Author Archives: Mike Axton

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.

Service Disruptions at Hampton Court Station

As regular travellers will know only too well, train services from Hampton Court Station have been diabolical in recent weeks, with delays and cancellations attributed variously to overrunning engineering works, strikes, broken rails and broken-down trains. The Hampton Court service appears to be disproportionally affected by these disruptions – for example, during the recent strikes there were no trains from Hampton Court at all, whereas reasonable services were maintained at other stations (in the past they have at least run a shuttle service to Surbiton). We are raising our concerns with South Western Railway urgently, and are also pressing for them to keep the toilets open later, and to improve the cycle storage facilities, as thefts remain common.

Amidst all this chaos we have been advised that South Western Railway is now planning to install ticketing gates at Hampton Court Station before Christmas as part of an exercise to reduce fare evasion.

Review of Elmbridge Polling Districts and Polling Places

Elmbridge Borough Council is reviewing all polling districts and polling places in the Borough.

As part of the consultation, the Returning Officer, Robert Moran, will comment on the suitability of polling stations within each polling district.  These will be available to view on the Council’s website and through the Electoral Services team, based at the Civic Centre in Esher.

The Council welcomes the views of all residents as it is keen to ensure that its polling districts and places meet the needs of all our residents.

When making comments -please, if possible, offer alternative place suggestions.

The consultation is open from 12 November to 17 December 2018.  You can respond by email to electoral@elmbridge.gov.uk or by post to Electoral Services, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD.

The Returning Officer will consider all representations and approve the final scheme on 25 January 2019.  The results of the consultation will be published at elmbridge.gov.uk/elections.

 

Ends

Unauthorised Encampments

Elmbridge Borough Council has been granted a three year protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land.

On 8 November the High Court extended the three-month injunction granted in August for a further three years. The injunction covers all of the Borough’s parks, open spaces and car parks.

The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering, or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. This has proved a very effective deterrent during the temporary injunction. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

The Council evidenced large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income and the large increase in the number and size of recent encampments as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.
2018 has seen an  unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments in Elmbridge, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size.

More details will be available shortly on the Elmbridge Council website,