Author Archives: Mike Axton

Funding For Community Projects

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge payable by developers to local councils as part of the planning process. Elmbridge Council is required to allocate a proportion of the CIL funds it collects (currently 15%) on local infrastructure improvements to mitigate the impacts of development locally.

Applications can be submitted up until 16 June 2019, and after the closing date, applicants who have applied will have a further four weeks to provide any outstanding details needed for a valid application. These applicants will be invited to give a presentation about their proposals to a Spending Board made up of local Councillors later in the year. The Strategic Spending Board will be first in early September, and the Local Spending Boards will follow throughout September and into early October.

Anyone interested in applying can find the application forms, guidance notes and information about CIL in the planning section of the Elmbridge Council website.

Jolly Boatman Planning Decision Postponed

We have been advised by Elmbridge Council that the Special Planning Committee meeting on 4 April to consider the proposed Jolly Boatman and Hampton Court Station planning application has been postponed.

This is because the consultation response from the Environment Agency is still outstanding. The developers had to update the modelling used on their original submission and the Environment Agency has confirmed that they need more time to review this information and write their consultation response.

We will update residents as soon as we have information about a revised date.

MRA Chairman’s Letter about Jolly Boatman Application

MRA Chairman Councillor Stuart Selleck has written to Elmbridge Council raising concerns about the current application for the Hampton Court Station & Jolly Boatman site. His letter is is copied below.

Letter from Councillor Stuart Selleck to Elmbridge Council

As Chairman of the Molesey Residents Association, I am writing with our comments and objections to this proposed development.

The comments are not in any particular order of concern as all the points highlight the serious problems that we have with the current application.

1.  Height and Massing of the Buildings.

      In our view, the height of the proposed scheme exceeds that of the old Gladedale design. The developers have admitted that it’s 5ft 10in higher though we think it is even higher as there is some disagreement as to where the residential base line begins as car parking is to be provided in a basement floor and an undercroft .This is clearly visible from Alexpo ‘s drawings which shows the development to be at least one level too high.

The density of the development has increased from the Gladedale scheme as the space for the Care Home has been replaced with 97 residential units.The proposed Hotel on Hampton Court Way has increased the number of bedrooms to 84 and with the residential units, the building has a much larger footprint than the 2008 scheme.

The overall design, especially along Hampton Court Way, is poor. It has no empathy with the surrounding buildings ,the Palace nor the Station itself. There is a lost opportunity for a challenging design to get away from soulless slabs of brick for this very important site.

2.  Car Parking Provision 

    Simply put…the development ‘s car parking provision will be totally inadequate.

    We have serious concerns about how the developer arrived at the proposed number of parking places, the surveys which were carried out and their timings which has produced un realistic results.

Of the 207 spaces advertised by Alexpo, only 169 are unrestricted which would have to accommodate the parking needs of 97 flats and guests, 84 bedroom Hotel guests and staff as well as the current users of the Station car park , including visitors to the Palace, and shoppers at the supermarket and retail units. Common sense shows this doesn’t add up. 

Parking in Molesey is a major problem for our residents and any added cars will only put further parking pressure on all the surrounding roads.

3. Affordable Housing 

   Alexpo’s scheme for 97 market value homes will only provide 12 affordable units set aside as “ shared equity “ . The Council Strategy seeks to provide 40% affordable housing on developments like this determined by particular circumstances including financial viability. The developers viability statement draws its comparison with the 7units agreed under the Gladedale scheme , but conveniently forgets that officers “ reluctantly “ accepted the lower figure because of the provision of the Royal Star and Garter Home with its social and charitable status when deciding on the application.

The current number is way below that which the Council should accept on this type of  intensive  development irrespective of its position in the Borough. 

It’s difficult to make a complete accurate set of costing for the development, nor assumptions on potential sale values of the properties so we would respectfully recommend that the Council undertakes an independent review of the projects viability to challenge the low number of affordable units being provided.

4. Hampton Court Station

    In the 2008 scheme, there was much debate about the refurbishment of the Station ,particularly the maintaining of the heritage features within it. In this application there is very little detail as to what is proposed for the Station which is worrying as it is an integral part of the overall scheme. We believe that it is essential that Network Rail provide comprehensive details on how  they intend to repair and upgrade the Station.

5 .  Other Issues.

    It is not apparent that there has been much consideration of potential environmental features, namely solar panels , green roofs , recycling water etc…Nor  of any proposals to tackle the increased air pollution resulting from extra traffic which would be generated on and around the site. 

The 1999 Development Brief did take into account the Act of Parliament which restricts the height of buildings in and around Hampton Court Palace. Whilst it might be considered secondary to the planning process, in our view the covenant is still a crucial element in the determination of the height and scale of any buildings constructed in the area.

In Conclusion.

