13 storey building proposed for Epsom Town Centre, 19/01021/FUL

Many residents of Epsom and Ewell may not be aware that a proposal has been put in for a 13-storey development on West Street near the town centre. The application is to provide commercial facilities as well as to accommodate 29 apartments. What’s more, the Council is obliged to give it serious consideration despite no other building in town being higher than seven storeys. College Ward Residents Association (CWRA) is very aware of the pressures that the Government is putting on the Council for more accommodation units, but we believe that this should never be at such a high cost. We are urging the Council to re-visit these proposals and seek a way forward that retains the character and appearance of Epsom.

It is stated clearly in Policy DM 13 “Buildings higher than 12 metres will be inappropriate in all areas of the Borough except the identified areas within the Epsom Town Centre Boundary where buildings up to a maximum height of 16 metres will be allowed in certain locations.” Although in the public domain, the proposals to the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee in May 2018 “to have a more flexible approach to housing density and building heights so that the capacity for future home in the Borough can be optimised” have not been generally advertised to local residents who have no idea that the planning committee are being advised to accept planning applications up to thirteen storeys high. CWRA are extremely disappointed in these proposals containing as they do a complete reversal of height and density policy so far.

CWRA refute the idea that because the government are insisting on an unattainable annual provision of new homes, EEBC should spoil the appearance of this market town by building an unacceptably high block in the centre of town.

Moreover our MP, Chris Grayling, wrote in a round robin email in March 2018 “…..we do need to build. But we need to do so thoughtfully and carefully, and make sure that in making additional provision for homes locally, we do not destroy the character of our area”.

Please visit the Planning site for further details including views of the development. See http://eplanning.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=PVZ5SRGYFS700&activeTab=summary.

We urge you to lodge your comments and objections on this application. The closing date for these is September 18th.

The decision on this planning application affects ALL residents of Epsom and Ewell.  Please feel free to pass on this email to your friends who are resident within the Borough.