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Cobham & Downside Residents' Association

Welcome to our website. Below is some news about the CDRA and about local matters. You can contact our CDRA Planning Sub-Committee directly by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For all other topics email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Doors Open at 7.15pm for 7.45pm start

Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive

with talks:

The Local Plan by Elmbridge Councillor James Browne

The Diggers by Local Historian David Taylor

Drinks from 7.15pm with table displays from local groups






Elmbridge Council’s New Housing Consultation 19 Aug – 30 Sep 2019


We suggest you choose ‘Option 4’ when having your say


As you probably know Elmbridge Borough Council is currently in consultation about their Local Plan which includes five possible options for future housing in the borough. It is really important that as many residents as possible complete their Options Consultation Questionnaire because this will profoundly affect our area in the years to come. To do this you will first have to register at www.consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/consult.ti/system/register? and the Options Consultation Questionnaire itself is at www.consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/consult.ti/system/listConsultations?type=O

The Cobham Greenbelt Group, which includes a representative of the CDRA as well as other local groups, has been spent a lot of time reviewing the Local Plan and you will find more information and excellent guidance on how to complete the Options Consultation Questionnaire on their website at www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.uk.  However the CDRA has some suggestions on how to answer question 6 of the questionnaire which asks Are you aware of any planning issues that need to be addressed in our detailed day-to-day plannng policies?

If you have any queries please email them via www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.uk/contact or, for queries about our suggested responses to question 6, please contact CDRA Planning by clicking This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In terms of question 4a, the CDRA is in agreement with the Cobham Green Belt Group that option 4 is the best alternative for our area


CDRA specific advice when answering Point 6

Why Comment on Changes to Detailed Planning Policies?

They will govern decisions on individual planning applications in your neighbourhood for the next 15 years within the overarching new Local Plan. The earlier views are expressed in the new Local Plan process the more likely they are to be effective.

We need to be very careful in our responses to the questionnaire as current policies are leading to development with no differentiation for character, amenity, traffic or parking requirements of our residential areas. Many residents will have seen examples in the last 18 months.

Why is Change Needed?

For the last two years EBC’s existing Local Plan has been officially deemed out of date and therefore ineffective in controlling development. Central Government Planning Policy now guides interpretation of existing local policies with a presumption in favour of developers and with limited local context.

The green belt should be saved but large numbers of residents will also be affected by the resulting increases in density in our communities. The only way to control this with acceptable impact is to insist on changes to EBC’s detailed planning policies.

Which Policies Need to Change?

Until the new preferred strategic option is chosen for the new Local Plan, based on responses to this questionnaire, it is not possible to identify all of them. However some policy changes can be identified now. EBC recognise this, hence inclusion of point 6 in the questionnaire.

Answering Question 6

Each response is limited to 400 characters. Comment has to be hugely simplified and extremely selective.

Please tick YES to point 6a, then you have the question: ‘If yes, please specify which planning issues’ and 10 tick boxes, followed by a 400 character comments box.

To make the point that change is needed it is valid to tick all of the 10 boxes then be selective in the comments box. No need to cover each of the 10 in the comments just the more frustrating ones such as design, character, amenity, car parking and access.

We have nine suggested comments, covering different planning issues to choose from to insert into the question 6 comments box.  These options are below and are in no particular order. Please choose the issue you are most concerned about or affects you the most and if you can use your own words wherever possible.

Infrastructure policies will follow once a preferred option is identified.

The Nine Sample Responses to Q6

  • Policy references to ‘maximising’ use of land should be removed and ‘optimise’ inserted, with a clear definition, to comply with national policy. Optimisation is important to achieve proportionate control of density, character, car parking, and access for new development. A density that increases the current character area average should be both optimal and proportionate with the prime policy role of protecting existing character and amenity.

  • Individual density limits should apply across character areas not blanket settlement or Borough wide. Windfall sites less than 0.3Ha in residential areas should be guided by the existing average density of that area to preserve the quality of residential amenity and the ability to absorb all generated parking without street spillage. Character and the areas it applies to be redefined to account for access, amenity and public transport availability.

  • Character areas with logical boundaries should be defined and described by wording directly referenced from revised policies on access, parking, design, density, sustainability, open spaces, public amenity, historic & heritage features.  Blanket standards across the Borough or settlement produce suboptimal development which erodes existing character. Parking, amenity and density standards with numbers relevant to that area are essential.

  • Affordable housing policy must be clear and enforceable with allocated sites across the Borough in sustainable locations. New housing development must provide %age affordable to meet stated need which private sector won’t deliver, so public sector led delivery policy is needed. Housing mix must address need and respect local character which must be preserved by parking, design, density and amenity standards which allow development to be governed effectively.

