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.
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PC Caroline Barnes has forwarded her police report for the month of December. Click here to view.
The following appeal has been forwarded to LOSRA and we are very happy to help the owner trace the missing family pet. If you spot Dexter or know of his whereabouts please contact LOSRA.
"Have you seen our missing ginger cat, Dexter? He is very friendly and social but can be quite nervous too. He disappeared from Woodberry Close, Sunbury on the morning of December 8th 2011.
He is only 10 months old but looks quite large as he has long hair. He was wearing a black collar with a blue paw shaped ID tag and a reflective yellow flea collar. He has not been neutered and has been microchipped so will be easily identifiable.
Please check your sheds or garages and please keep an eye out for him. We are extremely worried about him. If you have seen him or know anything that might help us locate him, please get in touch."
Further to articles published on this Site on 7th and 14th December, we publish below the answer to the question put to SCC by Cllr. Caroline Nichols on behalf of LOSRA. The answer has been written with great care and does not commit Surrey Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee to re-consider the application; merely that officers will re-examine the matter in the light of new factors which might be regarded as material considerations. Needless to say we would contend that the findings of the Advertising Standards Authority, published since SCC approved the application, are unquestionably material considerations and would amply justify re-consideration by the P & R Committee. We await developments.
Dear Councillor Nichols,
I am writing to answer the question you put to the County Council on 13th December about the Eco Park planning application.
You asked whether the planning application would be reconsidered following the ASA’s ruling on SITA’s consultation material. I can assure you that there will be a re-examination of the application.
It is the County Council's standard practice for all committee planning decisions to be re-examined by officers where there has been a delay in issuing the decision notice following a committee resolution. This is done to assess whether any new factors have arisen since the committee decision which might rationally be regarded as a material consideration, and which might require the committee to consider the application again. This process was established by a protocol that was agreed by the Planning and Regulatory Committee in 2003.
We have sent you a copy of the protocol and committee report under separate cover. The process is known as the Kides review, as it followed a Court of Appeal judgement on the case of Kides vs Cambridgeshire District Council. This process is the one being followed for the Eco Park.
So far officers have carried out an extensive consultation exercise to assess whether any new factors have emerged since the resolution to grant. We have written to around thirty organisations and individuals including yourself, the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. Some respondents have drawn our attention to new factors which they state are material considerations and this information will be examined carefully by officers including Legal Services.
Clearly I cannot speculate on the outcome of this process at present. The results are expected in the next month and will be made public. However, there is no specific timescale governing the Kides review. We will aim to complete the process as soon as possible in order to reduce public uncertainty about the application and I will write to you if for any reason there is a delay.
Thank you for your questions.
With best wishes,
County Cllr Marisa Heath, Chairman of the Planning and Regulatory Committee
The following alert has been sent to LOSRA by our neighbourhood officer, PC Caroline Barnes:
Over recent weeks we have seen an increase of door to door sales persons knocking on residents doors offering to sell goods or do work to their properties in Sunbury.
A resident reported recently that a trader who they had employed to complete some work on their property following the company doing door to door sales calls continuously raised the price for the job and therefore put a great amount of pressure onto the resident to pay the extortionate amount of money. Thankfully we were informed and were able to take the necessary action to ensure the resident did not pay any money to the rogue trader.
I would like to remind residents to consider the following advice in an effort to try and prevent you from becoming victims of distraction burglaries or rogue traders during the festive season:
Whenever anyone calls at your door:
STOP And think. Are you expecting a visitor? Are all your doors locked?
CHAINPut the chain or bar on BEFORE opening the door.
Use a spyhole or the window to see who it is.
CHECKAsk for a caller's ID. Check it thoroughly, call the company (look up the number yourself). A genuine caller won't mind waiting, or coming back later when you have somebody you trust with you.
I would advise all residents not to employ anyone who has knocked on your door offering to do work. If you need any works done to your property contact a company directly yourself. If you need assistance with choosing a company please contact Trading Standards who will be able to assist you further.
Should you not wish to buy anything from door to door sales persons then politely say NO and shut the door. Should they become intimidating, abusive or refuse to leave call 999 immediately.
Please do not be afraid to report any suspicious activity to police by calling 101 or 999 in the case of an emergency. We want to stop this crime from occurring to others and any information available is very much appreciated.
The following press release has been forwarded to LOSRA by Spelthorne Council and we are very pleased to reproduce it here:
Spelthorne Council has decided to nominate two open spaces in the Borough for Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Field status.
The spaces earmarked in Spelthorne are Orchard Meadow in Sunbury and Stanwell New Start open space.
