Voting at Extraordinary Meeting on Pausing Local Plan.

The table below shows how each councillor voted at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on 22nd March 2023. There were 8 absentees, only 4 votes against the motion for the meeting to pause the Local Plan. Members of the public may use the information when making the decision on how to cast their votes in the Council Elections that are expected to be on 4th May 2023.

#epsomandewell #localplan #greenbelt

Many thanks to What’s On in Surrey for the use of the image with the PAUSED message,

EEBC Council votes 20-4 to pause Local Plan Process


Not since Prince Charming woke Cinderella from a long slumber with a kiss, has there been such a momentous wake up call .

#epsomandewell #localplan #greenbelt

Last night, (March 22), at an Extraordinary Meeting of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, the ruling group of Residents Association councillors were presented with a charming masterclass in resident democracy by Cllr Eber Kington (RA).

Outside, over 100 residents demonstrated against Green Belt destruction again, and a further 50 packed the Public Gallery to witness the councillors’ deliberations

As a result of Cllr Kington’s special motion, backed by six colleagues, the full council voted by 20-4 (with one abstention) to pause the Draft Local Plan, which proposed that over 40% of all new builds by 2040 , some 2,175 homes, should be built on five Green Belt sites in the Borough.

Such was the impact of resident alarm over a Plan put forward, unchallenged, by the Council’s Licensing and Planning Committee, that a record 10,000 petition was signed, over 1,500 individual written consultation representations were made, and large demonstrations were held in the town centre and Town Hall.

Cllr Kington reminded his colleagues that they had “to take notice of what our residents think, and a short pause will allow the planners to review further all brownfield housing opportunities, and take account of key government planning reforms, expected by end May. Using updated population data and not needing to review Green Belt for housing might mean a housing figure of 207 a year which can be accommodated by existing allocations on brownfield sites”

His remarks were backed up by motion seconder Cllr Christine Howells who said

“This Council cannot leave a legacy of destruction of our great Green Belt asset and should support the wider climate change and biodiversity agenda closer to home”

Other parties represented on the Council all backed a Plan pause, and noted that Local Elections in May would bring a sharp focus to the debate.

Councils around the country are now pausing their Plans, and local boroughs like Elmbridge, Kingston and Mole Valley are not intending to use Green Belt land.

The four voting against included the Licensing and Planning Committee chair Cllr Steven McCormick and vice-chair Cllr Peter O’Donovan, who warned that there could be less development protection without a current Local Plan, and some Government planning reforms might not happen until 2024. One by one, however, the other RA councillors had their Cinderella moment, with Cllr Chris Frost concluding “We do need a Local Plan, but we need an acceptable plan, so let’s act like an RA council, and listen to the residents”

After the vote, Epsom and Ewell Green Belt Group campaigner Ms Yufan Si said “With the Local Plan likely to be obsolete in a couple of months, a pause makes sense, but we shall be asking the new Council in May to go further, and confirm its policy opposition to all Green Belt development in the borough, unless made mandatory by Government to meet imposed housing targets. We will ask all councillors standing to declare their policy commitment to Green Belt protection”

Tim Murphy, chair , Epsom’s branch , CPRE, said of the pause “Whatever the precise wording of the motion, I think it would be extremely difficult for a revised version of the Local Plan to be published in the future with any significant Green Belt loss”

The story may, or may not, end with everyone living happily thereafter.

Agenda for Meeting of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council on 22nd Mar 2023

I hereby summon you to attend a meeting of the Council of the Borough of Epsom and Ewell which will be held at the Council Chamber, Epsom Town Hall, Epsom on WEDNESDAY, 22ND MARCH, 2023 at 7.30 pm. The business to be transacted at the Meeting is set out on the Agenda overleaf.

Link for public online access to this meeting:
Webinar ID:920-509-059
Telephone (listen-only): 020 3713 5012, Telephone Access code:753-011-440

Questions from the Public
Questions from the public are not permitted at meetings of the Council.


This Council notes that:

  1. Extensive green areas, especially the green belt, and the absence of high-level development in our urban areas makes Epsom and Ewell a distinctive, green and an excellent place to live.
  2. Under the existing legislation Local Planning Authorities are being required to draft Local Plans on the basis of out of date, 2014, data that does not reflect Epsom and Ewell’s housing need, as shown in more recently available 2018 data.
  3. The Government’s recently proposed legislative changes to the planning process, whilst welcome in several aspects, are not yet enacted and the current legal position has not changed.

    These factors suggest that a pause in progressing the Draft Local Plan in its current form would provide an opportunity to assess the Government’s draft proposals as well as the 2018 data on housing need in the borough.

