages (outside of the overcrowded South East region) would be much more sensible.

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 priority.

The council should look to retain the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge
The council should look to address infrastructure requirements
The council should address the severe transport congestion in our area – Cobham/Stoke d'Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25 and the proximity of Parkside and Danes Hill schools
The council should protect our Green Belt and look to avoid further urbanisation and in-fill

The council should 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
The challenges in Elmbridge need to look longer term at the transport, schools and medical infrastructures, which are already overloaded!
The council needs to retain the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge not worsen it.
The council should resolve the transport congestion in our area - Cobham/Stoke d'Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25. In particular the Stoke Road, Blundel Lane/ Steels Lane, Painshill and Oxshott A3 junctions are already overly congested.

The council should avoid further development on our Green Belt and avoid further urbanisation and in-fill

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
The council needs to ensure it maintains the quality of life for residents not makes it worse!

The council needs to have a plan for the infrastructure – currently the traffic congestion and roads in Cobham/Stoke d'Abernon and Oxshott are unable to cope with current levels of traffic and schools, medical facilities are already stretched.

Pollution levels already unacceptably high given A3 & M25 proximity and when there is an issue on the M25 the traffic diverts through Stoke D'Abernon, Cobham and Oxshott.

More focus on the erosion of the environment and protecting natural habitat is needed

The council need to insist that South West Trains provide a better service on the Cobham & Stoke D'Abernon line, where the following exists at present:-

*Only 2 trains an hour to London
*No toilets on trains
*No air-conditioning on trains
*Facilities at the station closed most of the time

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 dont support Option 2 because I disagree with the notion of building more houses in already overcrowded areas in the South East. I certainly do not believe in removing areas of Green Belt land that were specifically designated to stop the urban sprawl that you are proposing!
I 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.

I disagree that the provision of housing is an Exceptional Circumstance that will allow the destruction of our Green Belt and heritage

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

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

The Council has not demonstrated that it has sufficiently explored options with neighbouring boroughs

The council should revisit 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.

The Council has not demonstrated that it has sufficiently explored options with neighbouring boroughs

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 - I 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
I strongly disagree that any of these areas should be removed from the Green Belt!
I believe the Methodology and assessment is subjective and flawed. 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:
* This Green Belt currently prevents the merger of "neighbouring" areas of Stoke d'Abernon and Oxshott
* Cobham, Stoke d'Abernon and Oxshott are distinct communities – EBC's own Flood Risk Assessment recognises them as separate entities.
Stoke D'Abernon is even mentioned in the Doomsday Book and is very much it's own community
* I consider the Green Belt Review scoring is wrong – parcel 14 is only 2.5% built on and therefore should be 4 or 5 not 2.
* Description of Parcel 14 as "semi-urban" is very subjective and patently untrue – it is semi-rural.
* 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
* 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. I WOULD LIKE AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THIS WAS REMOVED!
* Infrastructure, particularly roads would not cope. I would challenge all the councillors to get through Cobham (1 mile from Painshill) during the rush hour when schools are operating in less that 20 minutes
* 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, 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. I 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:
- Parcel 20 acts as a vital separation between Cobham and Esher
- It protects against ribbon development along the Portsmouth Road (A307)
- The Common Land and Site of Special Scientific Interest in this area must be protected
Development on such a large scale would change the character of Cobham and damage local community cohesion
- The road infrastructure couldn't cope. Again there is a huge traffic issue when cars use Fairmile Lane as an alternative when Cobham is blocked OR when the American Community School finishes causing queus back to Esher on many occasions!
- 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
• I 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.
• I 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 also has a Scout Camp which is widely used not just by Elmbridge but also by neighbouring boroughs including Kingston. 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 14 also had a covenant on it to protect it from any developments. This was removed by the council without proper notification being given to local residents.


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

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 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, preferably not ion the South East.
• Any plan of this complexity cannot be considered in isolation and hence we fundamentally disagree with an approach that just singles out housing
• Housing is NOT an exceptional circumstance to remove Green Belt and does not meet with the majority support of the residents
• I 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
As stated earlier I believe new towns and villages should be built giving a mix of houses but with the correct infrastructure of roads, schools medical etc built in. Fundamentally you are trying to add various types of housing into an already overcrowded region, so varying house types will not make a significant difference, Somebody needs to grasp the fact that we have a major issue with traffic (transport in general), overloaded medical facilities, overloaded schools etc already. Move away fro trying to add more houses and tell the government to think LONG TERM. You cannot keep adding to an already broken system!

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
see 9 above

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
Same reason as 9 above

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
Absolutely NOT!

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 don't support any building in these areas at all!

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
Not on amy Green Belt Land for the reasons stated earlier.

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
The Government needs to look outside the South East!

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
You should carry out better research on the current issues with the existing houses and building policies. Too many developments and poor developments are being allowed. Take a look at Blundel Lane for example, It is a narrow road built many years ago when traffic was minimal. It sits between Danes Hill and Parkside schools, often has horses using it, has a narrow dangerous bridge and the Junction with Stoke Road is extremely dangerous, particularly during peak periods.
To consider building on the Green Belt land alongside there is just pure madness and is obviously suggested by people who have no idea of the current issues. Similarly, try getting through Cobham at rush hour times! The road infrastructure is nowhere near good enough to take any more traffic.

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
«No response»

17

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

«No response»

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
Same reasons as previous answers. Infrastructure isn't in place.

19

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

Transport infrastructure.

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
Traffic already bad when Sundown events are on. Esher grinds to a halt!

21a

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

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
Not if it means more people and traffic!

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
The more protection to stop more pressure on the infrastructure the better and to maintain or improve the quality of life for residents.

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
Not based on the proposal to remove Green Belt Land!

25

If not, what approach do you think we should take?

PROTECT ALL GREEN BELT!

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
The new development in Cobham High Street is out of character with other buildings and is an example of where its approach is wrong!

27

If not what approach do you think we should take?

Look at the character of existing buildings and keep new developments in character!

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
«No response»

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?

Unless you build major new wide roads, new schools and healthcare outlets you would just be making an existing problem worse. It's like trying to re-arrange deckchairs on the Titanic! Forget this approach and build new places like Milton Keynes, Stevenage etc in places where a proper infrastructure can be included!

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?

See above. Common Sense must be used!

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.

 

A key issue is that the local road system was not built for todays traffic needs. That is the main starting point . Traffic congestion at Painshill back to Cobham, Fairmile Lane, Stoke Road junction with Blundell Lane. Oxshott/Copsem Lane, Esher and various other places is a major issue and causes huge productivity losses for people in the area on normal days. Get an M25 problem and the area grinds to a halt!

34. Files

«No files»