As with any other local neighbourhood, the policies and actions which affect the character and future of Lower Sunbury are generally framed and implemented by a combination of local and national government, along with the vested interests and market forces which operate within those frameworks. Lower Sunbury is by no means unique in being under threat from a creaking infrastructure brought about by rapid urban development, the growth of traffic, and other pressures affecting the quality of life and the character of the area.
Working with the local authorities, we see it as the responsibility of residents’ and amenity groups such as LOSRA to address the underlying issues which fundamentally affect their members’ lives, as well as the minutiae of everyday life with which such groups are often concerned.
Please sign up to receive our regular e-bulletins by subscribing via the facility at the top left hand of this page. It goes without saying that, without your continued support we would cease to function so we urge you to join, or renew your membership now Subscriptions (£5 per household) for 2017 are now payable.
Further to the article published immediately below, Spelthorne Council has published the following response:
Spelthorne Borough Council is preparing a new local plan for the Borough which will need to balance many competing demands including protecting areas of importance.
As part of this work it has recently issued a ‘call for sites’ enabling those who have ideas of where development might go to put them forward. This is a statutory requirement. In response to this Kempton Park Racecourse and Redrow Homes have jointly proposed the closure of the Racecourse and building of 3000 homes.
To clarify, the Council does not own the site and has no part in the proposal brought forward by its owners. A planning application has not been submitted.
Cllr Ian Harvey, Leader of the Council, said: “I am fully aware of the views of local residents and have consistently made clear my strong opposition to development of this site and my determination to protect the Green Belt in Spelthorne. I made my position absolutely clear in an open letter which I wrote to Redrow homes in April 2016. Nothing has changed. The Council’s finances are very robust and any suggestion that it needs money from new development is completely groundless.”
It will be for the Council, through its new Local Plan, to decide how much development is needed in the future and the most sustainable locations for it to go. It is not bound by any particular proposals that are put forward by developers.
The Council expects its Local Plan to be adopted in 2020.
As part of the Local Planning Review, the Council is obliged to call for sites with submissions by the middle of January. Amongst others received by the Council the response by Redrow Homes is particularly controversial and has already been the subject of considerable debate. It has also been widely reported in the national and local news media. Whilst Redrow's intentions have been reported both on this site and by Keep Kempton Green (see: https://keepkemptongreen.com) what was not known until today is that demolition of the racecourse itself is part of the scheme.
The following is the formal emailed notification to LOSRA by the Agents for Redrow Homes:
"I am writing to update you and the wider LOSRA membership on the latest position in respect of the Kempton Park site. Redrow Homes has today submitted representations to the Council’s call for sites exercise relating to the entirety of the land at Kempton Park, including the operational areas of the racecourse and other associated buildings.
Redrow reached an agreement with the Jockey Club in January 2017 to extend the land within their agreement, after concluding that some development would be better placed on the previously developed section of the site, which is close to the existing urban centre and benefits from greater proximity to the railway station and the future Crossrail 2 route. The total gross developable area now stands at approximately 230 acres and Redrow’s initial capacity studies indicate that the site could provide for circa 3,000 new homes. Redrow wish to make it absolutely clear that it is not suggesting that the entire site is built on and this move could allow for the retention of a significant area of Green Belt, alongside the provision of other publically accessible on-site open space.
The Jockey Club fully supports this move as an enabling measure, facilitating comprehensive re-investment in its other UK racing facilities for the betterment of the horseracing industry. It is intended to relocate some races to other land in Jockey Club ownership in Surrey.
Although we are acutely aware of the sensitivities surrounding this site, we hope that this latest development may be seen as an opportunity for Spelthorne to provide a substantial element of its residual housing need on one site, which includes brownfield land and allows for the retention of a significant area of the Green Belt in this location.
The increase in unit numbers will make a significant contribution towards meeting the local housing need, delivering around four years of the Borough’s housing need on one site and supporting the local community in this respect. A development of this size can support its own infrastructure from developer contributions and increase funding to Spelthorne Borough Council through the Deed of Rent Charge.
