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Response Details

Response Details
From Deleted User
Date Started: 21 Mar 2017 11:49. Last modified: 21 Mar 2017 11:49
Status Complete
Response ID #529801

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
«No response»

2

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

 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

Please explain your answer
«No response»

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
«No response»

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?
We cannot actively support any of the three options offered in the consultation document, but if large-scale development is seen as unavoidable, development within existing settlements and on brownfield sites (i.e. broadly Option 1) would be far preferable to the use of any part of the Green Belt (i.e. Options 2 &3), and would be more consistent with national planning policies.

Green Belt & alternatives
HWRA is vehemently opposed to building on Green Belt anywhere in Elmbridge. Sacrificing the Green Belt would be damaging and short-sighted, and is not the answer to alleviating the national housing shortage. Once lost, Green Belt cannot be replaced.

In Elmbridge, the peripheral Green Belt is central to preventing the borough from merging into the Greater London conurbation. If the north-eastern corner of the borough becomes indistinguishable from its built-up neighbour , the distinctive character of the borough would be irrevocably lost, and the quality of life for all concerned would be greatly diminished. Such an approach does not sit easily with the social, environmental and economic agenda which requires us to act sustainably so that future generations do not inherit an asset in a worse condition than that in which we inherited it.

Government policy is to concentrate development on existing settlement areas and brownfield sites before Green Belt can be considered. HWRA is of the view that these prescriptions have not been adhered to or explored resolutely enough. Specifically EBC argues that building on its 23 settlement car parks will deny space for parking, whereas a more intensive use could see low rise buildings offering both car parking and dwellings. Private owners of large car parks (e.g. Cobham Sainsbury’s) might be encouraged to participate in such a scheme, particularly where these assets are in flood zone 2. HWRA also favours the use of brownfield sites such as Molesey Heath, together with purchases of industrial sites from declining businesses and/ or compulsory purchases (e.g. Island Farm Molesey), so that these can be consolidated into strategic sites for housing essential workers on a variety of tenures. A change in the character of settlements is an inevitable consequence of progress and will be balanced by the permanence of the swathes of Green Belt remaining, further reinforcing their value to the community.

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 response»

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
We do not agree that the Long Ditton Green Belt (‘Local Area 58’) should be redesignated, as it plays an invaluable role both in differentiating and separating Elmbridge from the Greater London conurbation, and as a much-used resource for the local community.

Local area 58:
As previously stated, we do not agree to any use of the Green Belt for development. As far as the relative merits of different areas of the Green Belt are concerned, we strongly disagree with the conclusion in the consultants’ report that the Long Ditton Green Belt (area 58) is ‘poorly performing’. We believe that this assessment fails to take sufficient account of the unique value of this area of Green Belt, located as it is in a position of both strategic and community importance which goes to the heart of why land is set aside as Green Belt.

• Strategically, area 58 sits alongside the principal road gateway into Elmbridge for travellers from Greater London. It provides a clear visual indication of the transition from the London conurbation to the more green and open environment of Elmbridge. Without it, Elmbridge would just merge imperceptibly into the sprawl of London. The fact that area 58 is bounded by development on three sides makes it all the more important not to allow it to be merged into a part of suburbia. The whole point is that its openness contrasts strongly with the built form surrounding it.
• Area 58 is also a vital resource for the local community. This is already one of the most densely populated parts of the borough, and one which has among the fewest opportunities to access green space. Its loss would therefore have a disproportionate effect on our residents. They (and the occupants of any new housing built in area 58) would have that much further to travel to access green space, once again adding to the pressure on local infrastructure.
• The area is well-used by the community:
 The land owned by Elmbridge is very highly used: the hockey and cricket clubs plus the allotments contribute to a wide range of popular activities in this area
- One Tree Hill is used daily by dog walkers and walking groups (including the Elmbridge Healthy Walks Programme) and the nature area is highly prized
- Privately-owned enterprises such as Squires garden centre, the Kisimul School and Shinnyo-en UK are thriving
- The Commons Management Team report that the area is performing well.

In short, area 58 provides an important setting contributing to the character and strong sense of place, particularly for entrants to and those leaving Elmbridge. It makes a unique contribution to the overall character of the area, as the first hint of what the Borough has to offer and the last taste of openness. It must not be needlessly destroyed.

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 response»

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«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
«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
«No response»

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
«No response»

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
«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?

«No response»

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.

 

Hinchley Wood Residents' Association (HWRA) represents residents' interests in the local area, including through sponsorship of two councillors on Elmbridge Borough Council. Our subscription income and the numbers voting for our candidates demonstrate that HWRA has the support of the great majority of our residents.

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

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

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

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

The growth in housing has not been matched by investment in infrastructure, so we are now at bursting point. The Surrey infrastructure gap to 2030 is estimated at £161m, with no indication where funding for investment on this scale is going to come from. Residents have never been adequately compensated for past development and now are paying too much for past policy failures.
The pressures are particularly felt in the north-eastern part of the borough, which abuts London and which is more densely-populated. They affect:
• Schools. Schools have been closed and the buildings and playing fields sold for housing. Senior school places are over-subscribed: children living more than 1km away from Hinchley Wood senior school are denied places and have to travel to other parts of the Borough, contributing to the vicious circle of road congestion. The junior school is bulging: a single form entry has had to increase to three forms. Across the borough it has been estimated that three new junior schools and two senior schools would be needed for cater for the 9,500 extra dwellings envisaged, but where would these be put?
• Roads. The last strategic investment in the area's trunk roads was the building of the A3 Esher bypass (opened December 1976) and the Chertsey section of the M25 (opened December 1983). Walton Bridge opened in July 2013. There are 66% more cars on Surrey's roads than in the national average. Chronic under-investment in local roads and junctions means public transport is in a self-fulfilling, downward spiral as it cannot compete, thereby driving further car use. Road journey times are extended and growing, with congestion estimated to be costing the local economy £550m p.a. The knock-on effects of an M25 closure can, and do, impact large parts of the borough significantly, on a regular and increasing basis. Neighbouring areas are impacted negatively by the activities of Elmbridge residents passing through (mainly by car) and vice versa.
• Trains. Despite investment, rush hour trains and stations continue to operate beyond capacity. Station entries at Surbiton (not the same as train passengers passing through) have doubled in the last twenty years, resulting in rush-hour entry restrictions, a situation which will only get worse if yet more pressure is added by more passengers travelling through the station to and from Elmbridge.
• Health services. There are no general hospitals in Elmbridge, so residents have to travel to Chertsey (8.7 miles – at best 27 minutes by car), Epsom (7.2 miles – at best 20 minutes by car), or Kingston (5.5 miles – at best 21 minutes by car). At certain times of the day, a journey to any one of them from Esher could take an hour each way. The only route with a bus connection is Esher to Kingston (scheduled journey time 44 minutes). Healthcare facilities cannot support existing numbers of residents: GP surgeries are unable to take on new patients or see the ones they have, and dentists decline to provide services under the NHS.
• Drainage/flooding. Flood defences and drainage systems are regularly exposed as being inadequate, resulting in, for example, flooding in Thames Ditton in the winter of 2015 and at Hinchley Park in June 2016. Concreting over further large areas for housing and related infrastructure can only exacerbate the problem.

34. Files

«No files»