The importance of character and quality in delivering new homes
Everyone recognises Epsom and Ewell as is a vibrant and unique place to live, work and study. There is also a general acceptance that Epsom and Ewell, like many other places in the country, has an acute housing shortage and that there is a need for more homes to be built in the borough, particularly more affordable homes for local people.
It’s important therefore, that the borough Council does everything it can to ensure that these new homes reflect the views and priorities of local people, contribute positively to the local area and that the borough secures the necessary infrastructure to make future developments sustainable. To help with this and the preparation of a new Local Plan, our Licensing and Planning Policy Committee on 14 November will consider a set of six key principles for informing and shaping this important piece of work.
These principles seek to ensure that the development of new homes in the borough recognise the desirability of maintaining an area’s prevailing character and setting. Having new homes that are visually attractive, add to the overall quality of the local area and are sympathetic to the local character and setting.
Our proposed approach also recognises the rich character of the borough and its high quality green spaces, and therefore seeks to focus development in existing urban areas particularly around the key town and village centres and stations. To help with this, we will bring forward policies through the Local Plan process which will address the density and height of new buildings, including placing height restrictions, to ensure that these developments are “of Epsom and Ewell” and reflects the local character and setting.
The principles also focus on the importance of design quality with an emphasis on greening the borough, ensuring that development addresses the Council’s commitments to tackling Climate Change, and making places more family friendly and accessible.
The six new principles if agreed with help inform the development of Epsom and Ewell’s future Local Plan, the consideration of sites put forward by landowners and developers, and the options set out in future public consultations.
The new Local Plan will become the Council’s key planning document, and will help ensure that new homes and infrastructure are delivered in the right places, are of the right character and quality, and that Epsom and Ewell continues to be a fantastic, vibrant and sustainable place.