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

Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) 2022-2040 – Public Consultation

#greenbelt #epsom #ewell #localplan

Some of the documents that detail the local plan are large and complex. 

Council Officers will be available to speak to you in person at the following places

  •  Monday 13 February 14:30 – 19:30 Bourne Hall, Azalea Room 
  • Thursday 16 February 12:00 – 17:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square
  • Tuesday 21 February 14:30 – 19:30,  Bourne Hall, Azalea room   
  • Wednesday 22 February 10:30 – 15:30,   Community & Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road
  • Saturday 25 February 11:00 – 16:00, Ashley Centre, Central Square
  • Tuesday 28 February 10:30 – 15:30, Community & Wellbeing Centre, Sefton Road

There are likely to be plenty of questions about the Local Plan, which includes significant changes to the centre of Epsom and changes to parts of the borough that are well away from the town centre. Some of these are on Green Belt land.

Full list of Green Belt “Preferred Option” housing sites in the E&EBC Draft Local Plan:are listed below.

  • Horton Farm land 1,500 homes
  • Ewell East Station land 350 homes
  • West Park Hospital land 150 homes
  • Chantilly Way 25 homes
  • Hook Road Arena land 150 homes (council-owned land)

Honey, We’ve Shrunk the Green Belt

#Greenbelt #Epsom #Surrey

Resident fury at E&EBC’s unanimous decision to include five Green Belt sites for 2,175 houses in Draft Local Plan, to be published on 1st February.

  • Over 100 green-belted residents protest to councillors arriving at Epsom Town Hall for Planning Committee vote
  • Dozens of Green Belts buckled to Public Gallery railings in silent protest – with one on speaker’s table in Council Chamber
  • Residents claim one victory as 110 acre Downs Farm NOT included in preferred Green Belt sites

Epsom, 31st January: Amid scenes of dramatic resident protest over Green Belt inclusion for housing, councillors on a planning sub-committee of Epsom and Ewell borough council voted unanimously last night (30th Jan) to accept its Draft Local Plan.It will be formally published tomorrow, 1st February.

Of the nine “preferred option” sites in the Plan, five are green belt sites, on which it is proposed to build 2,175 houses – over 41% of the total of 5,400 proposed up to 2040. No visionary large-scale brownfield developments for affordable homes is included, while 137 acres of green belt are now effectively blighted.

Green Belt sites for housing include four on the west side of Epsom- with a huge 1,500 home estate planned around Horton Farm, and one for 350 homes obliterating sports fields near East Ewell station. ( full list below) There was one spot of good news for the residents after a long fought campaign – as the 110 acre Downs Farm on the Reigate Road was not included in the final list.

Nearly 100 residents protested with banners as the councillors arrived at the Town Hall, with a packed public gallery adorned with “green belts” buckled to its railings in silent protest (see picture). One questioning resident took off his green belt and laid it on the Council Chambers’ speaker’s table, where it stayed for the two hour debate.

“We are furious that the RA controlled council did not fight to keep Epsom’s special character and Green Belt heritage, as is permitted under clear emerging government planning policy” said local resident Yufan Si, for the Keep Epsom and Ewell Green Belt “ There is no clear idea of where any of the much needed social infrastructure, will come from, from schools to doctors’ surgeries, as both councillors and planners admitted in the meeting”

Residents complain that the Draft Plan relies totally and lazily on a “Call for Sites”, with opportunistic developers and landowners putting forward plenty of green belt land, with only a few brownfield sites offered up. There has been no advance discussions with major town centre developers to mix new residential units with job opportunities nearer the urban centre, which most agree needs rejuvenation.

Despite written objections to the committee from the CRPE on sustainability issues and concern over the population projections, E&EBC failed to follow the lead of other local councils. Mole Valley voted to remove all Green Belt from its Local Plan, and Elmbridge avoided all Green Belt areas by focussing on smaller 1-5 house brownfield sites – none of which are listed in Epsom’s Local Plan.

Councillors were reminded that the May Local Elections are coming up before the next stage of the Local Plan, and their legacy on supporting Green Belt sites was likely to come under scrutiny – even now, said one resident, they will have to go home to their spouses and say “Honey, I’ve shrunk the Green Belt.”

Residents wishing to preserve Epsom’s Green Belt are now urged to make written representations to EEBC in the six week Public Consultation stage which runs for six weeks from tomorrow. Sites can be added and taken away, say the Council.

