Like most local residents, Epsom and Ewell Conservatives were astonished that the Residents Associations chose to go ahead with plans to build on much of our local green belt, even though the Government has recently changed the rules so we do not have to.
This year’s local elections are now crucial for the future of our open spaces. If the RA are re-elected, they will clearly just go ahead with this controversial plan, knowing that they are years away from another election. Our commitment is that Conservative councillors elected this year will do all they can to stop this from happening.
Instead we support the plan put together by our MP Chris Grayling, supported by a firm of architects, to redevelop the Kiln Lane and Longmead areas of Epsom. The plans create up to 5,000 new homes, keep the same amount of space for local businesses as at present, and do not involve building any higher than the existing buildings in the town centre. They simply make much better use of the existing space, much of which is made up of car parking. All of this would be closer to the town centre, giving it a much needed boost, and would give people the opportunity to live close to where they work, rather than simply building more homes for commuters. It would also provide homes more suitable for a younger generation who end up having to move out of the area at the moment. All the details are at www.chrisgrayling.net.
A scheme of this kind is more complicated to do than simply building on green fields, but for major developers this kind of project is bread and butter work. We are amazed that the RA has not opened discussions with such firms, even though the plans were first put to them three years ago.
Local Conservatives will seek to halt the green belt development plans and bring in a major development partner to pursue this different strategy instead.
We urge you to make sure to add your views to the Draft Local Plan Consultation CLICK HERE.
Make sure you visit Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan website where there is more information and a FAQ section CLICK HERE