Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) have published their 'masterplan' for future development in the borough.

The document relates to long-term plans for future planning and development in Epsom and Ewell, with a particular emphasis on housing.

It is non-binding, but will instead inform and influence Epsom and Ewell's forthcoming Local Plan — a statutory requirement that will be open for residents and businesses to contribute to this Autumn — scheduled for publication in 2021.

EEBC were at pains to point out that the document was shaped by the feedback of many residents who contributed their ideas and wishes regarding future development in the borough.

"The masterplan was guided by a comprehensive public consultation in 2017.

"This established that residents wanted new development to focus on the existing built up areas and provided homes for both young families and an ageing population.

"The consensus was also that new development could be more intense and taller than at present around retail centres, close to transport hubs and in Epsom town centre," a spokesperson said.

Surrey Comet: Image via EEBC Image via EEBC

In particular, text included in the masterplan features specific requirements to be considered for any future planning proposals in the borough.

Some of the recommendations include the following:

  • New development should deliver high quality greenspace as an integral part of major schemes
  • There is a need for ongoing and increased investment in transport infrastructure, particularly in view of the rapid technological changes being made in this sector
  • There remains a pressing need for family friendly sized units and developments, but these should not be included in the most sustainable and central locations
  • New development should ensure safe and sustainable new neighbourhoods are created which are fully integrated with the network of communities and settlements across the borough. This will ensure the best use is made of existing infrastructure, and existing residents benefit the most from the provision of new infrastructure delivered by new developments.
  • New developments should place high value on the importance of the Borough’s existing historic character as this is something that is highly valued by existing communities.

EEBC Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee, Councillor David Reeve, underlined the masterplan's "importance" and referenced the demands from on EEBC to build 10,000 new homes by 2037.

"The masterplan is an important document that sets out how we are to meet the government requirement of 10,000 new additional homes within the borough and ensure we will achieve this growth in a way that ensures the borough remains a great place for people to live, work and study," he said.

The masterplan proposed that Epsom Town Centre was "the most sustainable location in the borough to accommodate new high density housing development due to its greater access to public transport, services and amenities."

This means that future developments are increasingly likely to be approved if they fall within the town centre, rather than at the less urban fringes and green spaces in the borough.

Indeed, an emphasis on protecting green spaces and Epsom and Ewell's past heritage were both emphasised in the masterplan.

The full document is available from the EEBC council website: https://democracy.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/documents/s13851/Draft%20Epsom%20Ewell%20Masterplan%20Annex%201.pdf