At Thursday night’s Licensing and Planning Policy Committee, councillors agreed six key principles, which will form the backbone of the council’s new Local Plan.
All local authorities are expected to have up-to-date Local Plans in place to guide development within their area, to plan for future infrastructure, homes, jobs, schools and green places.
To ensure this council’s Local Plan development process aligns with a local context, councillors last night agreed six principles to shape the new Local Plan.
The six 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.
The proposed approach recognises the rich character of the borough and its high quality green spaces, and seeks to focus development in existing urban areas particularly around the key town and village centres and stations. To help with this, the council 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 Principles Are:
Principle 1 – Character of the Borough
Planning policies should support the “desirability of maintaining an area’s prevailing character and setting” (NPPF para 122(d). In addition developments should ‘function well and add to the overall quality of the area ….. [be] visually attractive … sympathetic to local character, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting … [and] create places ..with a high standard of amenity for existing and future users’ (NPPF para 127).
Principle 2 – The Focus for Development
As outlined in the approved draft Masterplan, we will focus housing development in the following locations:
- Epsom Town Centre
- Other centres and stations
- Principal movement corridors
- Strategic employment sites
- Intensification of the urban area
- Urban edge of green belt
Principle 3 – Design
Design Policies will require developers to deliver design quality with an emphasis on green and family friendly, and which ensures that each development is ‘of Epsom and Ewell’ reflecting the local character and setting.
Principle 4 – Heights and Density
Polices will also address the density and height of developments and place a height restriction [storeys] which reflects each localities character and setting based on the NPPF.
Principle 5 – Climate Change
The Local Plan polices will reflect the Council’s commitments in the Council’s Environmental Action Plan (Climate Change Action Plan).
Principle 6 – Infrastructure
The Local Plan polices will address the issues of necessary infrastructure to ensure that new developments are sustainable.