Epsom & Ewell Borough Council urges local people to respond to Draft Local Plan consultation


Wednesday, 1 March, 2023

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council are reminding those who live, work, visit or study in the borough to give their views on the Draft Local Plan.

The Local Plan will set the vision and framework for future development in the borough up to 2040. It focuses on a wide range of aspects designed to support the borough to grow in a strong and positive way, including supporting businesses, environmental protection, leisure development and new homes including affordable accommodation.

The consultation has been open for four weeks so far, and closes on Sunday 19 March. Those wanting to respond or find out more about the Local Plan can visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/local-plan, and hard copies of the Local Plan and response forms are also available in the borough’s libraries and Epsom’s Town Hall. A Q&A is included below to answer common questions.

Cllr Steven McCormick, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee, said: “This consultation on the Draft Local Plan is a very early stage in an extensive process to produce a final Local Plan. What we want is for all those interested in the future of the borough to give us their feedback by responding to the consultation. All feedback will be carefully considered and the Plan will be honed and adapted before going out for a second public consultation.

“Through the public events we have run we have seen certain questions appearing and we are keen to answer these for residents, businesses and stakeholders. We hope this Q&A will be helpful and will encourage people to give us their views.”

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Q&A


Have decisions already been made about what land will be developed?

No, the Draft Local Plan is exactly that – a draft. It has been based on a robust evidence-based approach, but we are at very early stages and a critical part of the process is to hear what all those who will be impacted by the plan think of the proposals, through this consultation. Every response to the consultation will be read and carefully considered, and the responses will help us to amend and develop the proposals which will then go out for a second consultation.

Is it easy to provide feedback on the Draft Local Plan?

Our consultation is open until 19 March and you can give us feedback in writing in a range of ways:

You don’t have to feed back on the whole Plan, you can pick the elements that are relevant to you and just feed back on those. All the information on how to reply to the consultation is on our website at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/local-plan, or you can pop into your local library or the Town Hall.

Where does the data about the borough’s housing need come from?

The Draft Local Plan has to be developed in accordance with current national planning policy and guidance. Current national policy requires that the starting point for determining housing need is using a government process called the Standard Methodology, which uses 2014 data from the Office of National Statistics. The Council would welcome the government implementing an updated methodology to establish housing need based upon up-to-date data as soon as possible. But at present, we need to develop the Draft Local Plan under current law and policy requirements.

Have the borough’s brownfield sites been given priority consideration for housing development?

The Draft Local Plan takes a ‘brownfield first’ approach and seeks to make as much use as possible of existing suitable brownfield sites. Extensive work has been done to find and engage with developers and land owners.  A call for sites was made last year, along with research by the Council to find further suitable land. This resulted in 163 sites identified within urban areas, each of which was carefully assessed. Ultimately, there are currently insufficient suitable urban sites to get near to our housing need number. A further call for sites is currently being made, having started when the Draft Local Plan consultation opened. 

You can see our Land Availability Assessment (2022) at www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/housing-evidence-base.

Have Kiln Lane and the Longmead Industrial Estate been considered for housing development?

The Local Plan needs to balance housing need with economic need in the borough. Kiln Lane and Longmead Industrial Estate are home to about 130 businesses across a wide range of sectors, employing approximately1,900 people. The Draft Local Plan proposes safeguarding this land for employment use, and intensifying it to provide additional employment floorspace, particularly for industrial and warehouse use. There are very limited opportunities elsewhere in the borough for this type of development, or to move displaced businesses were these areas to be developed for other uses.

Some small parcels of land within these sites were put forward for development by the respective landowners, or their agents, through our initial call for sites. If further parcels of land are put forward during our current call for sites, these will also be considered.

There isn’t much detail about supporting infrastructure for new housing in the plan, is this being considered?

Sufficient and appropriate infrastructure, such as schools, GP surgeries and transport links, is vital when new housing is developed. We are only at initial consultation stage, so it is currently too early to provide detailed infrastructure proposals. Through the current consultation, infrastructure providers can respond and advise us of the requirements that are needed for the current proposals. Detailed planning for the required infrastructure will take place following this consultation, to inform the next iteration of the Local Plan (Regulation 19).