The Consultation is a formal process and ends on 30th September 2019. A number of you have suggested it would be helpful to have guidance on possible responses to the Elmbridge on-line Local Plan Consultation Questionnaire. This page provides some ideas and suggestions for responses to the consultation questions. If you do not have on-line access please call the Council on 01372 474 474 and request a paper copy.
To try and make it as easy for you as possible we have included both the questions and response suggestions.
SUGGESTED RESPONSES ARE IN BLUE ITALICS - we strongly suggest you add/amend/delete and use your own words and add to it with your views.
All these questions limit the number of characters you can enter in the answer box. The number of characters allowed includes spaces and punctuation so we recommend you do not worry too much about the grammar or punctuation as long as your response is clear. If you feel that the character limitations in the on-line questionnaire limit your responses we understand that you can attach a supplementary document at the bottom of the questionnaire.
Remember completed questionnaires must be completed by midnight on Monday 30th September 2019. All individuals are able to respond – it is not limited to one per household and there is no age limit. Please ensure ALL members of your household complete a questionnaire, everyone counts.
Click on each Question number below to view our recommended response. Click here to open a separate tab to visit the Elmbridge Consultation website and to complete the consultation questionnaire. Click on each tab to switch between our Suggested Responses page and the Consultation Questionnaire. Copy and paste our suggested responses as the basis for your own question responses.
Elmbridge wants to know you have read the consultation document by answering Yes to this question.
Elmbridge needs to know in which area you live.
3a Place-making and the continued success of well designed, well-functioning places is fundamental to developing a growth strategy for the borough. What are the key characteristics that make your area a great place to live? (Maximum 500 characters)
• Rural nature, easy access to a wealth of open spaces
• Good coverage of woods, wide variety of trees
• Natural landscapes
• River Mole encourages bio-diversity
• Access to network of footpaths
• Separate village communities and high streets with independent shops
• High quality places, build and design
• Plot sizes create a sense of space
• Proportionate scale and height of buildings
• Garaged off street parking. Limited on street parking
• Sports fields, recreation grounds, allotments within the urban area
• Good rail and road access to London
3b What changes would you like to see in the borough over the next 15 years? (Maximum 500 characters)
• Right housing in the right places – affordable housing near employment, schools, bus/train links, health facilities & shops
• Density of housing appropriate to character area
• Any change should retain character & quality of life of separate villages in Cobham/Stoke d’Abernon/Oxshott/Downside
• Limit HGV use of A244 and A245
• Noise levels reduced
• Improved public transport
• Increased green spaces and trees
• Improved air quality
• Encouragement for High St businesses, shops, cafes & restaurants
4a Select the Option which you believe best suits your area
We recommend Option 4. To see why, view our Option 4 is Best page
Please tell us why you have chosen this option (Maximum 600 characters)
• It is the lowest development option so has the least impact on the borough
• It is the lowest urbanisation option
• It allows the affordability issue to be addressed (smaller houses will result from limited land available to reach quota) all other Options would imply greater scope for sprawl.
• It is the most environmentally friendly option (least pollution, least loss of habitats and destruction of trees) as it takes no Green Belt land and retains our Green Lungs.
4b Please give details of any alternative ways you think we could meet the government’s ambitious housing target for Elmbridge of 623 new homes each year for the next 15 years. (Maximum 600 characters)
There is no need to meet the 623 or 9300 targets as fundamentally wrong, with no evidence supporting this & ignores population changes & housing market
- Office of Nat Statistics from 2016 should be used to establish targets
- Elmbridge currently has 3000 more dwellings than households. Second homes not needed.
How do you think we should plan for the new homes we need in your area?
• Higher densities,
• Green Belt release
• A mixture of higher densities and Green Belt release
- We recommend you respond Other
Please provide any comments here (Maximum 500 characters)
• EBC must use a reduced target reduction using 2016 base and relevant contemporary data
• Greater proportion of houses near frequent, reliable transport hubs with supporting retail
• Development to respect existing character - and this respect to be paramount
• No loss of playing grounds and green spaces
• No ‘one-size-fits-all’ density policy - tiered per EBC’s sustainability study
• Green Belt development should be for proven case-by-case Very Special Circumstances only
Ticking YES to question 6a allows access to further comment on individual planning issues. To make the point that change is needed, it is valid to tick all issues that you find need attention and then be selective in the comments box.
6a Are you aware of any planning issues that need to be addressed in our detailed day-to-day planning policies?
We recommend you respond Yes
6b If yes, please specify which planning issues (Maximum 400 characters for the explanation)
• Design / Character
• Building heights
• Conservation Areas
• Historic features (e.g. listed buildings)
• Sustainability / renewable energy
• Open spaces
Please tick those that you feel need to be addressed. Keep in mind you will only have 400 characters to explain why, so you may need to prioritise the explanations unless you provide supplementary text.
See below some example answers from which residents can choose topics for the comments box. We have not covered heritage and historic building policies for example because they are not fundamental to the current housing consultation.
