Broadwater Lake

Following from the success of the construction of a properly laid footpath from Grenside Road in Weybridge to Cowey Sale, championed by Cllr Andrew Davis, many residents commented on the state of Broadwater Lake which had become silted up and obscured by fallen trees. Local councillors agreed to the request to use Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding, with contributions from the Beechcroft and Templemere estates, to pay for dredging the lake as a first step towards improving its appearance. This was completed on 9-10th January.

Unauthorised moorings on the Thames

I regularly paddle up and down the river between Weybridge and Walton whilst training as a member of Weybridge Rowing Club and Thames Valley Skiff Club. Over the last few years I have witnessed a significant increase in boats moored without permission along the river.

Within the Public Right of Navigation there is deemed a right for boat owners to stop on land, subject to the necessary landowners consent, for a reasonable period, the Environment Agency (EA) considering this to be 24 hours. The law only allows the owners of the land that the boats are moored on to take action against an unauthorised mooring. As the EA owns most of the towpath running through Elmbridge, they consider the most effective method or dealing with this issue is through prosecution for repeated trespass offences. But anyone regularly using the river or the towpath can see that this has so far failed to produce any reduction in the number of illegally moored boats. 

However, there have been two recent developments which indicate some positive steps towards tackling this problem:

  1. Those occupying a number of moored boats near Cherry Orchard Gardens in Molesey had encroached onto the towpath and erected fences, gardens and garden furniture. Last year the Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) Planning Compliance Team issued nine enforcement notices to have these removed. The notices were appealed, but on the 13th January the government’s Planning Inspectorate turned down the appeals as ‘not valid’. This means that the enforcement notices can now come into effect. The notices require the use of the land for the permanent mooring of boats to cease, and any structures, fencing or enclosures to be removed. The period for compliance is one calendar month, i.e. by the 13th February.
  2. The EA has decided to engage in procuring the services of a specialist company to help it manage moorings on its land. They have previously managed their designated mooring sites where charges applied for stays of more than 24 hours, e.g. at Hurst Park Wharf, Molesey, at Miskins Wharf, Walton, and at Desborough Island. This time it also wants the appointed company to be responsible for managing boats moored outside its designated mooring sites. This is a significant change. It wants all boats to be moored in accordance with any applicable terms and conditions; this should mean that overstaying boats are moved by their owners/masters without delay or enforcement procedures will be put into place. Subject to the quality and affordability of the responses received, the EA hopes to make an appointment and have all necessary arrangements in place before the Easter Bank Holiday weekend of 10-12th April.

Finally, EBC has no powers to move/evict boats on EA land but it has continued to work closely with Surrey Police and the EA. If you identify a crime or anti-social behaviour then this should be reported to the police or reported on-line at:

Report ASB associated with moorings

To report any other non-urgent matter relating to the river contact: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk or telephone 03708 506 506 during office hours. The EA will also seek to take action against any incidents of pollution in the river that are reported to them. If you witness any dumping of waste into the river you can report this on their hotline 0800 807060 and they will investigate.  

Brooklands Business Park Accessibility Project

Your local councillors recently attended an update briefing from Surrey CC’s Transport Strategy Project Manager and Transport Planner on the work planned to provide improved pedestrian and cycling paths from Weybridge town centre to the station and through to Brooklands Park. 

Some preparatory work has already been completed:

  • Last summer clearing of ground-covering scrub and trees was undertaken along Heath Road; a few trees were retained to give a better aesthetic and the paths will be routed around these. 
  • The much-needed resurfacing of St George’s Avenue last October was also part of the scheme and a dropped kerb was built towards the station end of the road so that cyclists can come off the road onto a short section of pavement to then cross the main road via the refuge.
  • In November, the refuges for pedestrian access to the station were widened and dropped kerbs improved.

