This simple guide explains how to get things done in Oxshott and the roles that various parties play.
The two most useful links for on-line problem reporting by residents are below. The SCC link is easy to use and has a separate process for each type of problem. The EBC link is not as easy to use but does provide access to the relevant EBC departments.
- For Surrey County Council (SCC): Surrey reporting
- To easily report specific problems, QR codes are available here
- If you prefer to phone: 0345 600 9009 or 0300 200 1003 (also for emergencies at out of office times)
- For Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC): Elmbridge reporting
- If you prefer to phone: 01372 474474.
Further details on which council does what and how councillors and FEDORA can help are set out below.
What are SCC and EBC responsible for?
Which council is responsible for what is not always clear but as a guide:
Coordination between SCC and EBC has historically been a problem, particularly in relation to planning matters, but FEDORA and the councillors are working to improve this.
How can local councillors and FEDORA help?
The sites referenced above are primarily designed for reporting matters that require repair or maintenance to be carried out or inadequate provision of services that the councils are responsible for. They are designed for use by residents and almost all matters are best reported using these facilities in the first instance.
Local councillors and FEDORA can assist where:
- Residents are not happy with a council’s response, for example regarding response times or inadequate attention to a problem. Problems of this nature are best reported to the appropriate local councillor but FEDORA can also assist.
- The problem to be addressed requires investment (as opposed to simply repair) or a change in the way services are provided. Both local councillors and FEDORA may be able to assist but as a guide, issues affecting a part of the village only (for example a single property or road) are best referred first to the appropriate local councillor; issues impacting the wider village (for example traffic on the A244 or a major development) are best referred first to FEDORA.
Local councillors do though work closely together and we meet with them regularly to ensure collaborative working. The councillors will keep FEDORA informed of relevant SCC and EBC developments and FEDORA’s role is to:
- Champion initiatives which have a wide impact on the village and have widespread support. The main examples are planning policy and major developments, traffic on key roads (A244), major flooding problems and the appearance of the central parts of the village
- Provide advice and support to local residents’ groups to deal with localised problems.
- Promote and support volunteer networks which work with the authorities to improve life in Oxshott. The three that currently exist are the Community Highways Volunteer Group (working with SCC); the litter picking group (working with EBC); and the Community Speed Watch scheme (working with Surrey Police).
- Liaise with key stakeholders on behalf of Oxshott residents, in particular officers at EBC and SCC, the relevant councillors and residents’ groups from other areas.
- Keep supporters informed through the website, email, the FEDORA magazine, Instagram and Twitter.
How do I contact councillors and FEDORA?
The relevant councillors are:
|EBC & SCC
FEDORA can be contacted at:
It has been a little while since the last planning update and it might be useful for residents to be aware of several matters affecting Oxshott. Residents should be aware that there are deadlines for participation noted below.
Elmbridge BC (EBC) has been working on a new Local Plan for over five years. This has involved public consultations, collection of an evidence base and consideration of the optimum way of meeting the requirements of central Government. A draft plan was expected to be released for consideration by Councillors in late January. Due to procedural issues, the release date has now been delayed until early March. This delay is not thought to have any sinister implications and there is some confidence that there will only be a mixed impact on Oxshott. While Green Belt will hopefully continue to be protected, there will though be an inevitable push to increase densification. This will result in further applications to build blocks of flats and to obtain a greater number of smaller houses on existing sole use plots.
Once the draft Local plan has been released, a further Planning update will be sent to residents.
Design Code Consultation
EBC is launching a consultation on local design and character. The purpose is to help EBC and residents decide what good design looks like in an area based on local aspirations for the way in which an area should develop. Once created, a design code will be considered when determining planning applications.
This is a hugely important process because a failure by residents to provide their views on how Oxshott should develop will significantly weaken the ability to resist future planning applications that are detrimental to local character. All residents are therefore strongly encouraged to participate in this consultation.
The first stage is to register to participate in the consultation by accessing https://consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/system/home. Please note that the deadline for registration is Friday 11 February 2022. Subsequently, a note will be sent by FEDORA to residents identifying the main points that need to be addressed as part of the consultation.
There are three contentious planning applications that are currently open for comment. All three applications represent resubmissions of applications that were rejected by the local area planning committee in 2021. All involve important points of principle, and their outcome will probably have a decisive effect on local character. The three applications, their planning reference and their deadlines for comment are:
- Beech Close (2021/4161) – 4 February
An application for the construction of a two-storey block of five flats on the vacant part of a sub-divided plot. Beech Close consists of single dwellings on large plots with reasonable levels of amenity space. The application presents problems by virtue of its comparatively cramped and contrived design and its lack of amenity space. It is inconsistent with local character and will create on-road parking issues.
- Steel’s Lane (2021/3332) – 4 February
An application for a very small one-bedroom house created at the back of a sub-divided garden with important potential violations of privacy. This follows a build programme conducted seemingly in advance of the grant of planning permission.
- 1 Holtwood Road (2021/4160) – 15 February
An application for the construction of four pairs of semi-detached houses on a plot currently occupied by a single house. The development is clearly not consistent with existing local character as all houses in the local area consist of large houses on single plots. This application was previously rejected because of excessive bulk and heights in comparison to neighbouring properties. Changes made in this revised application are relatively minor and most of the application remains unchanged.
Comments on any of these applications can be submitted even after the deadline. Participation is encouraged because, without the voice of the community being heard, there is considerable potential for planning decisions to be taken that have long-term adverse implications for the whole of Oxshott.
With local elections coming up in May, a key issue will be the policy of candidates to the Local Plan that Elmbridge needs to prepare. This plan has been under preparation for several years but has been continually delayed by an inability to agree how to develop policies to meet a very high housing target from central government. The current target would require increased density across Oxshott and inevitably in due course, loss of Green Belt. Oxshott, as we know it, would change profoundly and, in due course, become another anonymous outer London borough.
What the Council has not done is to challenge the basis by which this target has been calculated. The methodology applies across the country but fails to take account of local circumstances in Elmbridge that make it inappropriate. Action is needed now to develop arguments that support the contention that exceptional circumstances apply to reject the government target. The target for Elmbridge should then be calculated on the basis of assumptions that recognise specific local circumstances.
AERC (an alliance of Elmbridge Residents and Civic Groups) has thrown down the challenge to election candidates and local political parties. The paper which you can download here sets out compelling reasons why Councillors need to act now to avoid the greatest threat to Elmbridge since its creation almost 50 years ago.
Please read this paper carefully and consider how candidates in the local election intend to deal with this issue.
Director - Planning
12th March, 2021
FEDORA - The Voice for Oxshott CIC
is a registered non-profit company run by a group of individuals who collectively are interested in maintaining and improving the quality of life in our village and its surroundings.
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- FEDORA's Submission to Elmbridge Regarding their Design Code
- A3/M25 Project - update January 2023
- Roads Update August 2022
- Fedora's Submission to Elmbridge Regarding their Draft Local Plan
- Roads Update April 2022
- Elmbridge Local Plan
- Planning Update - February 2022
- Housing Target - A Threat to Elmbridge
- Oak Processionary Moth
- Update on A244 Actions