Borough Insight


New Fast Track Planning Application Service to be launched by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

From 1 April 2024, applicants submitting certain planning applications in Epsom & Ewell will be able to choose to ‘fast track’ their application.

Developed to meet customer demands, the new optional service will be helpful to applicants who have a builder waiting to start work, or who need building work to start or finish by a certain date. Applicants will be able to pay to have their planning applications determined more quickly than the statutory eight-week period.

The types of applications that can be fast-tracked are:

  • Householder Applications – for instance, those required for extending homes e.g. building a single storey rear extension, or front porch.
  • Certificate of Lawful Development Proposed (Householder) – an application to show that the work you are proposing to do to a house is a ‘permitted development’ and therefore doesn’t need a formal application.  Sometimes you will need a certificate of this nature when you sell a house.

The fast-track fee is £350 for a Householder Application and £150 for a Lawful Development Certificate and is paid to the council, in addition to the usual cost of submitting a planning application.

Councillor Steve McCormick, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Committee, said,

“We are incredibly proud of our Planning department who in the last year, have overcome significant challenges to go from being one of 10 UK council teams performing below an expected threshold of 70% for minor/other applications, to well exceeding national targets. It is brilliant that Epsom & Ewell Borough Council can now facilitate a service which will meet an obvious need for many residents wishing to progress building projects within the borough.

“I hope that this will ease stress for many people working to tight timelines for their builds.”

Applicants can learn more about the service and apply by visiting the council’s dedicated webpage: Fast Track Service | Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (

Council Tax

With residents across the borough receiving their Council Tax bills over the past month, it is important to understand what Council Tax is, where your money goes, how much is spent on services and whether you are eligible for any discounts or exemptions.

Find out what Council Tax is on our website: What is Council Tax and who has to pay it? | Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (

Did you know Epsom & Ewell receive just 10p in every £1 of Council Tax you pay? You can find a detailed break down of your Council Tax in the information leaflets below:

Find out about Council Tax discounts and exemptions on our website: Discounts and exemptions | Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (

Do you need help with your council tax? Find out more on our website: Help with your Council Tax | Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (

Changes to the borough's tennis courts

From April 2024, tennis courts in Epsom & Ewell are moving to a ‘pay to play’ scheme.

Any revenue generated will be reinvested back into the courts for future improvements and maintenance.

Pricing is outlined below:

Annual household subscription: unlimited play for the whole household on any court for a year. Families on low income benefits can claim a 50% discount.


Pay as you go: cost per hour for one court


Additional cost per hour for floodlights (Court Recreation Ground only)


Subscriptions, courts and free coaching sessions can be booked via Epsom & Ewell’s ClubSpark web page:


Why has EEBC partnered with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)?

The project is part of a nationwide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation, delivered by the LTA, to refurbish public tennis courts across Great Britain, and open up the sport to many more people. This investment will see thousands of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition brought back to life for the benefit of communities across the country through renovation works, and improved court accessibility with new gate-access technology and booking systems.

Why do people need to pay to use the courts?

It is important that park tennis courts are sustainable and money can be set aside for repair and maintenance, to ensure courts do not fall into disrepair in the years ahead, and are available for generations to come. All income generated will be going back into the improvement of the facilities with a priority of improving the courts at Gibraltar Recreation Ground and Poole Road Recreation Ground first.

Why has gate access technology been installed?

Evidence from sites across the country is that installing gate access technology actually increases participation, as people can book a court online in advance, and know it will definitely be available when they arrive. It also means that free tennis sessions and coaching can be scheduled on the courts at specific times. Gate access technology also helps reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

What help is there for those on a low income to participate?

Families on low income benefits can claim a 50% discount on an annual subscription. There will also be free, weekly coaching sessions arranged for all ages, playing levels and experience where equipment is provided, meaning that people will not need someone to play with or even their own racket.

Free boiler upgrade

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, in partnership with Action Surrey, will shortly be launching a free boiler upgrade scheme for residents who meet the following criteria:

  • Are a resident in Epsom and Ewell
  • Are the owner occupier of a property with a gas boiler
  • Are on means-tested benefits or low income
  • Live in a property with an EPC rating of D – G, and
  • Have a broken or end of life boiler over ten years old.