In addition to housing, the site could deliver significant improvements to the local road network, particularly at Sunbury Cross and has the potential to deliver a new school, health facilities, shops and other community facilities. We hope you see this as a positive move by Redrow and an opportunity for a high quality residential-led development providing a long-term defensible boundary to the retained Green Belt with continued separation between urban areas.
Sarah Wardle, Associate Director"
The minutes of the latest Health Centre's PPG Core Group meeting are available to view by clicking here
The following self-explanatory press release has been received from Spelthorne Council:
"In response to comments received from residents about the planned closure of Staines Fire Station, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Spelthorne Borough Council has arranged a meeting to discuss Surrey County Council’s proposals for the Fire Service in Spelthorne.
Residents and interested parties from the local area are invited to attend the public meeting being held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 7 February in the Council Chamber at the Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames.
The meeting will be chaired by Councillor Colin Davis from Spelthorne Borough Council. Representatives of Surrey County Council will be in attendance including Councillor Richard Walsh, Cabinet Member for Localities and Community Wellbeing and Councillor Kay Hammond, Cabinet Associate responsible for Community Safety Services, and from the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, Russell Pearson and Clive Whitethread.
Cllr Colin Davis, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “This is an important issue of natural concern to local residents. The meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to express their concerns and the County Council Cabinet Members to explain the logistical background to what is obviously a controversial proposal.”
PR and Communications Officer
Spelthorne Borough Council,
Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 1XB
Tel: 01784 444260
The Club looks forward to another year of entertaining and top quality music events during 2017, with some familiar names returning and some interesting new ones making their Club debut.
To kick off the New Year the Club will be banishing any hint of post-party season depression, appropriately enough on Friday 13th January, in storming fashion with the return of THE NASHVILLE TEENS, who have occupied this slot in the diary for the last couple of years and always give us a great show with their distinctive brand of hard-hitting ‘60s R&B.
They had two memorable Top Ten hits in 1964 with “Tobacco Road” and“Google Eye - their epic version of “Tobacco Road” is worth the entrance money on its own. The line-up features their original lead singer Ray Phillips, who has had an unbroken half-century career with the band, as well as making solo records and performing with other line-ups like the British Invasion All-Stars with members of The Yardbirds, Creation and Downliners Sect. With him in the current Nashville Teens is a line-up of seasoned performers, including Colin Pattenden, member of Manfred Mann’s Earth band when they had their big hits back in the 70s, on bass, with Simon Spratley of The Ian Campbell Blues Band on keyboards, Ken Osborn from Levee Camp Moan on guitar and Adrian ‘Spud’ Metcalf on drums. It will be another night of classic ‘60s R&B to herald the New Year, featuring in Ray one of the great voices of the beat era, and we are delighted to welcome them back. There’s more information at www.Nashville-Teens.com.
The Club apologies for the fact that they were unable to serve food at the Mersey Legends gig due to unforeseen circumstances. New caterers have been engaged who provided an excellent menu for the Club's lunchtime jazz event just before Christmas, and will be providing the same service for Music Nights, so there will be food available for the Nashville Teens gig.
Sunday 8 January, 7.30pm - Riverside Arts Centre, 59,Thames Street, Sunbury.
We start the new year at Riverside Arts Jazz with a concert to honour the tenth anniversary of the passing of the great saxophonist Michael Brecker. The 13-time Grammy winner passed away at the age of 57 in January 2007 following a two-and-a-half year illness.
We are delighted to welcome to Riverside saxophonist Sean Freeman - our first choice call. We couldn't think of anybody better to play this gig as he is a huge Brecker fan! Sean is an in-demand musician who has played with Level 42, Billy Cobham, James Taylor Quartet and Eric Clapton to name but a few.