    This Council therefore agrees that:
    i. Other than for the purpose of analysing the responses of the public consultation to capture residents’ views and any new information, the Local Plan process be paused to enable:

a) further work on brown field sites, including information arising out of the Regulation 18 consultation
b) further options to be considered that do not include green belt sites
c) an analysis of Epsom and Ewell’s required future housing numbers based on 2018 data
d) a clearer understanding of the Government’s legislative intentions in regard to protections for the green belt and the current mandatory target for housing numbers.

ii. Write to the MP for Epsom and Ewell calling on in him to use his influence to get the Government to abandon its use of 2014 data to calculate housing need and accept that all planning and housing policies must reflect the latest data if they are to be effective as well command the respect of the people they affect.

Relevant Committee and Chair of the Committee

Licensing and Planning Policy Committee
Chair: Councillor Steven McCormick

Background papers

The documents referred to in compiling this report are as follows:
Previous reports:
Licensing and Planning Policy Committee, 30 January 2023

Epsom’s Largest Ever Petition tops 10,000 Signatures

Epsom’s Largest Ever Petition tops 10,000 signatories against Green Belt Development, yet “head in sand” Council refuse to acknowledge it, say angry residents

A petition launched against the inclusion of Green Belt sites for housing in Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan has now topped 10,000 signatories, ( as at March 16 ). Believed to be the largest ever petition response to any policy change in the borough, this record petition continues to attract signatures daily.

Some 2,175 homes are proposed in five Green Belt sites in Epsom and Ewell’s Draft Plan, as “not enough” capacity can be found on priority brownfield sites, claim the Council. This represents over 40% of the total 5,400 new homes proposed.

Residents are furious that, under the EEBC constitution, the petition has continued to be considered unacceptable by the Council, with “local development plans” excluded as a permitted petitioner policy subject.

The petition has been organised by Epsom & Ewell Green Belt group, and campaign leader Yufan Si said, “It goes against natural democracy to ban certain petition subjects, but this Council – controlled by Resident Association councillors- appears to have its head in the sand over its residents’ views.”

“We have already forced a change in the Council’s Constitution which actually banned Public Questions at Council Committee Meetings that related to any current Agenda item. The absurdity of this position has now been acknowledged and changed from May 4. We now ask EEBC’s Constitution Committee to review the validity of petition bans, as it is obvious in this case that the Council are seriously out of step with a huge swathe of residents’ concerns over Green Belt loss .”

An Extraordinary full Council meeting has now been fixed for March 22 to debate a motion to pause the Plan until new government planning guidelines are confirmed in May, following an intervention by Cllr Eber Kington and other councillors.

With Draft Local Plan public consultation comments due in by this Sunday, 19th March, residents can complete a consultation response on
The petition can be seen on clicking on Petition tab.

Special Council meeting on Local Plan on Wed 22nd March 7:30pm

Epsom and Ewell Green Belt

#localplan #epsomandewell #surrey

Due to the unprecedented levels of objections from E&EBC residents, a special Council Meeting to review the Local Plan has been called.


1) Special Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 22nd March @7:30pm at Epsom Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom, KT18 5BY
2) Please email to attend in person and ask a question
3) Please also arrive early at 6:50pm in front of Town Hall (Car Park side) for a Public Demonstration(bring your own placards).

Public meeting on EEBC Local Plan on Monday 13th March 7pm

#greenbelt #epsomandewell #surrey

Epsom and Ewell Times will chair a public meeting on EEBC Local Plan, featuring a panel of councillors and experts. PLEASE ATTEND:

When: Monday 13th March @7pm
Where: Wallace Fields Junior School, Dorling Drive, Ewell, Epsom KT17 3BH

More information is on the link below. Attendance can be registered and questions can be asked in advance.


#greenbelt #epsomandewell #surrey

Press Statement – Epsom & Ewell Green Belt group.

Mass protest at “unjustified” Council plans to build over 40% of all new homes on Green Belt sites

In one of the biggest residents’ protests ever held in Epsom, over 200 demonstrators waved banners, wore green or green belts, and chanted “Green not Greed” in the town centre on Saturday (February 25th). Fury was directed at not only the EEBC planners’ Draft Local Plan containing proposals to build 2,175 homes on Green Belt sites, but also the controlling Residents Association councillors group, which, it is claimed, “were asleep at the wheel” in voting Green Belt inclusion through. Over 40% of the total 5,400 Local Plan homes are destined for the Green Belt, the majority of which will be market-priced and unaffordable to those starting out on the property ladder.

Of nine “preferred options” for housing sites earmarked by the Council in the Local Plan, five are on Green Belt sites, which include Horton Farm (1,500 homes proposed) and Ewell East playing fields (350 homes, up to six storeys high).

