I am writing to you with a further update about a number of local issues.
Draft Local Plan
Firstly and most importantly for those who live in or adjoining Epsom and Ewell, the Borough Council has now published its draft local plan, setting out where it intends to allow new homes to be built in the coming years.
The plan involves the construction of about 5,000 new homes. Some of this is on uncontroversial brownfield sites, but unfortunately they have not so far adopted my proposals for the redevelopment of the Kiln Lane and Longmead areas. Instead the proposal involves substantial development on green belt sites around Epsom, particularly the Horton farm area, which is the open farm land next to the old hospital site developments.
They now have to consult on the proposals, and I would encourage everyone to read what is planned and to contribute to the consultation. You can find all the details about how to do this via this link, as well as the list of sites which they plan to develop. You have until 19th March to respond to the consultation.
Please do circulate this to your friends and family locally so that everyone has the opportunity to respond.
It may also be worth conveying your views to your local Residents Association, as it is RA councillors who control Epsom and Ewell and are the decision makers on this.
Properties for Ukrainian Families
I have been asked by the local refugee network to explore again whether there are any landlords willing to make properties available to rent to some of the Ukrainian families who have been welcomed into our area. Sadly the war is continuing and many cannot yet hope to return, and they are now working locally and expecting to be here for a while. Many are looking for private accommodation which enables them to move out from the homes of the families who have been kind enough to host them so far. If you can help, please email email@example.com.
Surrey County Council has a programme to plant over a million trees during this decade as part of its environmental strategy. I have been approached by a local resident who has been working to get trees planted in their street about the process for doing this, and asking me to highlight the opportunity for anyone else who is interested. If you would like to get trees in your street, the details of how to do so are here.
Please though do bear in mind that this does not work in every street, as sometimes trees damage pavements and make it more difficult for elderly and disabled people.
Make a Difference Awards
Finally, BBC Radio Surrey has asked me to highlight its “Make a Difference Awards” to celebrate people who have done positive things in the local community over the past year. If there is someone that you know who has done amazing things locally and you would like to nominate them, you can find a full list of categories – and details of how to nominate someone – at bbc.co.uk/makeadifference.
Nominations are open now and close on 5th March at 11:00pm.
With best wishes