Plans to revamp boarded-up eyesore in Hollymoor Lane criticised by worried residents
Plans to revamp a boarded-up eyesore could create a "future slum" worried residents have warned.
Epsom and Ewell Council has found £700,000 towards the scheme to create a minimum of 26 units of social and affordable housing, a shop, a doctor's surgery and a pharmacy on the site in Hollymoor Lane, on the Longmead Estate, Ewell.
The project has already gone out to tender and residents will be consulted once a successful bidder is chosen.
The site is currently vacant apart from one convenience store, with flats above the shop boarded-up.
It was originally earmarked for development in 2010, but this was deferred after a housing association withdrew from the project.
The site used to include the Sefton Arms pub, which was demolished following a campaign led by Councillor Sheila Carlson.
Coun Carlson said: "This project has been dragging on for over a decade now and after so many broken promises I'm delighted we're moving towards more family housing, a new shop and a doctor's surgery which will serve local people."
But residents, who recognise the need for a revamp, have voiced their concerns over the scale of project.
Angela Pettifer, of Ormonde Avenue, said: "Looking at the council’s initial ideas, the green beside the current building is to become a massive three-storey building.
"Crossing the road there is already terrible because of the blind corner - this will make it worse.
"A building of that size will be very imposing and I don't think this is about improving our community - an extra 100 people will be coming into an already crowded residential area.
"This could be a future slum."
Jill Macdonald said: "There is a lot of passing traffic and this is bound to create a lot of parking and traffic problems on the relatively small lane."
Although Catherine Darcy added: "Getting a large supermarket chain involved could inject some cash into the project and get things going."
Court ward councillor Dan Stevens said the main opposition to the project has been its "stop-start" nature.
He said: "More people than ever are in temporary accommodation in the borough and we have a duty to find them housing.
"There is not going to be a huge influx of people into the borough.
"These are people who are already here and have been on waiting lists for housing for years.
"Generally residents seem to want the shop to stay and they want a doctor’s surgery.
"The important question is how much of the housing will be affordable and how much will be socially rentable accommodation on a shared ownership model."