More work is planned for the February half-term, including larger refuges for the crossing on Brooklands Road to Heath Road South car park. Following this, the track from the car park, past the sewage treatment works, across the River Wey and through to Brooklands will be widened and provided with lighting. Funding has been ear-marked for improvements to Sopwith Drive and Wellington Way as well as for better pedestrian access to the station and for increased cycle parking provision. There will be bus stop improvements and suitably placed finger-post signs. The path under Wellington Way occasionally floods, as it has done recently, and a raised boardwalk is planned to keep this path open and usable more often.

If there is sufficient money then a second phase will be considered to link the planned route from Heath Road through to Churchfields and the town centre. This exciting proposition would complement the current discussions of a town regeneration scheme centred around developing the publicly-owned NHS, library and community centre sites. There would be further public consultation on any proposed options.

Weybridge Streetscape

Although our eventual aim is to remove all through traffic from our High Street – that will have to wait until Surrey Council Council corrects its financial position. In the meantime, we in Weybridge can undertake our own improvements using our own CIL funds.

Clearing the clutter

The first major improvement is to provide an outdoor space for markets and performances that aims to help enhance community life and bring more footfall into town. It would be difficult not to miss the work being undertaken along the pavement from the Elmgrove Road junction along the High Street past Waitrose to The Ship Hotel. The borough council has worked over the past two years to develop this scheme envisioned by the Weybridge Town Business Group.

Funded with CIL money, the redesign and resurfacing of the high street pedestrian area will create a flexible shared space that retains on-street parking for most of time and can be easily converted to provide facilities for market stalls and events. The work started on the 13th January and completion is scheduled for the 3rd April.

Key features:    

  • Declutter and open up the high street 
  • Resurface and extend the pavement  
  • Retain on-street parking 
  • Offer a flexible events space 
  • Respect the conservation areas 
  • Retain the same number of trees but replace with semi-mature trees: the current tree roots are pushing up the pavements resulting in uneven surfaces and causing accessibility issues for pedestrians. The proposed works will seek to retain the overall current number of trees but replace existing trees with new semi- mature trees within appropriate tree pits.

Shape the future of Weybridge

Our Home

Weybridge is undeniably an attractive place to live. Our easy access to London and Heathrow, our vibrant town centre, rivers, woodlands and green spaces, all ensure that many find it hard to imagine living anywhere else and would like our children to be able to live here too.

More houses

We recognise that, as people live longer and households are smaller, we need to build more and different places to live in Weybridge.  Even with no interference from outside, our council would encourage the building of homes with fewer rooms.  Ideally almost all of them would be social and affordable housing for rent, with some for purchase.  Thus moving the emphasis from mansions to high quality, smaller, environmentally sustainable homes.  This would mean about 200 new homes a year across Elmbridge.

Unfortunately, the regime in Westminster has stated we must make provision for 600 new homes to be built in Elmbridge, each year, for the next fifteen years.  Three times as high as our current build.

Elmbridge versus national government

Elmbridge has no power in this debate.  If we do not do what the national government says we risk having all our planning powers taken away from us and developers might run amok.  The only way this will change is if there is a change of national government – and it looks as if the new Johnson administration is set on having a national election in the next few months.  Of the four national parties, three are pushing for more housing to be built (the Brexit “party” does not yet have any policies except to leave Europe), but they differ in their views on what sort of housing we need and where it should be built.

But we do not give in – Elmbridge will make the best case within the rules that are laid down.  We aim to adopt a new Local Plan for “sustainable” development in Elmbridge.  The borough’s staff have been working with other local governments, national agencies and utility providers to assemble the evidence required to make robust decisions. Laying the foundations for a Local Plan is a very complex affair and is often iterative.

Elmbridge Borough has listened to the concerns of Elmbridge residents, and has been working hard to progress a new Local Plan. This long-term plan aims to marry our national obligations to build more homes in Elmbridge with our desire to protect the character of Elmbridge.

The next stage is a public consultation running from 19 August through to 30 September. It is important that all residents from all parts of Elmbridge get involved by making a response to the consultation. You can sign up to alerts on the Local Plan through the EBC website and at consult.elmbridge.gov.uk

Councillor Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning, has said:

“It is vital for the future of our borough that our residents contribute to the development of the Elmbridge Local Plan. We are determined to do what is best for Elmbridge and we want to hear from you.