Note: The importance of the new Local Plan is that it will govern decisions on individual planning applications in your neighbourhood for the next 15 years. Recently Elmbridge have been allowing an increase in densities and other impositions on our residential areas with little differentiation for character, amenity, traffic or parking requirements. Until a new preferred strategic option is chosen for the new Local Plan, based on responses to this questionnaire, it is not possible to identify all policies that may need looking at. Suggested comment has therefore to be hugely simplified and very selective to cover those with most practical impact. More obscure policies will be covered by organisations as best they can.
Density, Design and Character
- References to ‘maximising’ use of land should be removed and ‘optimising’ used instead. This is important to achieve proportionate control of density, character, access car parking and garden amenity space for new development. It is necessary to protect character and amenity, not chase housing numbers. [277 characters with spaces]
- Density should apply across small newly defined character areas rather than wider settlement areas or Borough-wide. On windfall sites density, access and amenity should match and preserve the quality of residential amenity for that area. [235 characters with spaces]
- Boundaries to character areas should be carefully defined to complement policies on density, design, sustainability, access, parking, open spaces, public amenity and heritage features. Absolute standards across the Borough or a settlement produce bad development which erodes existing character. [301 characters with spaces]
- There must be the right development in the right places. Policies should give residents and developers confidence in delivery of quality development with clarity about preserving existing character, garden amenity, access and parking standards for the long term.
- Existing Parking policy is driven by the need to reduce car use. This works in town centres with higher densities than semi-rural areas where car usage is increasing and distance from shops, schools, jobs, open spaces, public transport and other amenities doesn’t help. To protect residents, parking ratios should be a fixed number per dwelling to include visitor spaces and ensure no on street parking, according to character area [431 characters with spaces]
- All development, but especially windfalls, should be able to accommodate owner and visitor vehicles on site to ensure no extra on street parking in residential areas, with garden amenity space, and safe access for all road users and pedestrians. [244 characters with spaces]
- Most development needs to be close to town and village centres. These have the retail, leisure, cultural and community resources to achieve the lowest ecological footprint and the highest quality of life for residents. [221 characters with spaces]
- High quality design, renewable energy and neighbourhoods that enhance character improve the wellbeing of residents. To cater for an ageing population, independent living must be encouraged alongside the specialist accommodation. [233 characters with spaces]
- With an inevitable Increase in the number of residents, building must be in sustainable locations with facilities that encourage cycling and walking, electric vehicles, better public transport and measures to reduce traffic, particularly HGVs, to help improve air quality. [276 characters with spaces]
Open spaces, and allotments.
- Alongside retaining the Green Belt, open spaces such as recreation grounds and allotments must be retained where they are, which is where they are most needed for biodiversity, health, wellbeing and quality of life. Tree cover must be increased at every opportunity to mitigate against rising temperatures from climate change and increase biodiversity. [316 characters with spaces]
- As a means to reduce car dependency, traffic congestion & pollution, the Council must ensure development only in sustainable locations, promote what is best in public transport, the rail system, and look for improvement of what is wanting, mainly the local bus network. [268 characters with spaces]
- EBC needs its own local traffic and transport policy to supplement that of the county highway authority with a higher threshold for what is allowed for development, to improve noise and air quality functions and to discourage HGVs on local roads. [242 characters with spaces]
- Before any development is approved the Council must ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to include not only transport, utilities, education, health but also community and social facilities. [208 characters with spaces]
- Affordable housing policy must be clear and enforceable with transparent viability tests and sites allocated across the Borough in sustainable locations. To supply homes that address local housing needs in terms of mix, size, design and tenure, needs 70% affordable. As the private sector won’t deliver this, a public sector led delivery policy is required. Funding supplemented by transfers from London Boroughs that generate demand in Elmbridge. [360 characters with spaces]
- EBC policy should include use of Compulsory Purchase powers to acquire affordable housing land close to town centres that can provide the jobs, shops and other services within easy non car travel distance for full sustainability. Such land should include all current use types to allow a wide scope and opportunity. [314 characters with spaces]
Housing above employment land use.
- If, as it appears, the government is intent on Elmbridge accommodating extra population from London, the Council should consider not promoting land for employment (which can move to other boroughs) and using land such as industrial estates for housing. [255 characters with spaces]
Do you have any comments to make in relation to this Options Consultation? (Maximum 600 characters)
• 2016 Consultation’s which resulted in 3,600 responses appear to have been mis-interpreted on density and Arup scoring led to some parcels described as weakly performing but should not have been.
• Consultation goes live mid summer holidays. No extension allowed
• Inconsistencies between documents
• Poor web navigation and malfunctions on website in first few days of the Consultation.
• Many elderly residents disadvantaged due to on-line focus of Consultation
• Confusing Options with unclear follow up and process
• Definition of Affordable homes is unrealistic in our areas
• 70% of housing need is for ‘Affordable’. Only public sector can provide with commensurate public funding. West London is source of most demand and transfer of grant from London Boroughs to EBC is fair.
Did you respond to the previous Local Plan Strategic Options Consultation in 2016?
Please answer as appropriate.
You may have some other questions about the consultation. Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page as we may have an answer.
Frequently Asked Questions >