Elmbridge New Local Plan Exhibition & Consultation

There are four further dates for the public exhibition outlining Elmbridge’s proposals for providing more affordable and social housing.  This is in response to the government’s call for local authorities to produce proposals for meeting housing needs in their areas.

Exhibition Dates
Thursday 18 January, 7-9 pm, at Hinchley Wood School, Claygate Lane, Ditton
Monday 23 January, 7-9 pm, at The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton
Thursday 26 January, 7-9 pm at Civic Centre, Esher
Saturday 4 February, 10 am – 2 pm at Civic Centre, Esher

Key documents will be available in hard copy and councillors and staff and will be there to talk with you about the proposals.  Key features for residents to consider are around what happens to existing Green Belt boundaries.

The public consultation on these proposals closes on 10th February.  Post  your views here…

With regard to developing in the Green Belt, he Council’s three options are:

New Weybridge Conservation area

templemereElmbridge is proposing to designate a new conservation area in Weybridge. In recognition of the unique 1960s built Templemere Estate, the borough has produced a Character Area Appraisal and Management Plan consultation document and is keen to hear the views of local residents and organisations.

A conservation area is defined as, “an area of special interest; the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”. The character appraisal document provides written definition, analysis and appraisal of what makes an individual area special and identifies actions for protection and improvement. The final document will be used by planners and the local community as a basis for understanding the area, informing decision making, monitoring and management.

There are 25 conservation areas designated in Elmbridge and these include historic town centres at Esher and Weybridge, village greens at Giggs Hill in Thames Ditton and The Tilt in Cobham, a 1920s philanthropic retirement village at Whiteley Village, motor racing circuit at Brooklands and 17th century river navigation channels along the River Wey. Lakeside Drive in Esher was the first example of modern 20th century architecture which was awarded conservation area status by the borough in 2014.

Community involvement is an essential part of any appraisal and the consultation document has been produced as part of a collaborative process involving local residents, amenity and conservation societies and planning officers and was co-coordinated by heritage consultants. There is now a six-week period of public consultation, which will run from 5 December. The appraisal document is available to view on the borough’s website and printed copies can also be viewed in the reception area of the Civic Centre on Esher High Street.

British Government orders Green Belt Review

Green Belt CountrysideAs many of you will know, the British Government has told the English boroughs to review their Green Belts with a view to opening land for development.  If a borough refuses to do so then the British government has said it will take direct control.

This has left the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration little option but to revise our own local plan.  We wish to built a broad local approach and the Conservative opposition has been very much involved in every stage of the development.

Before we can agree a new local plan we have to pass though a number of stages and we need you to help in that process so we have published a strategic options consultation.   The document asks many questions and raises a number of issues.

We want to consult as widely as possible and will use every available means to engage with the public.  Part of this process is to have a number of consultations at various stages in the drafting of the plan.  The first drop in sessions will be at:

7pm – 9pm, Monday, 23 January at the Playhouse, Walton
7pm – 9pm, Thursday, 26 January at the Civic Centre, Esher
10am – 2pm, Saturday, 4 February at the Civic Centre, Esher

The events will consist of exhibition boards where the headlines of the consultation document will be displayed.  The evidence base documents supporting the consultation will also be available to review and representatives from Elmbridge’s planning policy team will be on-hand to answer any of your questions.

Your can attend any of the events.  The exhibition will be borough-wide, that is not specific to any particular town.

This process is subject to the agreement to the borough’s council  on Wednesday, 7 December

Does your home still suit you?

Older people in Elmbridge can get free advice and support from the housing options officer. They can help people adapt their current home, assist with a house move or offer advice on residential care. Help with applying for grants and sourcing contractors can also be provided. To find out more about your housing options go along to the drop-in sessions:

  • Weybridge Centre for the Community
  • Monday 14 November, 10am-12 noon.

For further information call: 01372 474645 or email: careandrepair@elmbridge.gov.uk

Insulate your Home

ecowise_houseAction Surrey has published a series of short films on YouTube and Vimeo showing the benefits of solid wall insulation from the point of view of four Surrey residents. In each film the residents explain how receiving a solid wall insulation grant through Action Surrey made a huge difference to their property’s warmth and energy bills. There is one master film showing all four stories with the four shorter films portraying different housing scenarios:

  • James & Carolina were very acquainted with the problems of excess cold and damp from uninsulated walls.
  • Gillian & Richard are a retired couple who have recently moved into their property.
  • Russell & Christine, landlords of three student let properties in Guildford, discuss how they and their tenants have benefited from insulation.
  • Mark was the first park home owner in Surrey to have his property insulated through Action Surrey’s funding, and he discusses his experience and benefits felt.

The films are available here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXUhjfO5S9tjASRWKpihmNg

https://vimeo.com/163235917

Housing

monopoly_housesThe new Elmbridge administration is to energetically pursue the rebalancing of housing in the borough.  Elmbridge’s population is growing rapidly by national standards and the number of household is increasing even faster.

The cost of housing in Elmbridge compared to the average salary is the highest in the South-East of England (after Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster).  It is nigh impossible for young people who have lived in Elmbridge all their lives to buy a new home here and even renting is out of reach for many. In order to do so most have to leave the borough.   Imagine if it were expected that English people had to move to Belgium, Wales, Scotland or France to start a family.

The administration is studying various mechanisms that will allow our housing stock to be increased without the national government taking away Elmbridge’s investments in housing in the future (as it has done in the past).

Elmbridge requires more of each size of house except in the category of houses of five bedrooms or more.

What would you like Elmbridge to do regards to housing?

 

Elmbridge Prospects & Priorities event

Elmbridge logoElmbridge is putting on a prospects & priorities event on Thursday 14 January from 6pm at the civic centre, High street, Esher, KT10 9SD.

There will be an informal drop in session from 6-7pm offering residents the chance to talk about local issues followed by a presentation at 7pm. This will be presented by the leader and chief executive and will inform you of the borough’s plans for 2016/17 with a question and answer session to follow.

Because of limited seating capacity please register for the presentation part of the evening. Alternatively, you can contact Elmbridge by email at corporatepolicy@elmbridge.gov.uk or call 01372 474376

Winter Shelter to Help Homeless People

HomelessTransform Housing & Support will be operating a winter shelter for homeless people from Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede from 5 January to 31 March. The shelter will run in a Surrey  owned building in Staines and will accommodate up to ten clients a night, offering dinner and breakfast and a safe place to stay. The project follows on from the tri-borough shelter hosted by Whiteley Village last winter. Elmbridge has committed a contribution to the running costs of the project, along with the two other boroughs, whilst a range of locally-based organisations have pledged support of various kinds to help get the project up and running . Visit the transform housing website for more details.