The ‘treasured jewel in Epsom’s crown’ is performing well, according to an independent study assessing green belt land in the borough.

Only one area – the land east of Chantilly Way, Epsom – scored badly against the majority of green belt criteria, in a council-commissioned report, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s Licensing and Planning Policy Committee heard last night.

Four parcels of land – land to the south of Worple Road and east of Chalk Lane, land to the east of Beverley Close, Ewell, land at The Ridge, and land at Nonsuch Park on the Ewell-Cheam border – were also identified as performing well against green belt criteria, despite not being designated green belt land.

From September: Campaign to Protect Rural England fear rising need for housing will "damage quality of life" in Epsom and Ewell

Natalie Durney-Knight, senior planner at Atkins, which carried out the study, wrote that the study was not assessing the development potential of land and did not make recommendations for adding to the green belt.

She concluded: “The Green Belt Study has demonstrated that the area of designated Metropolitan Green Belt within Epsom and Ewell is, on the whole, highly performing.”

Epsom Guardian:
Epsom Town Hall

The study assessed 53 parcels of Epsom and Ewell’s green belt land – which covers 42 per cent of the borough – against the five purposes of green belt land.

They are:

  • To check the unrestrictewd sprawl of large built-up areas;
  • To prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another;
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment;
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

Epsom Guardian:

Clive Smitheram (pictured above) described the green belt as “the treasured jewel in Epsom’s crown” and worth defending.

He said: “It separates us from massive conglomeration of homes and we must maintain our defence of that.

“I think it’s excellent that we have identified possibly four new sites to come part of the green belt.

“We know the immense pressure on councils to build on the greenbelt and we will be under increasing pressure to build on it.

“I think we should endeavour as much as possible to protect the land within our wonderful borough.”

From last week: Concerned residents applaud as plans for gate on greenbelt land

Karol Jakubczyk, the council’s planning policy manager, told the committee last night (Thursday, April 20): “We will be looking at the greenbelt and the opportunities – or perhaps lack of opportunities that it presents and prepare policy options based on this assessment.”

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