We have never been opposed to any development on the site if it is of an appropriate scale and design which   reflects its location and the heritage of the area. Whilst we are pleased to see the ‘ jolly boatman ‘ area landscaped, it should not distract from the fact that this development is too  dense, lacks necessary parking capacity, , lacks quality design , lacks environmental credentials and does not provide sufficient real affordable housing.

We urge the Council to reject this Application.

Stuart Selleck

Chairman of the Molesey Residents Association.

Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman Proposals

The formal planning application for a major redevelopment of the area around Hampton Court Station has now been submitted to Elmbridge Council. The detailed proposals can be viewed on the planning section of the Council’s website using the planning application reference number 2018/3810. A separate application (2018/3803) has also been made seeking permission for a temporary 110 space car park on Cigarette Island during the period of the building works.

We will be scrutinising these plans carefully over the coming weeks and listening to the views of residents and local groups such as the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign. Like most residents, we want a solution to this neglected site which will benefit local residents and tourists visiting Hampton Court Palace, but from an initial scrutiny there would appear to be serious concerns about the scale of these plans, the proposed level of on-site parking, and the impact on the local traffic situation.

More information can be found on the developer’s website at http://hamptoncourtconsultation.co.uk/

We would also encourage residents to look at the information provided by the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign on its website.

Royal Cambridge Home Plans – Update

We have reported previously on plans to demolish the Royal Cambridge Home buildings at the junction of Hurst Road and Church Road and replace them with a 30-bed care home and a 60-bed residential home.

The application has now been registered, and the detailed plans and associated documents, and information about how to make your views known, can be seen on the planning section of the Elmbridge Council website. The planning application reference number is 2018/3608.

There is clearly a need for more care home provision locally, and any planning application would need careful consideration, but residents who have looked at the proposals have expressed concerns about the scale and mass of the proposed development, which would be much closer to the pavement than the current buildings.

 

 

Proposed Development at Molesey Football Club – Update

In November, Elmbridge Council’s planning sub-committee considered a planning application (ref 2017/4137) for a major development at Molesey Football Club, comprising 50 flats, a day nursery and a new clubhouse, following the demolition of the existing clubhouse and stand, and a number of houses in Grange Road. The application was refused, primarily because the Committee decided that the scale, mass and height of the proposals would have an overbearing impact on neighbours in Mole Place and Grange Close.

The applicants have now appealed against this refusal, and the appeal will be decided by an independent Planning Inspector.

All representations made on the original application will be considered by the Inspector, but residents can make additional comments online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk. The appeal reference number is APP/K3605/W/18/3217059.

All further representations must be submitted by 18 February.

 

New Heathrow Consultations

Heathrow has announced two further consultations in 2019.

The first on Airspace Change and Future Operations and the second on its preferred masterplan for Heathrow expansion, including the physical infrastructure changes and how they will manage the effects of growth at the airport.

The first of these consultations – the Airspace and Future Operations Consultation – will take place between the 8th January – 4th March 2019.

There will be two public consultation events:

• Walton-on-Thames: 23 January, 2-8pm at the Xcel Sports Hub.

• East Molesey: 25 January, 2-8pm at Imber Court.

The impact on Molesey will be considerable. We will be looking at these consultation proposals closely, and we would also encourage all residents to do so.

For further information you can take a look at Heathrow’s FAQs on January’s Airspace and Future Operations consultation and its dedicated Consultation Hub site.

 

Surrey County Council Consultation on Local Services

 

Surrey County Council (SCC) has launched a consultation on how it might change some of the services it provides.

SCC says it needs to take some very difficult decisions, and that over the next year it needs to save a further £85m. It has launched consultations on a range of services, and is inviting residents to respond by Friday 4 January 2019.

This could have a very significant impact on the range local services which SCC currently provides, so we would encourage residents to have a look at what they are proposing, and make their views known.

You can find more information about the consultations here.

 

Unauthorised Moorings

Elmbridge Council has received an update from the Environment Agency (EA).

The EA has instigated legal proceedings, and has ongoing cases against a number of boat owners for failing to comply with “direction to move” notices which they have served, and other offences. The EA stresses that must must follow due legal process, and the timescales can be considerable, especially in complex cases. Dates for the hearings will be set by the court in consultation with the legal advisors for both parties, but the EA anticipate that dates will be set early in the New Year.

 

 

Walton Road Car Park Recycling Bins

We have been advised that Elmbridge Council has decided to remove the recycling bins in the Council car parks, including the Walton Road car park, on 4 February 2019.

These bins are popular, and are often filled, and this will disappoint those residents who use them regularly. We have queried whether this change is necessary, but the Council insists that they have taken this step only after careful consideration. They have pointed out that the recycling sites in the car parks often attract both fly-tipping and unauthorised use, which can result in the wrong items being put in the recycling banks. This is both costly and cancels out the efforts of those who carefully separate their recycling. The Council says the need for the bins has also diminished because people can now recycle textiles and small electrical items alongside the weekly kerbside waste collection service although, as we have pointed out, this does not include food cartons, which can currently be recycled in the car park.