Can Epsom and Ewell get more dense?
Exclusive to the Epsom and Ewell Times we report on the housing targets of every Surrey borough council. Epsom and Ewell is the smallest borough in Surrey with the highest density of population. Yet aims to have the highest density of new housing, according to the draft Local Plan, out now for consultation.
The table below contains the population stated in a Local Plan, if evident in the document. Otherwise the latest population figure from Wikipedia is used.
The Local Plans vary in the period covered and some are in drafting flux. The table provides the average per annum new build over a 15 year period for each Council as far as stated or indicated.
Many plans were submitted or adopted before Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, indicated November 2022 that “Housing targets remain, but are a starting point with new flexibilities to reflect local circumstances” and “If we are to deliver the new homes this country needs, new development must have the support of local communities. That requires people to know it will be beautiful, accompanied by the right infrastructure, approved democratically, that it will enhance the environment and create proper neighbourhoods. These principles have always been key to our reforms and we are now going further by strengthening our commitment to build the right homes in the right places and put local people at the heart of decision-making.”
The table above does not reflect many variables that may justify different housing targets. For example areas designated as areas of special scientific interest or areas of outstanding natural beauty. Also, there are many demographic variables: distribution of the ages of populations, family sizes and average incomes.
Furthermore, the mix of different housing types of the new builds envisaged in the plans vary from one Council to another. Big houses, small houses or flats etc.
However, the table does provide a broad overview.
Epsom and Ewell’s Draft Local Plan states: “The housing need for Epsom and Ewell generated by the standard method is 576 dwelling per annum, which equates to 10,368 dwellings over the Local plan period. The Councils Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (2022) confirms there is no justification to increase the housing need figure over that generated by the standard method.”
“The council considers that the scale of unmet development / housing needs in the borough that would result from pursuing a brownfield only approach provides the exceptional circumstances and justification to make changes to the Green Belt boundaries in the borough.”
You can meet planning officers of Epsom and Ewell Council at the following times and discuss the draft Local Plan.
Monday 13 February 14:30 – 19:30 Bourne Hall, Azalea Room
Thursday 16 February 12:00 – 17:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square
Tuesday 21 February 14:30 – 19:30, Bourne Hall, Azalea room
Wednesday 22 February 10:30 – 15:30, Community & Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road
Saturday 25 February 11:00 – 16:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square
Tuesday 28 February 10:30 – 15:30, Community & Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road
How you can express your views on the Local Plan can be seen HERE.
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