If you meet the criteria and would like to register an interest in the scheme, please contact Action Surrey by calling 0800 783 2503 or visit Epsom and Ewell Boiler Upgrade Grant - Action Surrey

Specsavers Surrey Youth Games come to Epsom & Ewell

The Specsavers Surrey Youth Games is back! Following on from the success of the games last year, a wide range of activities are available in Epsom & Ewell again, including tennis, judo, swimming and more. The Games are the largest multi-sport youth programme of their kind in the South East, offering free local training for 7-16 year olds across Surrey, leading to a final celebratory event for the whole family. 

The Games are ideal for beginners who may not get the opportunity to attend clubs or are put off by the thought of competing against others. Supportive coaches will help participants join in, have fun, learn new skills and boost their confidence. 

Registration is now open for the free training sessions which start after Easter and are aimed at those who live or go to school in the borough. Following the training, teams can unite for a family-friendly event at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Saturday 15 June.

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said “I’m so pleased that we are running the Specsavers Surrey Youth Games in Epsom & Ewell again this year. The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for young people who are still building their confidence in sport to access training free of charge.

“I hope that everyone in our borough will take a look at what’s on offer and even tell friends and family about the initiative, so that we can ensure that as many children as possible can access the training.”

You can find out what's on offer in the Epsom & Ewell borough and register for a place by visiting

Innovative new programme helps families experiencing barriers to sports participation

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, in partnership with leisure operator and social enterprise GLL, has secured an award from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery, for an innovative new swimming programme which started in February. The scheme is aimed at residents experiencing barriers to sports and leisure participation, including families who have moved to the borough as refugees and families on low incomes.

50 people enrolled on the course which involved small, group swimming lessons at Rainbow Leisure Centre in Epsom. Participants were referred to the course by partners.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and GLL are contributing additional funds and resource so that participants aged four to eleven can continue weekly swimming lessons until 31 May 2024.

Families, including those taking part in the swimming programme and others, have also been offered three months of subsidised access to Rainbow Leisure Centre, to help them increase activity levels and build positive habits. 

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said;

“Swimming can be a lot of fun and is fantastic exercise; but it is also a vital and potentially even life-saving skill.

"In addition to swimming, residents who take part in this scheme will be able to access facilities such as football pitches, basketball courts, badminton courts, and the gym, more easily.

"Our vision at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is that all our residents can keep healthy and active, with easy access to health and wellbeing services. We are delighted that this award will help us work towards fulfilling that vision, particularly for residents who may not have been able to access these leisure services before.”

David Hughes, GLL partnership manager for Epsom & Ewell GLL added:

“The physical and mental health benefits that swimming can offer are well documented and this new programme has been designed to reach groups that may not otherwise have had access to local swimming provision.

“The feedback we have received from participating families has been phenomenal.  The tailored support our expert swimming teachers have offered, has helped participants to build confidence, improved their water skills and really enjoy their time in the water.”

Help us make your property someone’s home.

Do you have a property to let?

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council are currently looking to take on 3 and 4 bedroom properties under its Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme.

The council operates a very successful PSL scheme that’s allow us to help local families in housing need whilst reducing the risks and hassle of renting for landlords. Under the PSL scheme: -

  • The council lease and manage your property for a period of three to five years
  • You receive a guaranteed rent, paid 6 months advance
  • No void periods or costs
  • We manage your property and let it to local people in housing need
  • We carry out minor repairs up to the value of £500 per year
  • At the end of the agreement, we return the property to you in the same condition (minus fair wear and tear) as when the agreement started.

The benefits for landlords are: 

  • The council manage your property
  • A single point of contact within the council
  • No inventory costs and regular property inspections
  • Right to Rent checks carried by the council
  • No need to register deposits with TDP schemes
  • No letting agent or management fees
  • Routine and major repairs can be undertaken on landlords’ behalf for a fee.

