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Epsom & Ewell housing targets

October 20, 2017 9:00 PM

Let's make a plan1. Epsom & Ewell local plan consultation

Due to continual changes in government guidance, Epsom & Ewell's local plan approved in 2007 needs to be updated by 2018.

The current housing target is 181 homes, 63 affordable and 118 market. An average of 260 have been built in the last 10 years, with an average of 82 affordable over the last 8 years.

Studies of housing need show the borough requires 418 new homes per year, 274 of which should be "affordable" (typically 2 bedroom rented social housing) and 144 market housing, a total of 7106 by 2032.

However studies of sites available for house building show there is only space for 3000 homes. Also the additional 20,000 people will require additional schools, shops, doctors' surgeries and workplaces and the road system will require significant investment.

Part of the problem is that housing need is calculated without reference to the availability of land.

The council is asking residents to comment by 6th November on 4 options identified by their planners:

  • Option 1 - Urban Intensification: Blocks of flats at least 6 storeys high, reduce room sizes, garden space and parking provision, convert industrial estates and office blocks to housing, develop back garden sites, build on parks, playing fields, allotments, playgrounds etc and replace by new ones on farm land within the green belt.
  • Option 2 - Release some Green Belt land for new homes.
  • Option 3 - Release all Green Belt not protected by environmental designations: Create space for new housing beyond the next plan period and to help solve London's unmet housing needs.
  • Option 4 - Finding the balance: A combination of options 1 and 2.

To respond to this consultation click here.

2. Government consultation on changes to the planning system

At the same time, the government are consulting on a new method for calculating housing need and setting housing targets. This would be based on factors like numbers of houses already built in recent years and current local house prices. If adopted, this would further increase Epsom & Ewell's housing target to at least 579 a year.

The council's Licensing & Planning Policy Committee is holding a special meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 26th October to decide how to respond to this.