  • Optimising use of sites needs unambiguous policies with criteria for parking, access, sustainability, design, massing and density within clear local character description. Affordable housing policy and viability tests must be transparent. Policies should give residents and developers confidence of quality outcomes with no loopholes, preserving existing character, parking, environment, amenity and access standards for long term quality development.

  • Character, density, design policy with parking and access governs site coverage, relationship to neighbouring properties, amenity space and waste arrangements. They should produce developments with optimal and comfortable fit on site regardless of its size. Traffic disputes occur where County level highway policies lack local credibility. EBC should have policy standards for site access and on street parking. Cobham’s effective bus capacity is over estimated.

  • Parking policy is driven by the desire to reduce car use. This works in town centres but not in our suburban areas where car usage is increasing. Electric or fuel cell vehicles will replace petrol power one for one with dramatic environment benefits. Token additions like Chatterbus and cycle parks will not persuade a shift from cars in an area where remote supermarkets, schools and jobs generate trips. Parking ratios should be a fixed number per dwelling not a maximum.

  • Surrey local authorities set number of car spaces per type of property with on street parking standards. All parties know where they stand, reducing friction with and between residents. EBC uses parking policy to reduce car use which is ineffective and demand will continue to rise with population as a result of the new plan with electric or fuel cell power an added attraction. Higher densities in town centres and reduced densities elsewhere would also reduce cars.

  • Parking, amenity, environmental and design standards should be set which control densities and preserve the character of residential areas and enhance the success of our commercial ones. 

Click here for a PDF copy of the above article.that you can download.


Other News

A public meeting about the Local Plan Consultation was arranged by Cobham Green Belt Group on 19th September. The venue, St Andrew's Church, was packed with residents wanting information and advice about the consultation. Members of Coham Green Belt Group and Surrey and Elmbridge Councillors were in attendance to explain and answer questions. The Chairman of the Group, Adrian Wise, gave a presentation on the proposals and Councillor James Browne provided further details. There was a lively Q&A session chaired by Sir Gerry Acher.

Earlier this year we created a Facebook page to be able update you on issues much more quickly. Thanks to Sumi Sarma, who lead us on this, for all the work she put in to set it up and to gain a following and thanks to both her and Rosemary Bailey for looking after the content. We were very pleased with its success but have learned from it that we need more help to be able to run it permanently. So for now we have taken it down while we seek extra people to help us run it. Please get in touch if you might be interested.

If you would like to see a full list of the topics Surrey County Council is currently consulting on, those it has completed and the outcomes then go to www.surreysays.co.uk 

Click to view our recent newletters

CDRA Spring 2019 Newsletter

CDRA Autumn 2018 Newsletter

CDRA Spring 2018 Newsletter 


Committee News

The CDRA's lovely flower arrangement displayed with those from other community organisations for the Flower Festival at St Andrew's Church on Heritage Day. The arrangement was created by CDRA Committee Member Jill Newman.

CDRA Flower arrangement at St Andrews Flower Festival

Sadly we have to report that Des Magill passed away in July. Des was a very long-standing CDRA Committee member having joined the Committee in 2005 and serving right through until our AGM this year. Our thoughts are with his family.

Our Spring 2019 AGM and Residents' Meeting took place on 25th May. CDRA Chair Sue Kilpatrick and Hon. Secretary Sandy Brook both retired from the Committee as did two other long-serving Committee members, Gerald Stanford and Des Magill. All were thanked for their contributions and Sue Kilpatrick provided a splendid buffet and wine for a 'party' after the meeting. The newly elected Officers are Ian Clifford as Acting Chair, Wendy Whitaker as Acting Hon. Treasurer and Rosmary Bailery as Acting Hon. Secretary. All other current Committee members were re-elected including the new Committee members coopted in the Autumn. Sue Kilpatrick was appointed as Hon.President of the CDRA.

Email us if you think you'd like to find out more about supporting Cobam and Downside by getting involved as an active committee member. Find out more by clicking  CDRA Recruitment Flyer

 Sue receiving Lonserving Volunteer Award

Mrs Sue Kilpatrick OBE, at the Elmbridge Borough Council Volunteer Awards ceremony before  her retirement as CDRA Chair. The presentations are held every two years and community organisations nominate people for a Long Service Award for their voluntary work. The CDRA Committee nominated Sue to show our appreciation of her long-term voluntary work for the local community and especially her contribution to the work of the CDRA. This was not competitive. There’s no ‘winner’ or prize. Those who were nominated were all recognised at the Awards Ceremony.