There are also benefits for families and the local community. Local families benefit as we are able to provide good quality, temporary housing in the local area. The community sees empty properties brought back into to use

At the moment, alternative accommodation is often located out of the borough. This can be disruptive to home life, work and school at an already stressful time for families. 

The council has had great success with our Private Sector Leasing scheme, and we are currently looking to expand the scheme. We are especially looking to take on more 3 and 4 bedroom family properties.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact

For full details of the scheme and a landlords information pack, please visit

Preventing fraud among housing register and homelessness applicants

In March 2023, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council procured Reigate & Banstead fraud department to undertake financial checks on housing register and homelessness applicants.

Between March and December last year:

  • 287 checks for potential fraud have been conducted.
  • 30 positive outcomes have been recorded where an applicant(s) has been denied assistance, or withdrawn a request for assistance, following a request for further information and/or evidence.   
  • Saved £113,000 as a result of the fraud prevention work

Case study 

A benefit claimant was found to have over £100,000 in an account, in addition to undeclared earnings as a result of a failure to declare a change of employment. 

A Crown Court Restraint Order was obtained to freeze the sum of £16,981.62 benefit overpayment, which the claimant has now paid back in full to the Council.

The claimant has also withdrawn their housing register application.

Epsom Playhouse success

The Epsom Playhouse had great success at the Time & Leisure Food & Culture Awards 2024.

The awards celebrate the talented, creative and passionate people who make up the thriving hospitality and arts industries across south west London and Surrey.

The Playhouse received a Recommended in the Best Entertainment Venue category and Commended in the Favourite Family Attraction category.

The Epsom & Ewell Local Plan: what you need to know

Clock tower face Epsom square

We have created a new FAQ area of our website to give the public as much information as possible about the development of the borough’s Local Plan.

The Local Plan is a critical document in shaping the future of the borough. It covers a wide range of issues from creating jobs, environmental protection and leisure development, to sites for new homes and much-needed infrastructure improvements.

We are following the government’s framework for developing a Local Plan, and no decisions have been made on policy wording or site selection for the Local Plan at this stage. We are currently reviewing feedback received during the public consultation on the first draft of the Plan, and gathering further detailed evidence to help develop the Plan.

Once the evidence base is developed and complete, a recommendation will come to the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee (LPPC) on a proposed Plan that will include site allocations. LPPC will then make a recommendation to Full Council, and it is only at this stage that a council decision on the Local Plan will be made, which will then go forward to another six-week public consultation. This is expected to be in early 2025. The next version of the Local Plan will include a consultation statement which provides a summary of the main issues raised during the Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) consultation, and how they have been taken into account.

Councillor Steven McCormick, Chair of the Licensing & Planning Policy Committee, said:

“The development of our Local Plan is as complex as it is vital. We want to make sure that all those who live in, work in and visit the borough have access to the latest information about the Local Plan, to ensure that they are informed and to dispel rumours and myths about the Plan. We encourage everyone to take a look at the FAQs, either on our website or by coming in to the Town Hall and asking for a copy at reception.”

The Local Plan FAQs can be found on our website at:

Members of the public can sign up to receive an alert for future consultations by completing the form at is external).

Image: Icon Effective Council

Changes to our grants policy to help more disabled and vulnerable residents

Home Improvement Agency

We have revised our Private Sector Housing Grants Assistance Policy, so that more disabled and vulnerable residents will benefit from grant funding than before.

The Policy sets out how we provide financial assistance so that residents can remain independent at home for as long as possible, through adaptations and improvements to their homes. The support provided is extremely varied, from fitting level access showers, stairlifts, ramps, grab rails or wheelchair accessible extensions, to remedying health and safety risks associated with items such as heating, electrical wiring and plumbing.