Sean Freeman - sax
Terence Collie - piano
Paul Michael - bass
Rha Stranges - drums
For further details and advance booking see flier here
Thigh slapping, fancy dresses, outrageous makeup (and that's just the director).
Coming to the Riverside Arts Centre this January 'Cinderella' is being performed for a limited run of only 5 shows.
The popular tale of Cinderella has been brought to new, magical life by Paul Reakes. Whilst poor Cinderella is being forced to carry out the every wish of her cruel stepmother and ugly stepsisters, Mattie and Hattie, Prince Charming has left to travel the world and the land of Pantomania is governed by the selfish Duke of Verucca.
However, upon learning of his father's death, the Prince returns to take up his duties as king, but there is one problem - the Duke is not willing to relinquish power. The Duke bullies his henchmen, Nip and Tuck, into bopping the Prince over the head and he subsequently loses his memory. The Duke then manipulates his naïve nephew, Archie, into posing as the Prince, and causes havoc for anyone who gets in his way.
Luckily faithful Buttons and his friend Kathy are trying everything they can to sort out the confusion, while Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is working wonders to bring Cinderella together with her true love.
This is a laugh-a-minute pantomime for all the family and not only that - you get two dames for the price of one!!!
With less than 3 weeks to go, tickets are selling fast and the matinees are almost full ! So to ensure that you get your ticket to see 'Cinderella' please purchase from our box office at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/manorplayers
The Manor Players Presents: Cinderella, Riverside Arts Centre, Sunbury, TW16 5QF, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd January 2017
Evening Show:Doors Open at 7:00PMStarts at 7:30PM
Matinee Show:Doors Open at 1:45PMStarts at 2:30PM
Ticket Price: £9.00 - £12.00 *booking fee appliesBox Office: 07771458696
The Manor Players hope to see you there!
The following press release has been published by Save Our Thames Side:
The judicial review was heard in the High Court on Tuesday 6th December. Mr Justice Supperstone listened carefully to argument from our barrister, Mr Andrew Parkinson from Landmark Chambers, and then to Neil Cameron QC representing Elmbridge BC. Unusually in this case the Council are the Planning Authority, the landowner and the developer. The judge reserved his judgment and we expect that this will be handed down in the next few weeks.
Meanwhile the Council are continuing with the works, pouring concrete and building the Elmbridge Sports Hub at Waterside Drive. They have an alternative planning permission waiting in the wings in the event we are successful and the High Court quash the earlier impugned decision to permit this development on a 14 ha greenfield site by the river Thames.
Kristina Kenworthy, Chair of the Surrey Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England in support of us said, “This is an important Green Belt case and relies on the correct interpretation of the NPPF paragraph 89. We are very concerned about the urbanising effects of these developments encroaching on precious green spaces under the guise of exempted outdoor recreational facilities. A sports pavilion sounds innocent enough but when considered with all the other paraphernalia to accommodate three private clubs, a very different picture emerges. We cannot think that the government meant the Green Belt could be sacrificed just because the sports are played in the open air. The important point about Green Belt land is keeping it open permanently.
We will update this page as soon as we have judgment.
Thank you for your support.
Having featured Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne on this site (see article of 21st October) and in our autumn newsletter, it is with regret that we must now publish the following press release:
A spokesperson for Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne said: “It is with great sadness that Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne (AUKRS) will have to close and will cease trading on 31st March 2017, discontinuing services during the preceding months.
Tony Docker, Chief Officer stated “AUKRS have faced significant financial challenges over the last three years with annual reductions in public sector funding. Although we have explored many options, the difficult decision to close has been taken by Trustees as we cannot sustain ourselves financially for at least the next two years. By making the decision now, we are able to help our many clients find alternative service providers as we know they rely upon us. The ongoing wellbeing of our existing clients is paramount and all of my team are committed to finding alternative, suitable providers, where possible; but the charity will close by the 31st March 2017. Over the coming weeks we will be talking to all of our service users to discuss options available to them.
