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Signatures collected in battle against Nescot development in Ewell
Worried residents are leafleting and collecting signatures in a fight against plans for a huge development on a college site used to care for farm animals.
Within the next few weeks Nescot college will submit planning applications to build 94 homes and retirement village, with 120 units, on a 14acre site in Reigate Road, Ewell.
Residents in a neighbouring street, St Norman’s Way, have rallied together to collect 160 signatures on a petition and leaflet hundreds of homes.
Last night Nescot received planning permission to transform its campus, but still needs approval for the huge housing development in order to fund the redevelopment.
After the decision Kenny Miller, from St Norman’s Way, said: "It is what it is and there is not a lot we can do about it.
"We have to give our efforts to the second stage and fight as hard as we can from every possible front."
The residents' petition says the development would have an adverse impact on highway and pedestrian safety, increase congestion and result in pollution.
It highlighted further strains on schools, hospitals and doctors as well as the planned buildings detracting from the "rural village feel" in Ewell.
David Williams, of St Normans Way, said: "It is beyond argument that to build a large housing development on top of the busiest road in Surrey which, in road traffic terms, is itself one of the busiest counties in the UK is an act of recklessness.
He added: "It cannot be right that the local residents and those who use the Ewell Bypass on a regular basis should suffer the consequences of appalling congestion and associated pollution because Nescot has been unable to gain sufficient funding in recent years."
The proposed development for the fields in Ewell
When asked to respond to residents' concerns, Nescot principal Sunaina Mann promised: "We will work with the highways agency to ensure that we have the minimum affect on them in terms of what we are trying to do.
"We are there for the community, it is the community that uses the college. We want to ensure we have got a happy community on both sides, on the college side and in the local community."
A Nescot spokeswoman said: "As the nearest residents they are of course concerned, however we have listened to them and done our best to alleviate any impact.
"The animal husbandry site forms part of Epsom and Ewell Council's long term housing plans and rather than simply selling off the land to the highest bidder the college has taken the responsible route of maintaining control over the use of the site, whilst also looking to raise that funds needed to ensure its future into the 21st Century."
Visit the petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/nescot-animal-husbandry-site-development.
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