Despite a “brownfield first” brief, planning officers have not proactively engaged with developers on central urban rejuvenation possibilities, near facilities, preferring instead to accept opportunistic bids from selected Green Belt landowners and developers.

In a welcome display of cross party support, the protestors were joined by representatives from all political parties standing in forthcoming local elections in Epsom & Ewell, including two RA councillors who had voted against their colleagues on Green Belt inclusion.

Demonstration organiser, Kathy Mingo, from the Epsom & Ewell Green Belt Group, said “It was heartening to see everyone uniting beyond party political lines against these unjustified Green Belt destruction plans, given new emerging Government guidelines that puts the focus squarely on brownfield development to meet only advisory, not mandatory, housing targets”

Alex Duval, vice-chairman of Clarendon Park Residents Association, which adjoins the Horton Farm Green Belt site said “ The data does not add up. The Council’s own reports show that the site contains a critical drainage area with high flood risk; their transport analysis recommends not taking the site forward; and reliance on outdated ONS 2014 population figures – rather than the lower 2018 and official 2021 Census figures – means Epsom’s housing needs are significantly overstated. The real housing need can be accommodated on brownfield alone, without any Green Belt destruction. Their own evidence is clear – the Council should save our Green Belt

Tim Murphy, a Vice President of CPRE Surrey and chair of Epsom’s CPRE group, said “CPRE’s experience is that, once sites are listed in a Council’s Local Plan as a “preferred option” for development, then, in 99% of cases, they eventually get developed. So EEBC has already put a number of Green Belt sites at real, permanent risk by identifying them for housing in its Draft Local Plan, which may not be justified as current Government policy on Green Belt evolves”

“Many RA councillors’ seats may now be at risk in May if they do not join the minority of their colleagues in clearly stating their policy objection to unjustified Green Belt destruction” said Jenny Coleman, chair, Ewell Downs Residents Association. “It is clear, not least from a residents petition signed by over 7,000, but also from this impactful, united residents protest, that many think the RA councillors have been rather asleep at the wheel. They must listen to the voice of the people”

The EEBC Draft Local Plan is out to public consultation until March 19th. It can be viewed at – emailed comments can be sent to

For more information and to sign the petition, please visit

Site SA5: Land at West Park Hospital, Epsom KT19

#greenbelt #epsom #westparkhospital

The site for West Park Hospital is in West side of Epsom, KT19, between Christ Church Road and Horton Lane. The site is between Green Belt land at Epsom Common and Horton Country Park.

The hospital was slowly run down from the mid-1990s, and by 2003 most of the hospital was closed and derelict. In November 2010, demolition began of the former hospital buildings. As of April 2011, most of the central buildings had been cleared with only a limited number of wards, the water tower and administration building being retained for conversion to apartments. These were retained in the Noble Park housing development which was completed in April 2012.

Volunteers are required for leaflet drops in the area around West Park Hospital. Please contact

The information below has been extracted from Epsom & Ewell Draft Plan,
Planning for Places section, from page 98. Full details are on the link below.

What is the site to be allocated for?
4.38 The site is allocated for residential development, comprising:

  • approximately 150 dwellings
  • A target of 5% of homes to be provided through the provision of serviced plots of land for self-build and/or custom-build homes
  • Floorspace to support NHS services (if required)

Summary reason for allocation
4.39 The site will contribute towards meeting the need for housing in the borough.
4.40 The site comprises of two parcels north and south of existing West Park Hospital residential area. The areas are currently previously developed land within the Green Belt, consisting of buildings that are currently in use as part of the original West Park Hospital operation which are no longer fit for purpose.
4.41 The site lies adjacent to existing residential creating a suitable context for residential development and lowering the risk of adverse landscape impacts.

When will the site be developed?
4.42 It expected that a planning application will be submitted in the early part of the plan period with development likely to start by 2027.

Key information

  • LAA Reference: STA017 and STA018
  • Site size: STA017 (1.93 ha) and STA018 (3.11 ha)
  • Ward: Stamford
  • Existing use: West Park Hospital operations
Site of West Park Hospital, Epsom, KT19

Site Constraints and Mitigation

  • Northern parcel is adjacent West Park Conservation Area and Southern parcel is within the Conservation Area therefore any proposal should ensure it is sensitively designed to reflect the parkland setting
  • Maximise the linkages between the site and surrounding area; and provide opportunities for walking and cycling.
  • Development should not adversely affect the Protected Trees within and on the boundaries of the of the site.
  • Work with the topography of the site to ensure that visual impacts of development are minimised.
  • Development proposal to focus the built form to the north of the site to preserve the undeveloped (open) land to the south.
  • Any development proposal will need to incorporate mitigation relating to surface water flooding for those parts of the site that are susceptible.