“When the consultation opens on 19 August there will be information available in libraries, at the Civic Centre in Esher, online on the Council’s website and we will also host public meetings, all to provide our residents with as much information as possible on the Local Plan options.

“We want to shape Elmbridge for the benefit of all; will you help us?”

Dorchester Road

The Surrey proposal for Dorchester Road is as follows:

The households which now will have access to Area F is here in purple.  The light blue area is currently Area F:

If you want details of other proposals see here.

If you want to have a look at the current restrictions look here.

If you want to offer your comments then do so here before 5 July 2019

If you want further information by all means contact weybridge@elmbridgelibdems.org.uk.

 

Weybridge On-Street Parking Review

In general Surrey proposed:

The Weybridge CPZ and the Permit Area F will have their hours extended in the evening from 6pm to 7pm to match the new off-street parking chargeable hours but it is not proposed to introduce the change from 9am to 8am to match the new off-street parking chargeable hours.

Anderson Road, Cross Road, Vale Court
Allow residents of properties known as ‘Flat 2, The Hall, Vale Road’, and ‘Allendale, Vale Road’ to be eligible to apply for permits within the existing permit parking area covering these roads.

Baker Street
Evening hours moved from 6pm to 7pm as part of the Weybridge CPZ (confirmation required)

Beales Lane
Introduce section of DYL ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ on the south side of Beales Lane, near the junction with Thames Street, to prevent parking which causes obstruction to the carriageway and/or footway.  See also Thames Street.

Broomfield Court
Introduce a permit parking area (PPA) operating ‘Monday-Friday 10am-11am permit holders N only’, covering Broomfield Court.  This is in order to provide greater opportunity for local residents to park near their homes, where currently they face competition from non-residents, such as commuters for Weybridge rail station. Key permit eligibility details (full details are listed in the draft TRO):
* Residents eligible to apply for all permit types are those occupying any residential address in Broomfield Court.
* The cost for a resident permit is £50pa for the first permit, and £75pa for any subsequent permits issued.
* The maximum number of resident permits issuable per place of abode is calculated by the number of vehicles registered to the property minus the number of off street spaces at the property.
* The maximum number of resident visitor permits issuable per place of abode per year is 120, at a cost of £2 per permit. Each permit lasts all day and is specific to the registration number of a visitor’s vehicle.
* Permit types available within this scheme are residents, visitors, carers and operational. There are no business permits. It is also proposed to introduce some sections of DYL ‘No waiting at any time’ in order to keep junctions and accesses clear and improve safety and access.

Church Street
Evening hours moved from 6pm to 7pm as part of the Weybridge CPZ (confirmation required)

Cross Road
Introduce DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ opposite the access to numbers 8 and 10 Cross Road, as vehicle parked here make it impossible for residents to gain access egress to their properties.   See also Anderson Road.

Devonshire Road
Make existing advisory disabled parking bay into a mandatory bay ‘At any time Blue Badge holders only, No time limit’. To improve compliance with existing bay

Dorchester Road, Elmgrove Road, Gascoigne Road
Introduce a range of permit holders only parking bays (Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm permit holders F only), and shared use parking bays (Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm permit holders F or two hours no return within 2 hours) in these roads. This is in order to provide greater opportunity for local residents to park near their homes, where currently they face competition from non-residents.  A number of ‘shared use’ parking bays are suggested in order to allow some free time-limited parking for visitors to local residents and the local area. The scheme has been designed to operate with high occupancy levels and therefore minimise the potential for displacement parking. It is anticipated that the scheme will simply re-arrange parking rather than increase or decrease capacity. The permit scheme will operate with the same conditions as the existing ‘area F’ parking bays. Key permit eligibility details (full details are listed in the draft TRO):
* Additional residents eligible to apply for all permit types are those occupying any residential address on Gascoigne Road, Dorchester Road, 1-21 Monument Green, 42-70 (even numbers only) High Street, 1-19 (odd numbers only) Thames Street.
* The cost for a resident permit is £50pa for the first permit, and £75pa for any subsequent permits issued.
* The maximum number of resident permits issuable per place of abode is calculated by the number of vehicles registered to the property minus the number of off street spaces at the property.
* The maximum number of resident visitor permits issuable per place of abode per year is 120, at a cost of £2 per permit. Each permit lasts all day and is specific to the registration number of a visitor’s vehicle.
* Permit types available within this scheme are residents, visitors, carers and operational. There are no business permits. It is also proposed to introduce some sections of DYL ‘No waiting at any time’ in order to keep junctions and accesses clear and improve safety and sightlines (also includes St Albans Avenue and Mount Pleasant).