Full list of Green Belt “Preferred Option” housing sites in the E&EBC Draft Local Plan:

  • Horton Farm land 1,500 homes
  • Ewell East Station land 350 homes
  • West Park Hospital land 150 homes
  • Chantilly Way 25 homes
  • Hook Road Arena land 150 homes (council-owned land)

Hansard Transcript  – PMQs Green Belt Protection – 25th Jan 2023 

#greenbelt #epsom #surrey

Sir Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead) : –

Dacorum Borough Council, the Conservative-led council in my constituency, has done a fantastic job of building new houses, including social housing and council houses. Can the Prime Minister assure me that we will not be pushed into the green belt any more than we already have been and that we can protect the Chilterns in my constituency?

The Prime Minister :-

I join my right hon. Friend in praising his local council for ensuring we build homes in the right places so that our young people can fulfil the dream of home ownership. He is also right to say that this Government will always protect our precious green spaces. The recent changes in our planning reforms will ensure that we can protect the green belt everywhere. His local community and others will benefit from those protections as we keep our local areas beautiful.

Epsom Green Belt hope that Epsom & Ewell Borough Council change their ways and learn from the direction of UK Government. In recent years, there has been significant development on Green Belt approved by E&EBC.

EEBC Local Plan Clutches at Green Belt Straws for Houses

Opinion Piece – #greenbelt #epsom #surrey

– Saving of Downs Farm only bright spot , as brownfield priorities missed

Given the Government’s “brownfield first” brief, it looks like the planners did not get the memo. They certainly did not get the new memo from Government saying that it is not necessary to review Green Belt for housing. And they appear not to have taken the hint from neighbouring Elmbridge, who creatively avoided any Green Belt destruction, and Mole Valley, whose councillors this month voted unanimously to remove all Green Belt sites from its Local Plan.

Out of 5,400 new homes proposed in the Draft Local Plan (2023-2040) , with Epsom & Ewell BC councillors due to take a final Section 18 publication decision on 30 January, some 2,175 homes (almost 41%) are earmarked to be built on the borough’s Green Belt land.

Of nine “Preferred Option” development sites proposed, five are Green Belt – with Downs Farm, where 650 homes were proposed, only narrowly missing the cut after a huge campaign by residents.

Over 55 hectares – or some 137 acres – of Green Belt land could be sacrificed. The plans include one gigantic estate of some 1,500 homes on land around Horton Farm, which will have its Green Belt status stripped away.

The “Preferred Options” for Green Belt development are:

  • 150 homes around West Park Hospital
  • 1,500 homes around Horton Farm
  • 25 homes next to Chantilly Way
  • 350 homes on the sports fields by Ewell East Station
  • 150 homes on sports pitches at Hook Road Arena (land owned by the Council)

Only on its own land can the Council specify 100% affordable homes – the rest will be 40% at best, as developers have many canny ways to get round this stipulation and build more profitable higher end housing.

The Council even admits that they have already taken some slugs of Green Belt land for housing, on the NESCOT campus and the five hospitals housing developments – but they need more.

There is a whole Appendix (Appendix 4) revealing yet more Green Belt sites that have been offered up by opportunistic developers in a “ Call for Sites” that have been mercifully excluded as “Preferred Options”. Much of the analysis seems subjective and open to question.

And then there is this – the previous Council Green Belt studies of 2017-19 have been considered out of date and a new 2022 Green Belt Study has been commissioned- but we all have yet to see this document.

EEBC needs to plunder more Green Belt, as it appears only a few brownfield landowners came forward in its “Call for Sites”. So the Plan is offering just around 1,000 homes in Epsom Town Centre until year 2040, and the same meagre number over 15 years on Urban Land Availability Assessment sites, and it reckons the same number again for existing planning permissions.

So where is the real challenge taken up, to redevelop Epsom Town surroundings, which most commentators agree could do with some rejuvenation, to say the least? Well, the Kiln Lane and Longmead industrial areas are said to be off limits, according to consultants for EEBC, because of the 1,800 jobs there. So not a single new brownfield affordable home is put forward here, with no imaginative plan to mix housing with job creation and revitalise an area close to the station, shops and entertainment facilities that many people prefer.

Smaller brownfield developments of around 5 to 10 homes each, do not seem to be in the Draft Plan either, although we may have missed the brownwood for the trees “We are left with the conclusion that the planners – and by extension our ruling Councillors – are in a “Call for Sites” trap. This has inhibited visionary thinking and pro-active engagement with urban developers on how much-needed affordable housing might be built in tandem with an exciting redevelopment programme that Epsom’s brownfield areas so desperately need” said Yufan Si, campaign leader for

Keep Epsom & Ewell’s Green Belt

“All they seem able to do about it is to bulldozer yet another field of our Green Belt heritage” said Ms Si.