The most significant changes are as follows:

  • The eligibility criteria have been widened, and the means test requirements have been made more flexible.
  • A more versatile approach to the application process and required forms.
  • Access to the service has been improved to include self-referral forms via our website.
  • The maximum discretionary grant level has been increased, to allow for increased costs in the construction industry and in response to the more complex needs of some residents.
  • Cases can be treated on a more individual basis with a wider range of assistance available and more flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Assistance is now available to those living with a terminal illness or dementia.
  • Accessible housing grants will meet a rising need in the housing market for disabled people who are either homeless or need to move to a more suitable property.
  • The introduction of a prevention grant to provide simple measures to ensure that elderly, vulnerable or disabled residents can occupy their homes safely and reduce the likelihood of developing ill-health.

Cllr Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said: “It is a priority of this council to improve the lives of our residents. Housing that isn’t fit for purpose can have a significantly detrimental impact on vulnerable, older and disabled people, and can contribute to immobility, social exclusion, ill health and depression.

“Our Private Sector Housing Grants Assistance Policy helps people to live with greater independence in secure, safe, well-maintained, warm and suitable housing.

“I am pleased that the changes to policy that were unanimously approved by the committee in October, will help more of our most vulnerable residents.”

To find out more or to make an application, visit our website, or contact the Home Improvement Agency on sends e-mail) or 01372 732000.

Remember your voter ID

With the Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place on 2 May 2024 and a general election scheduled for some time this year, making sure you have valid photo ID is extremely important.

In the UK, you are now legally required to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at elections. So don't miss out on your chance to vote.

Which forms of ID can I use to vote?

You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable. You can use any of the following:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (including provisional license)
  • Blue badge
  • Certain concessionary travel cards
  • Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • Biometric Immigration document
  • Defence identity card
  • Certain national identity cards

You will only need to show one form of photo ID, but it needs to be the original version and not a photocopy. The name on your ID must be the same name you used to register to vote.

For more information, including the full list of accepted forms of photo ID, visit or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.

If you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate. You can apply for this at

Alternatively, you can contact Electoral Services for a paper application form.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for use at a particular election is 5pm, 6 working days before the date of that election.

MMR vaccine: Be wise and immunise

Cases of measles are rising across England, including among children. It's an infection that spreads very easily and for some people can cause serious problems. The uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination programme in the UK has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, including across Surrey. There is a high risk that outbreaks of measles will be seen in unvaccinated individuals and communities in Surrey over the coming months.

There's no specific medical treatment for measles, so it's important to get vaccinated as it's the best protection against measles. Two doses of the MMR vaccine give 99% protection against measles.

Children are offered a vaccine free on the NHS at 12-months-old and then a second dose when they turn 3-years-and-4-months-old, but it is never too late to catch up. The MMR vaccine is free on the NHS, whatever your age. If anyone has missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, contact your GP practice to book an appointment.

Find out more on the NHS website.

Jobs at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

We're recruiting.

Our small but ambitious authority offers you the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of varied and interesting work. That, together with an enviable array of staff benefits and a rewarding and challenging career, is our unique offer to you.

If you have the passion and the drive to make a real difference, we really want to hear from you. View a list of all current vacancies at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council

Housing Adviser

The Housing Adviser is the first point of contact for enquiries from customers who are in housing need or who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Find out more, including how to apply.

Refuse & Recycling Loader Operative 3

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is looking for dedicated individuals to work as Loaders on our refuse and recycling collections operation. Find out more, including how to apply.

LGV Driver 1

The Operational Services Division of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is looking for dedicated individuals to drive and supervise refuse and recycling collection vehicles, ensuring a timely, high quality, safe, friendly and efficient service to our residents. Find out more, including how to apply.

Tree Officer

Our borough has a substantial number of protected trees. You will take a lead role in all tree related matters, including assessing trees for protection, processing applications and appeals, and providing related specialist advice and guidance to planning officers, enforcement teams, the public, and Councillors. In particular you will lead on improving processes relating to Tree Preservation Orders and Tree Replacement Notices. Find out more, including how to apply.

At Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, we are passionate about maintaining an inclusive workplace for all that reflects the communities we serve. We welcome applications from all sections of our community particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, including BAME, LGBTQ+ and those with hidden or visible disabilities.

We are committed to ensuring all our staff – regardless of gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or disability – can thrive and succeed whilst working with us.

Opp and Prosp Roundel


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