Six 'principles' were adopted for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC)'s Local Plan at a committee meeting last night (November 14).

At a meeting of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee on Thursday evening, councillors agreed to six 'principles' that will inform EEBC's Local Plan for development in the borough.

A spokesperson for EEBC described how the six points of focus would influence the 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," EEBC said.

Among the principles were areas where development of new homes will be prioritised — a controversial subject for some residents in the borough, many of whom have vocally opposed recent planning permission applications in the area on various grounds.

Among the locations that would be prioritised if the principles are followed will be the "urban edge of the Green Belt".

Meanwhile, an "intensification of the urban area" is also put forward under Principle 2.

In full, the six principles agreed to on Thursday are as follows (reproduced from EEBC statement):

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.