Council consultation on Epsom's Upper High Street extended
An extension to the consultation period for the Upper High Street’s re-development has been hailed as the "first sign of progress" by Epsom’s campaign coalition.
Epsom and Ewell council announced on Friday - the original end date for the consultation - that the planning brief for the site, which includes options for parking, new housing and a food store, will remain open until September 21.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners who held a rally on July 7, calling for a pause in the consultation process and the setting up of a neighbourhood forum to help develop a new local plan to protect the character of Epsom.
Councillor Michael Arthur, chairman of the planning policy committee, said: "We have had a lot of responses since the consultation went live on June 1 and following increased interest and feedback, we have decided to extend the consultation period.
"We need the views of all local residents, businesses and communities.
"Earlier this year, the council consulted on a series of possible options for the development of Upper High Street, Depot Road and Church Street.
"Your views have helped shape this draft development brief that sets out the preferred approach for the re-development of the site."
Chris Grayling MP, who is leading the campaign coalition, welcomed "this very positive step forward".
He said: "The borough is now realising the strength of feeling locally about what is going on in the town.
"The mistakes made over the station development mean there is now little confidence that the council will get other big decisions right, and so it is really important that local people are given more time to influence key decisions about the future of the town."
Tina Mountain, coordinator of the campaign, agreed: "We have to show that local protest groups working together in the town can change the way things are working. This decision is a welcome first sign of progress, though there is a long way to go."
Lib Dem Councillor Julie Morris also supported the extension as more time is needed to "consider all the options for this important development site".
To take part in the consultation visit http://epsom-ewell-consult.limehouse.co.uk/portal/ or pick up a copy at the town hall or Epsom library in the Ebbisham Centre.
Email comments to LDF@epsom-ewell.gov.uk or send them by post to: Planning Policy, Epsom and Ewell Council, Town hall, The Parade, Epsom, Surrey KT18 5BY.
All comments must be received by 5pm on September 21.
Comments already received will be analysed alongside new responses.