Elmgrove Road, Holstein Avenue, Oakdale Road
Extend the hours of operation of the permit holders only parking bays (Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm permit holders F only), and shared use parking bays (Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm permit holders F or two hours no return within 2 hours) in these roads so that they finish at 7pm instead of 6pm. This is proposed in order to offer additional protection to residents’ parking space and is designed to tie in with the borough council’s off street car parks’ chargeable hours. Note – there is no drawing provided for this as the extents of restrictions are unchanged from the current layout.  (See also Dorchester Road).

Fortescue Road
Introduce DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ at the junction. To prevent parking which obstructs sightlines. To improve sightlines and safety at the junction.

Gascoigne Road
See Dorchester Road

Goodacre Close
Introduce DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ at the access. To prevent parking which obstructs sightlines. To improve sightlines and safety at the access.

Grenside Road
Introduce and extend existing DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ at the junction. To prevent parking which obstructs sightlines. To improve sightlines and safety at the junction.

Grotto Road
See Grenside Road

Grove Place
Extend the DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ at the junction with York Road. To prevent parking which obstructs the footway at this point.

High Street
Modify existing loading bay on the High Street to allow all vehicles to load/unload here, not just goods vehicles as at present.

Hillcrest
Evening hours moved from 6pm to 7pm as part of the Weybridge CPZ (confirmation required)

Holstein Avenue
See Elmgrove Road

Limes Road and Minorca Road
Extend the hours of operation of the permit holders only parking bays (Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm permit holders Weybridge CPZ only), and shared use parking bays (Monday Saturday 9am-6pm permit holders Weybridge CPZ or 1 hour no return within 2 hours) in these roads so that they finish at 7pm instead of 6pm. This is proposed in order to offer additional protection to residents’ parking space and is designed to tie in with the borough council’s off street car parks’ chargeable hours. Note – there is no drawing provided for this as the extents of restrictions are unchanged from the current layout.

Manor Court
Introduce DYLs ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ around the inside of the ‘island’ (access to the flats). To prohibit parking which prevents access to the flats. To improve safety.

Mayfield Road
see Fortescue Road

Minorca Road
See Limes Road

Monument Green
See Dorchester Road

Monument Hill
Evening hours moved from 6pm to 7pm as part of the Weybridge CPZ (confirmation required)

Mount Pleasant
see Dorchester Road

Oakdale Road
See Elmgrove Road

Oatlands Chase
Introduce section of SYL ‘No Waiting Mon-Fri 10am-2pm’ near the new access to the school, in order to provide somewhere for people to ‘pick-up and drop-off’ near the school. Introduce section of DYL ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ outside Yew Place to Larchfield Place, to prevent parking which obstructs sightlines. To improve safety.

Springfield Lane and Springfield Meadows
Evening hours moved from 6pm to 7pm as part of the Weybridge CPZ (confirmation required)

St Albans Avenue
See Dorchester Road

St George’s Avenue
See Goodacre Close

Thames Street
Introduce section of DYL ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ in between existing restrictions outside number 45 to 3 Portmore Pillars, to prevent parking on this part of Thames Street which causes obstruction to traffic on the carriageway and poses a safety hazard to anyone wishing to use the footway at this location. Introduce ‘No Stopping Mon-Fri 8am-5pm School Keep Clear’ on the opposite side of the road, starting from the end of the existing school keep clear to the buildout opposite the access to Portmore Park Road. Amend the hours of operation of the two existing ‘School Keep Clear’ markings to the north from ‘Mon-Fri 8:15-9:15am and 2:30-4pm’ to ‘Mon-Fri 8am-5pm’. To improve traffic flow and safety during school ‘pick up and drop off times’.  See also Beales Lane and Dorchester Road