24th January 2023

Licensing and Planning Committee (19th Jan 2023)

A determined group of Epsom & Ewell residents, representing over 1,700 petitioners , that took to the podium at last night’s Planning Committee (Jan 19th) at Epsom Town Hall to ask councillors eleven questions about the threat of Green Belt sites being included as “Preferred Options” in the imminent Draft Local Plan.

Epsom & Ewell Green Belt Group

Given every indication that the Government no longer thinks Green Belt reviews are necessary with housing targets advisory only, and fresh from Mole Valley District Coucil’s unanimous vote to remove Green Belt sites, residents challenged the councillors and planners to seize the opportunity to save the Green Belt now and focus on brownfield sites for new affordable homes. 

In answer to one question about whether planners had consulted HM Inspectors about Green Belt removal, council officers confirmed that, as EEBC was at an initial stage of decision taking , they had no need to consult the Inspectorate at this time, unlike Mole Valley are now required to do.

Given this difference, residents believe that it will now be entirely the responsibility of Councillors – the majority of whom are Residents Association voted in to preserve Epsom & Ewell’s special character, if Green Belt land ends up being destroyed forever. According to CPRE, over 99% of sites earmarked for development by local authorities eventually get built upon, so it is both crucial and necessary to ensure no Green Belt sites are included at the outset.

Residents vow to return to make more representations at the final decision-taking Planning Committee meeting on 30th January before the EEBC Draft Plan is published on 1st February 2023.

Langley Bottom Farm, Langley Vale Road, Epsom KT18 6AP

Please see the update below from Epsom Civic Society on the planning application to demolish Langley Bottom Farm, build 20 houses.

21/00044/REF Demolition of the existing buildings on the site and construction of twenty residential dwellings, of which eight (40%) would be affordable together with associated access, landscaping and parking.

Reference: 21/00044/REF
Alternative Reference: PP-08519985
Address: Langley Bottom Farm Langley Vale Road Epsom Surrey KT18 6AP
Nature: Demolition of the existing buildings on the site and construction of twenty residential dwellings, of which eight (40%) would be affordable together with associated access, landscaping and parking. (Amended site location plan received 06.08.2020)
Status: Appeal Granted
Appeal Type: Appeal against refusal
Decision: Appeal Granted (Allowed)
Case Officer: Not Available
Ward: Woodcote
Procedure: Informal Hearing
Decision Date: 14 Jul 2022

See the original planning application at 20/00475/FUL

Recent News on a Brownfield Plan

Interesting Article on one of the many Brownfields Regeneration alternative options. Please see the full article via the link below.

Epsom and Ewell and indeed the whole country has a real shortage of homes. We cannot go on with a generation of young people who aspire to home ownership but have little hope of achieving this. And we must have more affordable homes locally.

As a country we are already now building more homes than at any time for decades, but there is still more to do. Locally precious little has happened in recent years. Four years ago, just before the local elections, the Borough Council was due to publish its plan for housing and for the area for the future. It was postponed then, and only now is the Council in the process of publishing and developing its local plan for the area for the next 10-15 years.

But here we do need to do all we can to meet the housing need and not nearly enough has been done on this locally in recent years.  That’s why I have proposed a comprehensive redevelopment of the Kiln Lane and Longmead areas to achieve this without building all over our green belt.

I hope that as the local plan develops the Council will adopt this plan. I think it’s the best way forward for our area.

#planning #epsom #surrey



Local residents heard authoritatively that Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) would advise to build thousands of houses on Epsom’s precious Green Belt, on the Draft Local Plan to be published on 1ST February 2023. There is a HUGE threat to Epsom’s Green Belt in areas like Downs Farm, Greater Horton Farm, Hook Road Arena to name a few. Please see the below for the timeline, although there will be a 6-week public consultation from 1st Feb(Regulation 18), the process to change this decision for the next 2.5 years would be very challenging if Green Belt is put on the “Preferred Option” list in February 2023. Local residents URGENTLY need to tell EEBC Councillors and Planning Officers that this is wrong.

It is demanded that EEBC gather all evidence to challenge the unrealistic housing target and engage swiftly and work diligently on other brownfields options, instead of entertaining opportunistic developers for this environmental vandalism. EEBC should not put Green Belt developments as its “Preferred Option” on the Draft Local Plan, which is certainly not needed and not sustainable.