Specific Infrastructure Requirements
4.43 The NHS may require the provision of some floorspace for healthcare needs, however there is currently no certainty as to whether there will be a need for such floorspace.

4.44 The site is available now.

4.45 The site is in single ownership.
4.46 A Local Plan viability assessment has been prepared to support the draft Local Plan. The initial findings of this work indicate that the development of this site is viable when taking account of potential sales values and costs associated with development (including the provision of affordable housing). Further detailed viability work will be undertaken as the Local Plan progresses.
4.47 The site is considered to be developable as it is located in a suitable location for housing development, the site is confirmed as available and could be viably developed at the point envisaged.

Site SA9: Hook Road Arena (Greenfield)

#greenbelt #epsom #hookroadarena

Hook Road Arena is between Chessington Road and Horton Lane in KT19, Epsom. A very large open space, which can be hired to accommodate public events. Parts of the area are available for informal recreation at other times.

The Arena is used annually as the site for the Firework Display organised by the 7th Epsom (Methodist) Scout Group and for other open air events and funfairs.

The information below has been extracted from Epsom & Ewell Draft Plan,
Planning for Places section, from page 113. Full details are on the link below.

Volunteers are required for leaflet drops in the area around Hook Road Arena.
Please contact

What is the site to be allocated for?

4.76 The site is allocated for residential and sports and recreation development, comprising:

  • A new sports hub for the borough to include playing pitches (grass and artificial) a new pavilion and changing facilities on 9.5ha of the site that will be retained within the Green Belt.
  • At least 150 homes on the eastern part of the site that will be inset from the Green Belt.

Summary reason for allocation

4.77 This site has the potential to deliver recreational sports facilities and playing pitches. The allocation of this site will mitigate any losses of playing pitches (rugby) resulting from the allocation of site SA8 – Land adjoining Ewell East Station. It may also help to meet additional playing pitch needs for ‘secure provision’ (i.e. community use is protected through a legal agreement) both now and in the future.

4.78 The site will contribute towards meeting the need for housing in the borough.

When will the site be developed?
4.79 It expected that a planning application will be submitted early in the plan period, with development likely to start in 2027.

Key information

  • LAA Reference: COU026
  • Site size: 14 ha Ward: Court
  • Existing use: Open Space/Events venue for car boot sales & fireworks displays

Hook Road Arena, Chessington Road, Epsom KT19

Site Constraints and Mitigation

  • Any development proposal will need to incorporate mitigation relating to surface water flooding for those parts of the site that are susceptible.

Specific Infrastructure Requirements

4.80 The site could deliver playing pitches and potentially other supporting infrastructure such as changing facilities and a club house.


4.81 The site is confirmed as available.


4.82 The site is owned by the council.
4.83 As yet, no viability assessments have been undertaken by the council to develop the site for this use.

FAQ for Consultation on the Local Plan for Epsom and Ewell

Epsom Ewell Local Plan

We have added an FAQ page on our web site to give guidance on the consultation process that has been launched for the Local Plan for Epsom and Ewell.

#greenbelt #epsom #surrey

Horton Farm

The Frequently Asked Questions include those listed below.

What is the Greenbelt and why should it be protected?

Are there exceptional circumstances that require building on the Greenbelt now?

Were Clarendon Park, Livingstone Park, and Manor Park built in the Greenbelt, and if so, what’s different about these proposals?

There’s an area of Greenbelt on the Local Plan map that isn’t on the Priority Development list of 9 sites, does this mean it is safe from development?

Does the Draft Local Plan meet the need to supply affordable housing for lower paid workers and the homeless?

Is it permissible to submit a Local Plan which doesn’t meet the full housing need calculated under the government’s ‘Standard Method’, and can it be approved?

I heard that the Government is going to abolish the mandatory housing target and no longer require Local Authorities to review Green Belt for housing. Is this true?

The roads into Epsom are already overcrowded, particularly at peak times. What are the plans to address the additional traffic from all the new housing?

I see there are plans to build new sites for Gypsies / Travellers. How many will there be and where will these be located?

Does the Borough have to build houses on Greenbelt Land to meet the housing target?

The Ashley Centre Local Plan display states that development will be ‘Located away from areas of flood risk’. How has Horton Farm been selected for development as it regularly gets flooded?

I’m told the Council has spent £1m on preparing this plan. Would it be expensive to change direction now?

How can I help stop the destruction of the precious Greenbelt?

Flood Risk at Horton

Frequently Asked Questions on Local Plan for Epsom and Ewell