I am writing to give you an update about a couple of local matters.
Epsom and Ewell Local Plan
First some detail about what is happening with the local plan in Epsom and Ewell, which the Council is putting together as a blueprint for development in the area over the next fifteen years.
The Council’s original draft plan contained proposals for around 6,000 new homes in the Borough, much of which was to be built on green belt land – particularly on a large area of farmland, Horton Farm, to the west of Epsom next to Chantilly Way and Hook Road, and on land at Ewell East station.
The plan process was halted ahead of last year’s local elections, and remained paused until shortly before Christmas.
The Council has now decided to press ahead with its plans, and while details of the updated proposals remain confidential, I understand from Councillors in the ruling group that they continue to include substantial green belt development in the area. This is despite the fact that existing brownfield sites can deliver most of what is needed.
The Government has now changed national planning guidelines which allow Councils to exclude green belt land from their local plans, and I do not yet know the rationale behind the Council’s decision not to take this into account and to go ahead with green belt development.
Formal public consultation on the proposals will not begin until later this year, but decisions about the detail of the way forward are being taken much sooner than this.
So I wanted to make you aware of where the Borough has reached in the process. I know there are different views locally about the right way forward, but now is an important moment to make your views known. For those in Epsom and Ewell, you can do so directly with your elected Borough Councillors.
The contact details are at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk.
You can also contact your local Residents Association. Its councillors form the ruling group on the Council and are the overall decision makers on this.
The contacts are at https://epsomewellra.org.uk
For those of you who live in Ashtead or in Nork and Tattenhams but have views about the future of Epsom, you can make those views known directly to the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy Support Scheme
This winter’s appeal for support to help those struggling with high energy bills locally is now well under way. It is being organised through Citizens Advice Epsom and The Good Company, which runs the Food Bank. If you would like to contribute, or perhaps do not need this year’s winter fuel allowance, you can do so via www.justgiving.com/campaign/epsomewellenergysupportscheme
I’d also like to extend my thanks to both Wickes and B&Q, both of whom have made generous contributions of insulating materials to the campaign, which are being used to improve energy efficiency for those people struggling with bills.
Town Twining Fund Raising
Finally the local town twinning Association has started a programme of fund raising events for this year, to continue the close relationship with Chantilly in France. If you would like to be part of their work or attend one of their upcoming events, please contact email@example.com
I hope this is helpful.