Central government has set the Council an impossible and outdated high target of nearly 700 new homes every year up to 2040. That would mean 10,000 extra houses & nearly 25,000 more people in our small Borough.

EEBC has a choice …

  1. Like Elmbridge did, challenge the top-down housing target and focus on Brownfield Regeneration,


2. Take the easy option of quickly developing on Epsom and Ewell’s Green Belt to meet a large portion of their target.

Epsom & Ewell need affordable homes in central easily accessible locations with superb transport links. There are alternative brownfield plans which offer more affordable homes, together with town rejuvenation and employment opportunities.

Out-of-town Green Belt lands such as Downs Farm (110-acre open land on either side of College Road between Epsom and Nork) has no infrastructure (surgeries, schools, dentists are all oversubscribed), limited public transport subsequently adding hundreds more cars to the already congested and polluted roads which is certainly not a sustainable way for development.

Developing this green and beautiful land with an abundance of wildlife (skylarks, deer, bats, hedgehogs, owls, woodpeckers and many more), will set the precedent of horrendously ripping up Epsom’s Green Belt, destroying biodiversity and green space that is crucially needed right now, and changing Epsom into another over-developed urban town forever.


  1. Please sign the petition
  2. Please register your objections to EEBC Councilors (Email list here: and Cllr Steven McCormick(Chair of the Planning Committee and other Councilors from Planning Committee: po’,,,,,,,,
  3. Write your objections to Victoria Potts (Chief Planning officer:,
  4. Please subscribe us on Facebook
    Instagram  epsomgreenbelt         Twitter @epsomgreenbelt         
  5. Join our Committee please contact:

Some other considerations:

  1. Will the demand for housing continue at past rates into the future, given higher mortgage costs and uncertainties related to Covid, Brexit and the war in Ukraine?
  • Has the Council examined all the possibilities for development of existing brownfield sites within the Borough? An alternative plan offering a higher proportion of starter and affordable homes, together with much needed rejuvenation of central location near to fast transport links and town centre facilities, has also been put forward to the Council, but that this has NOT been fully evaluated by planning officers.
  • Is the housing target set by Whitehall bureaucrats valid? No! It is based on two wrong assumptions. The first is that our local population will grow at the rate expected back in 2014, which is the date employed in the central government’s algorithm that arrives at the 700 figure. In fact, it is now clear that the 2014 projections greatly exaggerated how fast the Borough would grow. According to the 2021 Census, we had just 31,300 households whereas in 2014 this figure was expected to be 34,000, a 9% over-estimation. The second incorrect assumption is that Whitehall states that, by building more houses in the Borough, their prices will fall. We all know that this isn’t how the housing market works in this area – house builders only release as many homes onto the market  as they need to in order to keep the price artificially high so that they maximise shareholder return. However, on this assumption, the algorithm substantially increases our housing target. To make matters even worse, because too few houses are being built in the Borough the target is further increased by another 20%!
  • How many truly affordable homes, which are the types of houses that are needed locally, will be provided at Downs Farm and other Green Belt areas? The current Borough Plan would expect at least 35% to be affordable.
  • With climate change an increasing cause of concern, shouldn’t we keep as many of our open spaces as possible?
  • Instead of considering Green Belt for housing, shouldn’t the Council be promoting a restoration project for the land, for the benefits of future generations?
  • What is Central Government’s view on Green Belt? The government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The NPPF states that Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified. Central Government policy is now also changing with Rishi Sunak having stated that brownfield developments must be the first priority, and much valued Green Belt sites are not to be released for mass housing.
  • What will be the consequences? In all probability, areas such as Downs Farm will be lost forever. Downs Farm is a perfectly green, beautiful, and natural land with an abundance of wildlife on its rare chalk grassland (see the photos on our website of wild deer, 20+ bird species including skylarks, bats, hedgehogs and other animals). The Council’s own studies indicate that Downs Farm meets the requirements for land to be retained as Green Belt – it serves to separate the eastern part of Epsom from the Drift Bridge area of Reigate and Banstead. The Green Belt study concluded with respect to Downs Farm – “due to its landscape and visual sensitivity, and high sensitivity to development, it is not suitable for release”. The area is relatively poorly served by public transport, so development on Downs Farm will, inevitably, put more cars and other vehicles on to our already overcrowded roads. What assurances will there be that the additional school places and medical and social care facilities will be made available for all these extra people?

#greenbelt #epsom #surrey