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Response Details

Response Details
From Adrian Whyte
Date Started: 06 Feb 2017 09:58. Last modified: 06 Feb 2017 09:58
Status Complete
Response ID #519976

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
To retain the quality of life for Elmbridge residents who have helped make the Borough what it is today.
To address already overloaded infrastructure requirements
To address and resolve the transport congestion through Cobham town- Stoke d”Abernon/Oxshott (Stoke Road is frequently at a standstill)
To avoid further development on ‘protected’ Green Belt
Avoid further urbanisation and infill
Elmbridge has previously stated that it is committed to protecting its Green Belt and this should not be contradicted.
To take account of the rural green spaces for recreation for Elmbridge residents

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
To resolve transport congestion especially Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon/Oxshot
To avoid further development on ‘protected’ Green Belt
To avoid further urbanisation and infill
To maintain the environment and avoid increased pollution
To retain the quality of life for existing Elmbridge Residents

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
Maintain quality of life for Elmbridge residents
Infrastructure – Schools, GP’s (to date a n appointment to see a GP in Cobham is 2 weeks UNLESS we join a queue outside the Practice at 8.30 am regardless of the severity of the illness.
Infrastructure. To address the already unacceptable levels of traffic congestion in Cobham/Stoke d’Abernonand Oxshott
Increasing encroachment into the ‘protected’ Green Belt
Pollution – Current levels are unacceptable due to the close proximity of the M25, A3 and the huge volume of private cars, lorries, etc on the local roads.
Gradual erosion of the environment and destroying natural habit
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?
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 as it will allow the destruction of our Green Belt and heritage
We understand the Council’s own figures show that only 50% of the planned housing would be needed by Elmbridge residents
Once the Green Belt has been taken away it will NEVER be regained and 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 this option should be the priority.
Increase urbanisation of the more urban areas in the Borough. The council should seek to develop social/affordable housing near to major sources of employment and nearer to better service provision
Opportunities should be explored near to established fast transport links with easy transport access. The train line from Cobham/Oxshott is very slow and the bus service is constantly being reduced. The fast Woking/Walton/Esher line would be a more appropriate option.
Building social/affordable housing in Parcel14 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 people 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.

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
National Guidelines state that “unmet housing need is not a justification”
The Consultation Documents state that Green Belt boundaries should only be adjusted “with the support of local people” The Council does not have this support
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 weakly performing Green Belt Parcels are not more suitable and have more developable areas
No – 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 of 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
Methodology and assessment is subjective and flawed. Inconsistency with the scoring categorisation across all parcels of land.
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’ area 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.
The Green Belt review scoring is wrong – Parcel 14 is only 25% built on and therefore should be 4 or 5 not 2
Description f 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 infrastructure, particularly the roads would not cope
This should be subject to review and independent audit verification as insufficient weighting has been given to the points detailed below
1 Ancient woodlands are present on Parcel14. These need to be surrounded with buffer zones and wildlife corridors

2 The verified presence of Greater Crested Newts which are protected by both U.K. and EU legislation.
3.It is a natural habitat for bats, bees, adders, buzzards deer and owls
4.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.
5.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
1. Parcel 20 acts as a vital separation between Cobham and Esher
2. 2 It protects against ribbon development along the Portsmouth Road (A307)
3. The Common Land and Site of Specific Scientific Interest in the area must be protected
4. Development on such a large scale would change the character of Cobham and damage local community cohesion
5. The infrastructure could not cope
6. 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
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 must clearly do so.
We believe 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):

1 Parcel 14 topography next to Blundel Lane is steep, flood risk and was also a landfill site – so unsuitable for development.
2 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
3 Parcel 14 also has a number of Ancient Woodlands
4 Parcel 14is covered with protected animal species
5 Parcel 14 has a lake at the top of it and springs around the lower levels and floods
6 Parcel 4 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

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
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 urgently be 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 record that the nature of the question 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 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 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)
1. With regard to Parcel 14 – the semi-rural nature, the topography of the land and the existing housing in the surrounding area.
2. Economics of building social/affordable housing in an area that is one of the most expensive in Elmbridge is unrealistic
3. Infrastructure totally insufficient
4. 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

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 or 20 should be developed. The analysis is subjective and flawed

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 of 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 proved 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 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 are the norm in many other countries in Europe and have proved 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 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 area
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 and Cobham 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»