LATEST NEWS Sandown appeals. What to do?

The Jockey Club has appealed against Elmbridge Council’s rejection of their proposals to develop luxury apartments around Sandown Park. We must fight this appeal.

The ERA’s Linda Stotesbury asks you to help:

“I apologise for being the bearer of bad news during in these difficult times, but the Jockey Club has submitted an appeal for their scheme at Sandown Park.  

The decision as to whether to allow the development will now be made  by a Planning Inspector at an Inquiry.

Having successfully campaigned to get this application refused by Elmbridge Council in October, we remain committed to the fight.

There are 2 things you can do:

  1. Submit further objections to the Planning Inspector – the deadline for this is 3rd June.  Please resubmit your original objection or send a new one to the Planning Inspector using the link below.  While the inspector will be given copies of previous objections, sending them again will demonstrate the depth of hostility towards this scheme within our local community.  Case Ref No.  3249790
  2. Write to Dominic Raab – the Jockey Club may well put political pressure on the government – we must do the same.  This is no longer a matter for the Local Authority – it is appropriate for Mr Raab to get involved and listen to the needs of his constituents.  Never before have local green spaces mattered so much.

As a reminder, the main planning objections are:

  • Inappropriate development in the Green Belt, which is by definition harmful.
  • Arguing that money is needed to improve the stadium does not demonstrate sufficient ‘Very Special Circumstances’ to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt
  • It has not been demonstrated that the transport impact of the development can be sufficiently mitigated.
  • The development is not in scale or in keeping with the surrounding area.
  • A scheme of this size should not be an outline application – there is insufficient detail regarding design and access arrangements.
  • Negative impact on the Conservation Area.
  • A lack of affordable housing (only 20%) which does not comply with the Local Plan.

The Jockey Club put forward a financial argument as their Very Special Circumstances.  We successfully argued they have access to a number of sources of funds with which to undertake any required improvements. 

Due to Covid 19 they may now try to plead poverty. But all companies are struggling at the moment – why should the immediate response be to rip-up the greenbelt forever?

The current crisis has bought home to us all the importance of local green spaces.  If you take your daily exercise along one of the roads bordering the racecourse, please – look up at the trees along Lower Green Road or the Portsmouth Road: imagine what it would be like if they were replaced by 4 storey buildings.  Or stand on Littleworth Common by the pond looking at Café Rouge. Picture it with 5 and 6 storey blocks of flats behind it. Does this lift your sprits during lockdown?

PLEASE – submit a further objection before 3rd June and write to our MP –  help to save Esher from a terrible and irreversible mistake.

Thank you.

Save Esher Greenbelt