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Feedback on Upper High Street Public Meeting

September 6, 2012 6:56 PM

Upper High StreetThe borough council hosted a public meeting on 5th September concerning the Upper High Street development site.

It was attended by around 150 residents and councillors. After a brief introduction by the Head of Planning, there were many questions and comments from the floor. Many concerned the controversial Epsom Station development and residents expressed a desire not to see such a high and bulky building elsewhere in the town centre. Parking and traffic was an issue - one resident asking when the council considered the town to be "full up". Others mentioned the poor publicity given to both Plan E (the council's plan for the future of the borough) and the UHS consultation itself. Concerns were expressed about a part of the development site which was in close proximity to a conservation area. Some residents mentioned problems with school places which, for the third year running, are the subject of much controversy. Lack of open space within the development site and the absence of facilities for teenagers were noted.

Planning Officers confirmed that Tesco Stores Ltd. which own a part of the site had stated they would not develop a superstore and may well sell the site on to another retailer.

The Police Station, Ambulance Station and Fire Station are all part of the development site. The Police Station has recently closed with the Police relocating to the Town Hall and developers are known to be interested in a housing development. Planning Officers confirmed that the borough council was not responsible for the future provision of either an Ambulance Station or Fire Station in the area but understood that there were no plans to relocate the Fire Station out of the town centre.

The UHS consultation closes on 21st September and the Planning Brief should be adopted by the council in November. This document will inform developers who bring planning applications forward for the various parts of the site. It should be a useful tool in deciding what is permitted and what is likely to be refused permission.