Housing need or desire?


Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has embarked on a public consultation on its Draft Local Plan. The consultation ends on 19th March 2023. As we report today it appears that already the most densely populated borough in the County, the Council envisages a growth of new housing that also tops the target unit/KM sq density table.

The voluminous documentation supporting the draft Local Plan predicates the target volume of new housing units on “need”.

Epsom and Ewell is a most desirable place to live in. Served by three mainline London railway stations, close but not too close to the M25 and short journeys to the two main airline gateways to the world. We enjoy many publicly accessible open spaces including Epsom Downs, Epsom Common, Horton County Park and The Hogsmill Open Space. No wonder you hear new neighbours say “We came to Epsom for the green space and access to London”.

Controversially, the Local Plan proposes turning Horton Farm over to a minimum 1500 housing development. The question the Draft Local Plan raises is if piece by piece open countryside in Epsom and Ewell is given to housing will the place become less desirable? Should those who live here, born here, moved here ….. not now enjoy the space they live in, were born in or moved to? Should other boroughs with more space not carry a greater burden of meeting need? Should housing targets be a County wide responsibility? The three Councils of Guildford, Woking and Waverley joined forces in establishing housing targets through a West Surrey Housing Needs Assessment.

Is the Council catering for those who want to move here or for new generations born here?

The Council is providing the residents of the Borough with every opportunity to ask questions and make their views known.

We suggest you do so.

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