Vale Court
See Anderson Road

Weybridge CPZ
The hours in the evening are being extended from 6pm to 7pm to align with the new off-street chargeable hours – this should affect: Baker Street, Church Street, Hillcrest, Limes Road, Manor Court, Minorca Road, Monument Green, Monument Hill, Springfield Lane, Springfield Meadows.

If you want greater details and maps see here.

If you want to have a look at the current restrictions look here.

If you want to offer your comments then do so herebefore 5 July 2019

If you want further information by all means contact weybridge@elmbridgelibdems.org.uk.

Council News

At Wednesday’s council meeting, it was confirmed that a coalition of the Liberal Democrat Group and the Residents Association (RA) Group will take on the administration of the council for the coming year. The Liberal Democrats number 10 and the RAs number 17, so together we have 27 seats compared to the Conservatives 21. This is a significant change from last year when the council was in no overall control at 24 each. In the elections on May 2nd, not only did we gain Ashley Tilling as our new Lib Dem councillor for Weybridge Riverside, but there were gains for Residents’ candidates in the St George’s Hill and Esher wards.

We have taken the decision to form a coalition administration because we believe that we are elected in order to effect change as well as safeguard what we cherish in our communities. These are far better achieved by being in control of both the agenda and the decision-making processes.

Whilst the Leader of the council will be from the RA group, our long-standing Weybridge Riverside councillor Andrew Davis will be the Deputy Leader. Lib Dem councillors will hold cabinet seats and so be responsible for portfolios on Highways, Community and Corporate Affairs, and Environment. It has also been agreed that we will provide the Chairmen of some of the most important committees.

Your Lib Dem group deliberated the move towards a coalition through a number of long meetings and we have not entered into it lightly. We presented a number of policies to the Residents which they have agreed to support as priorities for the coming year. These include, for example, our strong green agenda relating to the climate emergency. We are also mindful of the dynamic nature of government – events can, and do, appear out of nowhere; so we have processes in place to give an agreed approach to tackling such developments. We therefore feel that we are in a strong position to make a success of our time in administration.

High Street Streetscape

Weybridge CIL board has received bids for £413,000 and has a fund of £510,000 derived from CIL.

High Street Streetscape Project – £128,000 (Not match funded) – score 70%

This application is to deliver the standard required for materials, electrical and water requirement for the project.  These upgrades will be delivered during construction and installation of the various components.  The project will deliver an improved town centre space for the community and businesses.

The borough had a successful application to the Weybridge Local Spending Board in 2017 receiving £329,038.56 for this project.

For the agenda and papers for tomorrow click here

Churchfield Allotments – May 2018

In May 2018, allotment holders and residents in roads adjacent to the Churchfield Allotments were informed by the Weybridge Charity, who own the allotments, that the charity is proposing to sell some 5% of the allotment land for development.

Reasons given for this by the charity are: that it is under increasing pressure to meet the needs of Weybridge residents who face hardship. Additionally, the charity is seeking to invest some of the monies raised in improving the amenities for the remaining 4 hectares of allotments so that the site “may be used more effectively and attract new, long-term tenants”  The proposed improvements to the allotments include:

  • Bringing new areas under cultivation
  • Allowing a proper toilet to be built
  • Creating a communal area

The charity is proposing to assign new allotments and to compensate those allotment holders who will be directly affected.

About the Weybridge Charity

The Weybridge Charity’s sole charitable objective is ‘the relief of persons resident in the area of benefit (Weybridge KT13 postal district) who are in need, hardship or distress.’

The charity has nine trustees, six of whom must be appointed by Elmbridge Borough Council, with the remaining three being appointed by the borough appointed trustees.

The background to these arrangements and the history of the Charity can be found at http://weybridgecharity.org.uk/about-us