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Response Details

Response Details
From Deleted User
Date Started: 21 Mar 2017 11:46. Last modified: 21 Mar 2017 11:46
Status Complete
Response ID #529797

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 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.

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
As above, I believe that the following are challenges which EBC should be addressing:

• To retain/improve the quality of life for existing residents in Elmbridge
• To resolve the transport congestion in our area - Cobham/Stoke D’Abernon/Oxshott have severe constraints due to enclosure by A3/M25, e.g. it takes around 45 mins to get through Cobham High Street from Blundel Lane in weekday rush hour, and also after 10am on a Saturday.
• To avoid further development on our green belt
• To avoid further urbanisation and in-fill
• To 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
• Maintaining/improving quality of life for existing residents
• Infrastructure – There are not enough schools, GPs, etc.to cope with the existing population, without adding massively to it.
• Infrastructure – currently the traffic congestion and roads in Cobham/Stoke D’Abernon and Oxshott are unable to cope with current levels of traffic
• To improve the car-parking facilities around Cobham, as it’s hard to support local shops and businesses when you can’t park!
• Urbanisation – increasing encroachment of greenbelt
• Pollution – levels already unacceptably high given A3 & M25 proximity - due to the amount of traffic already on local roads, and the enclosure of Cobham within the M25 and A3, pollution is already high. Local hospitals have a name for asthma admissions … the ‘Cobham Cough’.
• Erosion of environment and not protecting natural habitat
• 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?
• I disagree that the provision of housing is an Exceptional Circumstance that should allow the destruction of our Green Belt, local environment and heritage.
• I see that the council’s own figures show that only 50% of the housing planned would be needed by Elmbridge residents.
• Once the Green Belt has been taken away it will NEVER be regained. This will result in further 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.
• Increased urbanisation of major urban areas eg Walton. The Council should seek to develop social/affordable housing near to the major sources of employment and nearer to better service provision. Walton is the biggest urban development in the area and opportunities should be investigated there.
• 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 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 who need easy access to job opportunities and good public transport links. The railway service and station at Cobham/Stoke D’Abernon wouldn’t be able to cope with such a large increase – especially if 1,000 homes are built on Parcel 20, 1,000 on Parcel 14 and the development of 2,000 homes on Wisley Airfield go ahead.
• 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 support.
• No – the Alternative Options paper does not demonstrate that the Council has given due consideration to other options eg Urban intensification, working with other councils etc.
• No - The Strategic Paper has only explored 3 parcels of so called Weakly Performing Green Belt. The work should have been completed at a much lower level.
• No - I believe that the Council is taking the easy option in targeting Green Belt and should re-focus on brownfield sites, and increasing density within larger more established towns, e.g. Walton.

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
o The methodology and assessment is subjective and completely flawed. Inconsistency with the scoring and categorisation across all the parcels of land.
o I strongly disagree with Parcel 14 (Knowle Hill Park, north Blundel Lane) being included for the following reasons:
o This parcel of Green Belt currently prevents the merger of “neighbouring” areas of Stoke D’Abernon and Oxshott.
o Cobham, Stoke D’Abernon and Oxshott are distinct ‘village’ communities – the council’s own Flood Risk Assessment recognises them as separate entities.
o The Green Belt Review scoring is wrong – Parcel 14 is only 2.5% built on and therefore should 4 or 5 not 2.
o Description of Parcel 14 as “semi-urban” is very subjective and patently untrue – it is semi-rural.
o 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.
o 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.
o The radical upgrade of infrastructure required, inc. roads, increased flooding to an already flood-prone area.
o 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. There is 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. The topography of Parcel 14 is very hilly next to Blundel Lane and the presence of a flood plain at the bottom of the hill has not been recognised or scored.
v. I believe that these are actually Absolute Constraints and need to be recognised and scored as such.
vi. Parcel 14 Polyapes is used by 1,000’s of youth groups throughout the year, inc. Scouts, DofE etc.
vii. The existing railway bridge at Blundel Lane and the nature of the road (i.e. ‘lane’) would not cope with further housing/traffic.
viii. There are no local jobs within walking distance of Parcel 14, so all new residents must travel on the local, already-congested roads or access a small railway station with a slow service to access employment.
ix. The positioning of Parcel 14 means that all new residents must, again, travel via car, or on the limited bus service (will bus service be improved?) to reach any amenities, e.g. shops, schools, GP surgeries etc, adding to the existing congestion.
x. If Parcel 14 and Parcel 20 are developed, then Fairmile Lane will be gridlocked, whilst people try to travel to find school places, access shops, jobs etc.
xi. Will existing GP surgeries increase/improve? Already we have to wait 2 weeks+ to get an appointment.
xii. On the Arup document, it details that only 6 hectares of Parcel 14 are developable.
xiii. There are numerous waterways in and around the area of Blundel Lane – will all of these be re-positioned?