The QEII Field project is an opportunity for residents of Spelthorne to be part of a high profile national campaign to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and also the London 2012 Olympics.
The aim of the project is to protect outdoor recreational space and, in so doing, raise the profile of parks and open spaces, encouraging the public to make better use of them. Further, it is hoped that extra funding may be made available to community groups, could mean further improvements can be made. The QEII Field status is in perpetuity although there is some flexibility for developments should these be considered necessary.,
Councillor Penny Forbes-Forsyth, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure commented: “I am delighted that two valuable open spaces in Spelthorne can go forward to be considered. This will ensure that this Borough can be part of a high profile national campaign to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics next year in London.
“The project will certainly raise the profile of the Borough’s parks and open spaces and also, I hope, make sure they are used and appreciated by members of the public”.
Rogues Gallery launched to name and shame convicted burglars and ask for information on those ‘Most Wanted’
Surrey Police has launched a new section on the Force’s website today to trace those both wanted and suspected of being involved in various burglary offences across the county. The section also names and shames those recently put behind bars.
The Rogues Gallery is split into three sections - 'Behind Bars', 'Most Wanted', and 'Do you know these people?' and it will run for an initial three month trial period. The Rogues Gallery will be updated on a regular basis with new convictions to highlight how the public have helped Surrey Police put criminals ‘Behind Bars’. It will also be updated regularly with those ‘Most Wanted’ or suspected of being involved in burglaries.
In the summer of last year it became apparent that, following the closure of Sunbury Police Station, our Neighbourhood Community Team of Officers would be based at the Council Offices at Knowle Green, Staines. This possibility prompted the Chairman to write to the Chief Constable and a meeting was subsequently arranged between his representative from Force Headquarters, and LOSRA's Chairman and Secretary .
Aware that an officer's 8 hour tour of duty commences at the time of reporting for duty at their designated base, we were very anxious that, without dedicated transport, they would be spending a great deal of their duty time in travelling by public transport to and from Lower Sunbury. The Chief Constable's representative accepted that this was a legitimate concern and assured us that our officers would be based at a suitable location in the Sunbury area. The following points were agreed and minuted at the meeting:
It now seems that the Surrey Police Force proposes to disregard the agreement LOSRA reached with the Chief Constable through his representative and instead proposes a base in the Walled Garden, Thames Street. In a sense, this is a sop because, although a police base, officers will still be required to report for duty at Knowle Green in the first instance. In short, this arrangement does nothing to address our original concerns - that officers' 8 hour duty clocks will still start when they report for duty at Knowle Green. There is no direct bus route from the Council Offices to Lower Sunbury and we estimate that travelling time from Knowle Green to Lower Sunbury and return, will take about two and a half hours off the time available to each officer for the policing of our neighbourhood. This scenario represents the best case. With the ever-present risks of traffic congestion at Sunbury Cross and the possibility of officers being diverted by the public whilst in transit, the reality would probably be much worse.
The Chairman is pursuing this matter further and will update this Website as and when the Surrey Force responds to his latest correspondence on the matter. To see letter from Neighbourhood Inspector, click here. To see Chairman's reply, click here.
LOSRA prides itself in its non-alignment to political parties, whether at the levels of central or local government. However this political neutrality has never been allowed to stand in the way of our confronting issues which we believe to be in the interests of our membership; and to make observations as objectively as we can.
Readers will recall the question published on this site (see article of 7th December) which was put before the SCC Full Council on our behalf by Mrs Nichols, Member for Lower Sunbury and Halliford on 13th December. Despite having had the required amount of time in which to fashion a response, the answer was written thus: "Due to the nature of the question and the detail required, the Leader has asked officers to provide a written response to Mrs Nichols within the next seven days"
At full Council, when Mrs Nichols attempted to challenge the matter by way of a supplementary question, the Chairman explained that, owing to the absence from Council of the Chairman of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, no answer to a supplementary question would be forthcoming; and allowed absolutely no further discussion on the subject.
The LOSRA Chairman, who was present in the public gallery and observed proceedings, is puzzled as to why the straightforward question put by the member within the prescribed 5 days, require a further seven days to answer; and why the Vice Chairman of the Planning and Regulatory Committee, Mr Keith Taylor, and who was present at Full Council, was not asked to respond to Mrs Nichols' supplementary question on behalf of the absent P&RC Chairman. Needless to say this shameful episode did nothing to restore one's faith in local democracy, openness or accountability.