“I also feel for our brilliant staff and volunteers who have given so much to AUKRS and care deeply about the people they work with”
If anyone wishes to contact AUKRS with any concerns they can still call on: 01784 444 200. Age UK Runnymede & Spelthorne is an independent charity, although part of the Age UK network. The Age UK network comprises around 155 local Age UKs reaching most of England.
Council Leader Ian Harvey has announced that a ‘windfall’ grant of £20,000 per Ward (£260,000 total) is being made available as a result of Spelthorne Council’s improved finances following the recent purchase and lease back of the BP Sunbury International Campus and other investment initiatives.
Cllr Ian Harvey said: “I am delighted to announce this grant, which will bring an early and tangible benefit to the residents of Spelthorne following our recent ground breaking purchase of the BP campus in Sunbury. Local community projects and voluntary organisations will benefit from this. It reverses the trend of councils cutting non-essential funding. My vision is that this should be used to fund modest community or voluntary sector capital projects which can make a real difference to our Borough.
We are especially encouraging applications which have an element of ‘match funding’. Organisations or groups interested in applying should contact their local ward councillors. I very much hope this brings some welcome pre-Christmas cheer”.
Further to the article published here on 7th November, follow the most recent developments by the Campaign group Save Our Thames Side. If you wish to make representations regarding the application and have not yet done so, there is still an opportunity as the expiry date for submissions has been extended to 23rd December. Click here for the latest news.
Legal proceedings never come cheap and the Group has published an appeal for funding which we are pleased to reproduce here.
Spelthorne Borough Council has launched a unique new rent guarantee scheme for private landlords in and around the Borough called ‘Spelthorne Rent Assure’.
The scheme allows landlords to rent their properties through Spelthorne Council to people in genuine need of a place to live. Rents are guaranteed and will be paid monthly in advance by the Council, for up to two years. Payments will be made directly to landlords at full local market rent.
This couldn’t come at a better time for local landlords, with the Autumn Statement announcement that lettings agency fees are set to be banned.
The scheme is designed to take away risks around the uncertainty of regular rental payments as well as features such as free tenancy agreements, an independent property inventory and a six week repair bond which will make working with the Council as attractive and straightforward as possible for prospective landlords.
All tenants accepted on the scheme will have undertaken training, and support will be provided to both landlords and tenants for the duration of the tenancy. The landlord will have the final choice of tenants.
Homes in the Spelthorne area with two bedrooms are currently most in demand
The scheme is perfect for landlords because renting properties with the Council gives them a reliable source of income to offset any risk of ventures into the private rented sector. It also means that the Council takes responsibility for finding and supporting tenants.
Cllr Jean Pinkerton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Transformation, said: “The scheme is a great deal for landlords across the Borough. I would urge them to get in touch and find out how they can reap the benefits of hassle-free letting”.
Crest Nicholson's proposed amendment to their Park Avenue scheme is progressing through the planning process and will holding a resident 'drop- in’ session at Crest's sales and marketing suite from 6 - 8pm on Monday 5th December.
Members of the Crest team will be there to answer any questions people have and the invitation is open to all residents. Invitation letters are being delivered to ward councillors, people living immediately adjacent to the proposed change; and to those who have objected to the application.
Sunbury Cricket Club’s next Friday Music Night, and the last one of the year, is next week Friday 9th December , when the Club welcomes back THE MERSEY LEGENDS for their now traditional ‘60s night to kick off the Christmas party season in earnest. This is always a really enjoyable night with a top class professional show and non-stop beat era classics, so it’s one that you should not miss.
The band are led by Yanni Tsamplakos, a Liverpudlian who had a band called The Seftons in Liverpool during the ‘60s and played at The Cavern on the night it re-opened in 1967, and we know that Yanni and the guys really enjoy coming back every year to give us a great evening of wall-to-wall Mersey era hits.
Put a party of friends together and come along and enjoy a fabulous fun occasion. There’s more information at www.merseylegends.co.uk We look forward to seeing you there.