View Response

Response Details

Response Details
From Richard Welch
Date Started: 06 Feb 2017 12:51. Last modified: 06 Feb 2017 12:51
Status Complete
Response ID #520020

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 is no evident consideration of additional infrastructure which will be needed.
Transport and communications – particularly non rail public transport are inadequate.
Protection of the Green Belt has been a stated policy. There are no compelling reasons given for change
Infill development has a bad effect on carefully considered previous planning policies and decisions. If this is to change new policies should be spelled out.

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
Overall quality of life
Transport congestion
Public transport facilities / frequencies
Social facilities = Schools / GP surgeries / recreation spaces

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
Transport congestion
Public transport facilities / frequencies
Social facilities = Schools / GP surgeries / recreation spaces

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 arguments proposed seem to accept that elimination of green belt is a given. Not enough analysis of brownfield / infill in more urban areas which will provide employment & infrastructure. Particularly if social housing is a desired component. East Cobham, in particular, is not an area for insertion of social housing.

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 cannot demonstrate this support until following the response to this consultation. If support is not given the proposals should be withdrawn
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
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
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
Methodology and assessment is subjective and flawed.
Inconsistency with the scoring and categorisation across all the 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” 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
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
Infrastructure, particularly roads would not cope
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 and owls.
iv. Knowles 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:
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 infrastructure couldn’t cope
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
It is the responsibility of the Council to consider all options. I believe that more and better consideration should be given to smaller parcels of land, brownfield and infill, across the borough.

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 redevelopment of poor existing non green belt land will be more practical, permit faster development and provide better infrastructure and employment opportunity.
The Council states that the proposed sites are ‘weak’. I believe the justifications themselves as weak and isolated.
I understand that the council has admitted that it has not assessed the viability or contribution of the moderately performing sites. Why not? That should be done properly.
Providing infrastructure for the three identified sites is considerably more complex and expensive than linking one larger site in a logistically better positioned area
Housing is NOT an exceptional circumstance to remove Green Belt and does not meet with the majority support of the residents, unless the response to this consultation shows that it does so.
It is disappointing that the questionnaire seems to assume that the options presented are the only viable options and, therefore, must be considered valid. The Council should be better informed with the responses to this survey and should take note.

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
A mixed development will have a better social structure.

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
If there is demand supply should cater for it. If the Council / developers do not consider them in demand or viable then they will not be built, but restriction as a policy is pointless.

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
Densities appropriate to meet commercial and social demand and the aspirations of likely occupiers.

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
High densities in these sites, without good infrastructure, is not in keeping with the semi-rural nature of the area and the existing housing stock, which has been created over time in keeping with the area and planning permissions.

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
As already detailed, infrastructure – particularly roads - and local employment prospects in a semi-rural area are inadequate. This question assumes development of the areas proposed. They should not be developed.

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
‘Viability’ can be justified by inappropriate means. There are many factors which will make a community desirable and effective. They must all be taken into account – not just the opportunity to identify apparently ‘easy’ parcels or sites on which housing can be ‘dumped’

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
I do not have expert knowledge of government policy but ‘Non travelling Travellers’ is an oxymoron. Ad hoc ‘travellers’ who do not ‘travel’ put extraordinary pressures on local facilities – schools, medical and social services. If there is truly a need for such sites, they should be limited to transient facilities. ‘Travellers’

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
I believe that employment areas may properly incorporate suitable housing near by and associated facilities. They provide the work force and community support for the employment areas. The restricting factors are communications and infrastructure to permit the required labour to operate the offices, warehousing and factories. In Elmbridge the roads are already overwhelmed and bus services are poor.

17

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

A sane analysis of the requirements of a mixed community. Not just the requirement to build houses, or warehouses, or factories, or offices. What will sustain vibrant community which will have pride in its surroundings and operations and invest in them.

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
Brooklands and its surrounds have become viable and attractive to commercial and retail users. There appears to be adequate mixed residential use. However, road infrastructure is already inadequate with the Byfleet and Brookland roads major bottle necks. The existing road infrastructure would not support substantial added employment or housing.

19

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

See above

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
This is an under used facility.

21a

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

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know

Please explain your answer
Retail development on existing town and village centres supports the existing retail and social base. However, towns need good transport and villages need mixed housing / retail development and infrastructure.

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
Mixed development of ‘appropriate’ size businesses and commercial operations are more sustaining and affordable.

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
A community needs a range of traditional services to provide cohesion, a sense of identity and sustainability

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
Local Green spaces are the defining character of the area. They are under threat from local government policies. They must be protected and encouraged.

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?

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. The Council should be considering mixed development.

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
I do not understand the reference to ‘sustainable travel patterns outlined above’. What / where were they?

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:
Alternative road patterns be developed to ease existing and future traffic congestion, including improvement of rail road bridges, roundabouts and traffic lights.
Adequate number of schools, surgeries and green areas to ensure quality of life for residents.
Parking at or near transportation links, including Stoke d’Abernon and Cobham Stations.
Improvements of bus services in area offering alternative to travel by car
However, these improvements on their own would not justify development of the Cobham / Stoke D’Abernon sites. There are other factors which demonstrate that eliminating the green belt designation would be improper.

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
Any elimination of green belt must be with the support of local residents – to whom the Council MUST have regard.

34. Files

«No files»