Readers are invited to put whatever construction they wish on this, the latest development in the long and vexed matter of the proposed "Eco Park" at Charlton Lane.
Friday 23rd December 70's Rock Band, Fire and WaterA high energy Christmas party night to kick off the festive holiday ,featuring great ‘70s rock with the return of FIRE AND WATER - Mike Summerland (Guitar), Steve James (Drums & Keyboards), Mac Lowe (Bass) and the powerhouse vocals of Paul Cox playing the music of Free, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin and more. £5 on the door Check out info, video and audio clips and set lists at www.note-music.co.uk/15.FireandWater/fireandwater.html
Friday 24th December,Christmas Eve Club Social EveningA chance for everyone to get together to keep the party spirit going with free buffet supplied.
Sunbury Cricket Club hope to see as many of you as possible at the Club for these events, and would like to thank you all for your support for the Music Nights during the year and the many kind and positive comments we have received about them. LOSRA joins the Club in wishing you an enjoyable Christmas and New Year holiday.
The Avenue Neighbourhood 2011 Picture Competition resulted in an impressive thirty three entries from competitors aged of 5 and upwards. This is the fourth competition held by The Avenue NHW and again the standard of picture submitted is extremely high and the judges had great difficulty in selecting a winner in each of the four categories. The judges were especially impressed by the amount of talent and interest in just one road in Sunbury-on-Thames
The theme was ‘Sunbury’ and the pictures are on display in the Embroidery Gallery Cafeteria until Sunday 18 December and then for two days at Kempton Park on Boxing Day & 27th December.
The introductory Line to the Eco Park Story on the SCC Website reads as follows: "Plans to create an Eco Park to treat waste and generate green electricity have been given the go-ahead by the Government".
This statement is of course pure spin and factually untrue. The Secretary of State did not "call in" the application so has not expressed a view one way or the other. He simply referred it back to SCC. The County Council should not be allowed to hide behind the Minister by implying that the decision had nothing to do with them.
The following question has been submitted by the Hon. Chairman, LOSRA, for reply at Council on 13th December 2011:
"Council will be aware that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has, after 5 months of deliberation, declined to call-in the application to install a gasifier and anaerobic digester at the Charlton Lane Waste Management Facility in Shepperton, thus referring it back to SCC for determination.
Council will also be aware that it was after approval by the Planning & Regulatory Committee of the application by SITA UK that the Advertising Standards Authority found that Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code had been breached in respect of rules 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (unsubstantiated claims), 11.1 and 11.4 (Environmental claims).My question comes in 4 parts:
Once again, the late outcomes of two very significant planning applications have delayed the publication of our Autumn Newsletter. Whilst the Website has carried news of these items and other matters of interest, the Newsletter provides more detail. It will be delivered to all Lower Sunbury households from next weekend but it is available to view and download by clicking here.
The Lower Sunbury Business Community is holding the annual Christmas market on Avenue Parade outside the shops on Thursday December 15th this year from 5pm - 9pm. It is on the same day as the Carols in the Meadow, so come along, sing some carols and get in the Christmas spirit.
There will be lots of gift ideas, tempting tastes and purchases to make. The shops will be staying open later that evening and you may find a few serving mulled wine! Don’t miss this occasion.
The LSBC looks forward to seeing you there. Further details of the Carol Concert will be published on this Site in the next few days.
The following is an extract from a letter received by LOSRA today from the National Planning Casework Unit :
"The Secretary of State has carefully considered this case against call-in policy, as set out in the 1999 Caborn Statement. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively. The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.
The Secretary of State has carefully considered the impact of the proposal, and the key policy issues which this case raises. In his opinion, the proposals do not: involve a conflict with national policies on important matters; have significant effects beyond their immediate locality; give rise to substantial regional or nation controversy; raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or involve the interests of national security or of Foreign Governments. Nor does he consider that there is any other sufficient reason to call the application in for his own determination. He has therefore decided the application should be determined at local level, and has not called it in. The decision as to whether to grant planning permission will therefore remain with Surrey County Council."
It goes without saying that we are staggered by this mystifying decision as we believe that at least two grounds for a Secretary of State's determination are satisfied, namely; that the application for the incinerator will have significant effects beyond its immediate locality; and that there are significant architectural and urban design issues. Readers will doubtless make up their own minds as to why, after the application had been deliberated for 5 months by the DCLG (Department of Communities and Local Government), it has taken so long to reach this decision. All the more puzzling when we consider that the Secretary of State had been made aware of the Advertising Standards Authority findings that SITA, the contractors, had misled the public in three important respects during their public consultation (See entry for 26th October).