Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling has thrown his weight behind the campaign to save the Wells Centre being spearheaded by Conservative Councillor Bernie Muir. He is urging local residents to make their views known to the Borough Council before the deadline on 2nd September 2019. He has written to the Residents’ Association Council urging it to think again about the plan to convert the Centre into a block of flats.
Mr Grayling said: “The Wells is somewhat isolated from the rest of the Borough given its location, and I believe it should have a proper community hall in the way that, for example, Langley Vale does. There are real housing pressures locally, but if there are to be more houses locally there will be a need for more and not fewer community facilities”
Cllr Bernie Muir said: “From the inception of this development the RA controlled Council have had 100% control of it. It was their decision to close The Wells Centre. They have chosen the architect, they have chosen the materials, the location and the design. In addition to all of this, it is their lack of design policies which permit the construction of this and other inappropriate developments, like the 13-storey proposed site in West Hill.
In a time where the population of Epsom is growing and we should be focusing more on building vibrant communities, why have the Residents’ Association decided to trade a community asset which could provide services for thousands for just 23 flats? It simply doesn’t make sense.
The Residents’ Association failed to manage the Centre, failed to investigate ways to make it profitable and failed to see how it could provide more services and more revenue through strategic partnerships E.G. with commercial entities, the NHS or the Police etc.
I sincerely hope that the Borough Council will reverse this decision and reconsider its policies around community provision and planning. Failure to do so, I fear, will result in Epsom & Ewell simply becoming no more than a heartless urban sprawl.”
To view the current submitted plans or to voice your concerns or support for the planned work CLICK HERE and to leave a comment hit the Make A Comment button.
The Wells consultation ends on 2nd September. A petition has been set up for more information and to sign the petition CLICK HERE