Wednesday 22nd November the Licensing, Planning and Policy Committee of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council approved a new iteration of a draft master plan for Epsom’s town centre to go out for public consultation. The consultation will open tomorrow and end on 22nd December.
Cllr Clive Woodbridge (RA Ewell Village) wanted to know what questions would be posed in the online consultation. This was not answered. Nevertheless, the decision of the committee to approve a consultation was unanimous. As County Cllr Eber Kington told Epsom and Ewell Times, local government crafted online questionnaires may themselves benefit from a degree of prior consultation. See his opinion piece on the Surrey budget HERE
The Chair of the LPPC Cllr. Steven McCormick (RA Woodcote and Langley) clarified that committee members will be sent the questions for comment before the consultation goes live.
A fuller report on the meeting will be published in the coming days.
A public consultation on the draft Epsom Town Centre Masterplan is a significant move toward shaping the future of Epsom. The document will be evidence that informs the development of the Borough wide Epsom and Ewell Local Plan.
Commissioned in May 2022, the Epsom Town Centre Masterplan, written by David Lock Associates (DLA), serves a dual purpose: contributing to the local plan and guiding the assessment of pertinent planning applications. A hybrid public consultation in Summer 2022 garnered nearly 2,000 responses.
Responses highlighted both the interests and inconsistencies in residents’ views on the town centre. The Masterplan seeks to address these disparities to create an ambitious yet practical framework for managing change in the Local Plan period.
Informing Local Plan
The Masterplan’s early work influenced the town centre draft site allocations in the Draft Epsom and Ewell Local Plan (2022-2040), which underwent consultation in early 2023. Further engagement with councillors, landowners, and leaseholders occurred in Summer 2023, providing additional insights.
Key Objectives and Principles
The Draft Town Centre Masterplan lays out comprehensive guiding principles, focusing on key sites like the Ashley Centre/Global House and others including Hook Road car park and Dullshot House. It addresses placemaking objectives, environmental enhancements, travel improvements, and principles for the retention, enhancement, or repair of non-development areas.
The document is divided into six sections, covering the Introduction and Vision, Masterplan Evolution, Character Areas Frameworks, Public Realm and Sustainable Transport, Opportunity Sites, and Appendices. Each section provides a detailed view of the town’s envisioned evolution.
Public Input Crucial
The public is urged to review the options for each opportunity site and the wider Masterplan document, expressing their thoughts before the finalization. The Masterplan, while not a statutory planning document, will be a key consideration in decision-making processes for the Local Plan and the Epsom and Ewell Local Cycling Walking Investment Plan.
Respondents can view the draft Masterplan and give their views via an online questionnaire at https://epsom-ewell.inconsult.uk/ETCMP/. Paper copies of the draft Masterplan are also available on request by emailing email@example.com, or viewable in the borough’s libraries for the duration of the consultation. Feedback can also be sent in by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to Epsom Town Centre Masterplan, Planning Policy, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, KT18 5BY.
Following public consultation, feedback will be considered by DLA and council officers, contributing to the finalization of the Masterplan. Once adopted, the document will form an integral part of the evidence base for the Local Plan, carrying substantial weight in decision-making for Epsom Town Centre planning applications.