• I strongly disagree with Parcel 20 (next to Portsmouth Road, Cobham) being included for the following reasons:
o Parcel 20 acts as a vital separation between Cobham and Esher.
o It protects against ribbon development along the Portsmouth Road (A307).
o The Common Land and Site of Special Scientific Interest in this area must be protected.
o Development on such a large scale would change the character of Cobham and damage local community cohesion.
o The infrastructure couldn’t cope and would need to be drastically improved.
o 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
• No. I believe that this is the responsibility for 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 ScoutCamp 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 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 co-operation across boundaries and between Boroughs is required in order to find the best solution.
• 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 I fundamentally disagree with an approach that just singles out housing.
• I reiterate that housing is NOT an exceptional circumstance to remove Green Belt.

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 I think that smaller sized houses are feasible in existing urban areas and that a more joined-up thinking and co-operation 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 brown field 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
• Yes – particularly in major urban areas. The Council should seek to develop an increased delivery of homes with 4 or less bedrooms in areas where density is already high. Walton is the biggest urban development in the area and opportunities should be investigated there

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, but it makes absolute sense to have higher density within easy walking/commuting distance of jobs and amenities, not least to ease pressure on local roads.
• Creative design should be used 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):
• The semi-rural nature, the topography of the land and the existing housing in the surrounding area are completely at odds with high-density housing.
• Economics of building social/affordable housing in an area that is one of the most expensive in Elmbridge is unrealistic.
• The Infrastructure is totally insufficient, and will require radical and expensive upgrade.
• 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):
• The infrastructure is totally insufficient – how will the junction of Fairmile Lane and Portsmouth Road cope with such a large development, the current ACS school and a new school at Munro House?
• 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
• As I’ve explained in questions above, I do not believe Parcels 14 or 20 should be developed at all. The analysis of both parcels 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/assessments behind the proposed development of any site in 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 have proven successful in many other countries in Europe.
• 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?

«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
«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 a focus on mixed residential/retail/small business developments in these areas.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments have proven successful in many other countries in Europe.
• 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 in these areas.
• Mixed residential/retail/small business developments have proven successful in many other countries in Europe.
• 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 the 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 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?

«No response»

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
• Flooding and flood risk has become a problem for many people in many areas – this needs to be addressed effectively.

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.
• Current infrastructure and services are already not fit for purpose. With potentially 3 massive housing developments planned – Parcel 14, Parcel 20 and Wisley Airfield (c.4,000 homes) within the Cobham area, the existing transport and infrastructure couldn’t cope. E.g. Already Station Road, Stoke D’Abernon is a minefield during rush hour and can’t cope safely with the current number of users. Does the Council plan to remove the shops along Station Road to accommodate? Will a multi-storey car-park be put in place of existing? Etc. Will the council provide extra parking and amenities within Cobham such as schools, shops, GP surgeries, nursery places, playing fields, sports clubs, leisure facilities to accommodate this massive increase in local population?

• Providing infrastructure for the three identified sites is considerably more complex and expensive than linking one larger site in a logistically better positioned area.
• 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, leisure facilities and green areas to ensure quality of life for residents..
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. I believe the wording of the questions is manipulative and self-serving - seeking to justify the council’s own recommendations and is thus not truly consultative.
• 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 nearer to higher urban areas.
• Re. Parcels 14 and 20, no consideration has been given re. access to jobs and employment. There are limited employment opportunities in this immediate area as opposed to exploring options in Walton, Weybridge, Hersham etc or nearer to Esher and also nearer to Kingston.
• Re. Parcel 14, no consideration has been given re. access to any amenities, such as shops, schools, surgeries etc.
• Please consider the economics of building lower-cost housing in areas of Elmbridge (parcels 14 and 20) that are focused on high-value homes.
• 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 my opinion Elmbridge proposals directly contradict these EU directives
• The timing of this consultation being launched just prior to Christmas, not being directly informed by the council that this was about to happen, 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 after people have returned from summer holidays.
• Have the council consulted with SCC re. the massive implications the 3 huge housing developments (Wisley Airfield, Parcel 14, Parcel 20) will have on the local environment of Cobham? And the subsequent quality of lives of its residents? There would need to be a radical investment in the infrastructure, transport, roads, schools, nurseries, GP surgeries, dental surgeries, leisure facilities etc to cater for this huge increase in local population.

34. Files

«No files»