Conservation wins the day

On Tuesday, 27th November, Elmbridge Borough Council Full Planning Committee overturned the decision of the sub-committee which deals with planning decisions in Weybridge, and refused permission to build ten flats at the junction of Balfour and Devonshire Roads.

The position of the proposed building, in Weybridge Town Centre Conservation area, is just beyond the junction of Church Street and Balfour Road, opposite St James’s Church. This is a significant view for those entering the town centre from Heath Road.

The Full Planning Committee found that:

“The proposal by virtue of its bulk and mass, emphasised by the fact it would be raised from ground level on a podium, would be out of character and would harm the streetscene. The proposal would therefore have an adverse impact on the conservation area and not preserve its character.”

Representations against the development had been submitted by the Weybridge Society and the Vicar of St James’s Parish Church along with many local residents.

The the application details are here and actual decision is here.

Churchfield Allotments

The Lib Dems in Weybridge have inadvertently stirred up a brouhaha by mistakenly placing a Social Housing label close to Churchfield Allotments in our April Focus!

This raised a concern among people living in neighbouring roads, who approached the owners of the allotments, the Weybridge Charity, to find out if there were any plans to build social housing on the allotments.

The Charity says there are no plans to build social housing, but it may seek to sell a small section of land for development.

It has told residents that it is “under increasing pressure to meet the needs of Weybridge residents who face hardship” and needs to raise funds. “The Charity has come to the conclusion this can be achieved by developing and selling the ‘Molyneux Road triangle’ … a little over 5% of Churchfields allotments”. It adds that “any rumours of providing Council or Housing Association accommodation are unfounded”.

Neighbouring residents are concerned about the impact of development on the quality of life in the area, particularly as this is an area of acute parking stress. However, residents have also shown a considerable interest in the Charity itself and its work and some are seeking to find ways to become more involved with the work of the Charity.

The Charity’s case for the sale and development of 5-6% of the area of Churchfields allotments is that it needs to secure its long term access to income from invested funds rather than deplete them. It is the earnings from these invested sums, plus any monies donated to the Charity, which are used to carry out its charitable objective – ‘the relief of persons resident in the area of benefit (Weybridge KT13 postcode area) who are in need, hardship or distress.’

According to the Charity, “The action will also provide much needed funds for investment in the remainder of the allotments: bringing new areas under cultivation, allowing a proper toilet to be built, creating a communal area and improving facilities, so that, retaining its unique character, the whole site may be used more effectively and attract new, long-term [allotment] tenants.”

The Charity states on its website that “It is the declared intention of the Managing Trustees of Weybridge Charity to retain Churchfields allotments as allotment land. This maintains the history of green land in the centre of Weybridge, and open views from Churchfields Park across the allotments towards St James’ Church“.

If you have never visited the allotments, do go and take a look.  This is a wonderful green area in the heart of Weybridge.

For those of you who do not know of the Charity and who have friends of relatives who may be experiencing hardship, more information can be found on the Weybridge Charity’s website.  And even if not, it is interesting to read the history of the Charity.

Finally, anyone interested in having an allotment, it would appear that there are currently unused allotments and a thriving community of allotment holders.

Thames riverside enhancement and maintenance

Thursday 5th October 7.30 for 8.00
Small Hall St James Church Centre

Come and find out how the Thames Landscape Strategy is working to improve riverbank management and enhance the overall riverside environment along the stretch of the Thames from Weybridge to Kew.

Don’t know anything about the Thames Landscape Strategy? Take a look here

http://thames-landscape-strategy.org.uk/who-we-are/

Jason Debney, Co-ordinator Thames landscape Strategy, will give an overview of TLS projects with local impact, including an update on the proposals for the Weybridge Point car park, a TLS project that secured funding of £70k+ from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds in March this year.

Let’s be sure that proposals do actually enhance the riverside scene. Click on the PPDRA Newsletter below to see how things do not always work out for the best

Doors open at 7.30 pm, with the talk starting at 8.00 pm.

White Lion Hotel

White Lion CobhamProposals for this key site in Cobham have been around for a number of years. This evening members of the West Area Planning Committee were presented with a planning application for the conversion of the White Lion Hotel into flats, the demolition of the Cobham Lodge Hotel and the erection of 50 dwellings on the site.

The vote was six in favour of the application and only one against.  Our Liberal Democrat councilor Cllr Andrew Davis felt that although the new application was far more sympathetic to the historic site than the previous planning applications it did not go far enough to protect this symbol of Cobham’s heritage.

Clothes Collection

Clothes-02Clothes+ is a charitable collection service for unwanted items, which the borough runs in partnership with the British Heart Foundation. So far, in 2014 the borough has passed on 22 tons of items for the BHF to sell in their shops and there’s another cycle of collections this September. There is also a free reminder service for Elmbridge burghers and other residents.

Morrisons – Officers say yes

Proposed view of Morrisons Small

 

The planning professionals at Elmbridge and Surrey have given their recommendation for the borough to permit the development of a new Morrisons in Monument Hill.  In precise terms “… it is considered that this scheme be recommended for planning permission… “.  Have a read of their report (Morrisons 2013-1611) and tell me what you think.

Twenty-three people will meet on Tuesday at the civic centre at 7:45 to decide whether to permit this scheme or not.  Other options are available too – to permit with further conditions or  to delay pending further report backs.  It is the biggest single development in the town centre for many years.

Morrison Drop-in today

Morrisons have not yet applied for planning permission because they would first like to get your feedback at a drop-in session today The details are:

Today, Thursday, 21 March, 1:30pm – 9pm
The Parish Centre, St James Church, Church Lane

If you can, please take a look at the plans and judge them for yourself.  Add your views here.

Planning history of the development here.  Elmbridge’s decision here.