Residents Enraged By Surrey Planners Regarding Epsom Chalk Pit

****UPDATE 28th Jan 2022****

SCC CONSIDERATION EPSOM CHALK PIT PLANNING APPLICATION DRAMATICALLY DEFERRED – FOR SIXTH TIME

No official reason was given why the Chalk Pit application was not presented to the Committee, but the Committee Chairman, Tim Hall, confirmed that the Council had received two legal opinions from residents’ advisors, together with a huge number of emails to Committee members with representations on the planning papers (issued a few days before)

There have also been other significant interventions to the Leader of The Council and the Planning Committee Chairman from Epsom MP, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP and SCC councillors, together with a joint letter of objection from all local councillors in wards affected. The EEBC, as the local authority , has also submitted a detailed objection to the proposals. On 26th Jan, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP raised the whole issue in the House of Commons.

Message From Chris Grayling MP:

“The planning meeting on Wednesday did not hear the application as Surrey does now seem to realise that there are a number of serious issues which the officers were not addressing. On Monday I lodged a formal complaint about the lack of detailed information about the adverse effects of the current usage in the papers that were due to be considered by the Committee.

The County has now agreed to review the situation again, and hopefully will develop a better understanding of what a serious situation this is. I also spoke on the issue in the Commons yesterday and the response from the Minister may well prove very useful. He was very clear that retrospective planning applications should only be used in cases where an applicant has made a genuine mistake.”

********************

Green belt and hundreds of residents ‘sacrificed’ by Surrey Planners for Epsom waste recycling facility Residents enraged by planners recommendation which allows harm to be caused to Green Belt and destroy residential amenity

Hundreds of residents living in the Epsom College area are enraged with Surrey County Council’s initial planning recommendation to grant permission for a huge, 2,000sqm waste recycling

industrial building on Green Belt land at the Chalk Pit. They vow to fight it at Wednesday’s Planning Committee meeting in Reigate on 26th Jan 2022

The Council’s papers, six times delayed, admit the proposal, by NJB Recycling Ltd, will “cause harm” to the openness of the Green Belt, but have overruled this, and many other planning policies, citing “very special circumstances” invoked by an overriding need for local recycling facilities.

Yet the Council also admits in the planning papers any gain will be “small”. Despite having six designated strategic waste material recycling sites in the county under the Surrey Local Waste Plan, these have been ignored as alternatives as they have to consider any planning application outside these sites “on their merit”

Despite being one of the most contentious planning applications seen in the County, planning officers are set to overrule over 700 formal objections and a petition signed by 3,320 people. Epsom & Ewell Borough Council ; Epsom MP, Chris Grayling, and all local councillors are united in support for residents, having submitted objections.

The operator took matters into his own hands in summer 2020 and started site construction without any planning permission. This changed its use from waste transfer to waste recycling, involving huge revolving metal “trommels” and sorting machines. This has caused intrusive noise and dust misery to many hundreds of residents for over 18 months now, intensifying a tiny 1.8 hectare site from which residents have counted as many nearly 400  HGV movements daily.

However, the Surry County Council’s reliance on unsubstantiated assurances from the site operations regulator , the Environment Agency,  that noise “mitigations” pass permit conditions, may now mean that the planners’ recommendations themselves are compromised. This is because of a devastating Internal Review carried out by the EA itself, which finds evidence of bias towards the operator, and a failure to “take adequate action to control the impacts from the activities it regulates on the lives of people living nearby”.

Both the EA and SCC failed to take proper account of an expert noise assessment  (the Tofts Report) by the EA itself in July, 2021, which concluded that the NJB site was creating a “serious CICS2” noise incident, with average noise 18 dB over background noise. Operator mitigations included some old mattresses and some acoustic foam sheets under corrugated iron, which were surprisingly approved by the EA with a 30 min subjective check, rather than a full noise data test. Residents’ health, wellbeing and mental health concerns are at stake.

“ The planning and regulatory authorities ought to be ashamed of themselves,and could be in as big a mess as the Chalk Pit is itself ” says Nigel Collin, an affected resident and local Councillor, who has been working across party with all the Councillors to avert the application. “ Planning policies and expert noise reports appear to have been jettisoned to allow industrial recycling machinery to devastate an undesignated and obviously unsuitable residential environment. The Council says a Green Belt-busting building can be controlled with conditions, but everyone knows their monitoring and enforcement is not fit for purpose. We feel residents and the Green Belt is being sacrificed on the altar of local recycling wokery”

Any final decision by the SCC Planning Committee on Wednesday has to be referred to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Article and images supplied by Epsom & Ewell RA

5 thoughts on “Residents Enraged By Surrey Planners Regarding Epsom Chalk Pit”

  1. Please do something to ensure the green belt stays safe and this plan is rejected There are children in schools locally and close by as well as residents who are being affected by the noise and pollution caused by this reckless disregard of the environment in this quiet area of epsom

  2. The clue is in the general description of the area – Residential and green belt. It does not say industrial. The more than substantial increase of HGV vehicles turning into the site has increased the possibility of accidents and certainly increased the inconvenience. Those residents that life close to the site must also notice the worsening environmental condition.

  3. Shame Chris Grayling wasn’t interested in helping stop the massive development on the school field . Scottsfarm Rd now has to be the most dangerous rd with mega overflow of speeding cars.
    Also , I drive past the Chalk Pit daily and there are a few skip companies within it, how are they so sure it’s NJB causing all this. I know there’s one of the lorries in the picture but it doesn’t mean it’s always them.

    1. Quite simple Xxx… there was no problem until NJB arrived and upscaled the site without planning permission summer 2020! Planning rules to protect residents & greenbelt don’t exist in his world! NJB then conveniently sub let to their mates Skip It who were kicked out of Wimbledon for causing exactly the same issues that residents in Epsom are complaining about. Read below. Deja vu!! https://haydonsroadnorthcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/06/08/skip-it-ordered-to-stop-it/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.