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  • Welcome to the LOSRA Website

    Welcome to the LOSRA Website

    The Lower Sunbury Residents' Association Read More
  • Become a Member

    Become a Member

    We invite anybody interested in the issues facing Lower Sunbury to subscribe Read More
  • View Our Newletters

    View Our Newletters

    You can find all the recent LOSRA Newsletter available to download Read More
  • LOSRA's Aims

    LOSRA's Aims

    To optimise and enhance the quality of life for Lower Sunbury residents by all appropriate means Read More
  • Sunbury As It Was

    Sunbury As It Was

    Visit the LOSRA Gallery for images past and Present Read More
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Welcome to the LOSRA Website

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.

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HazelwoodThe Planning Committee met on Wednesday 9th February to consider further information submitted by London Irish in their attempt to reduce the grounds of objection to their development proposals at The Avenue and at Hazelwood Golf Club. The Planning Officer recommended that there were insufficient grounds to maintain the objection to loss of an attractive landscape at Hazelwood; and that the potential for traffic congestion in The Avenue had not been established by the Highways Authority.

The Vice Chairman of the Planning Committee agreed; and argued that the removal of these grounds for objection would not diminish, and may even strengthen, the chances of the applications being refused at the Public Inquiry on 7th June. Nevertheless, whilst there is some sympathy with this view, residents will continue to make their case when the time comes. It is they who know best about what the traffic conditions are like in The Avenue during the morning rush as things stand today, let alone before the addition of nearly 200 dwellings. Similarly, the much valued visual amenity of the golf course (a consideration recognised in Planning Law) is a matter on which residents are well qualified to comment.

The Planning Inspector will consider and weight all matters put before him whether verbally or in writing.

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Fordbridge RoadThe Government Inspector has dismissed all three appeals involving the Environment Agency site at Fordbridge Road by Linden Homes and the EA. The Public Inquiry which, due to its complexity, overran by 2 days in November, heard spirited evidence from local residents who spoke against the applications.

This is a fantastic result and will, it is hoped, bring to an end a saga which has its origins dating back over 12 years. During that period local residents have fought staunchly and won every single planning application which has been unsympathetic to the neighbourhood. The conclusions reached by the Inspector have upheld very important principles regarding the Green Belt, floodplain, wildlife conservation, to name but a few. It is an historic ruling.

It can only be hoped, after this long and unhappy history, that all parties will rethink the future of this asset especially as we now understand that the Environment Agency is to be dismantled and broken down to more manageable constituent parts.

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The outcome of the SCC Planning Committee held on 2nd February to decide on the permanent allocation of Green Belt land to facilitate the Eco Park was very disappointing, though sadly, not unexpected. From start to finish it had been a political decision and this impression was reinforced by seeing The Leader of the Council, who is an ex-officio member and a champion of the Eco Park, sitting with the Committee. What other outcome could there possibly be? The objections raised by Spelthorne Borough Council who deliberated this application at length were given scant attention; in fact, only briefly mentioned in debate.

Most notable amongst the speakers was Cllr. Ernest Mallet, ironically a 'Residents Association' member for West Molesey. His seemingly dismissive comments about the local residential population drew hisses and gasps from the assembled audience. Not deterred, he then suggested that the opening hours of the Eco Park should be extended beyond 6pm to 7.30pm!

There is something uniquely unsatisfactory about:

  • a publicly funded body (Surrey County Council) who are custodians of Green Belt land vicariously owned by the council tax payer;
  • making it known they would like the land to be developed against the wishes of the local tax-paying community;
  • inviting an organisation to apply to develop that land;
  • then determining whether or not the application should succeed.

What better illustration of a 'thumb on the scales'. It's no defence to quote the Surrey Waste Plan for that has been held to be a flawed document in the Queens Bench Division of the High Court. Whether or not the integrity of this planning process can be defended, it is perceptions that count; and those perceptions, judging from online comments to this Association, point in a very different direction.

Unsurprisingly, the application was approved by a majority with only one abstention.

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John BarrymoreThere will be a showing of the rare black and white silent film of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde at St. Mary's Church on Saturday 19th February at 7.30pm. The film will be accompanied by Geoffrey Bowyer.

The 1920 horror silent film is based upon Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The actor John Barrymore leads the cast.

The event is being put on to raise much needed funds for the repairs to the Church roof. Tickets cost £8 and may be obtained through the Box Office: 01932 232068.

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The report from PC Caroline Barnes, our local Neighbourhood Safety Officer, draws particular attention to an increase in motor vehicle crime in Lower Sunbury together with some simple-to-follow crime prevention advice.

Click here to view the report

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Having rejected an application by Surrey County Council to allocate permanently the Site at Charlton Lane for the 'Eco Park', a special Planning Committee was again convened on 26th January to consider the application for the actual installation of the new waste disposal facility.

A packed and jubilant public gallery witnessed the unanimous rejection of the plan with the following recommendation to Surrey County Council:

"Surrey County Council be informed that this Council VERY STRONGLY OBJECTS to the proposal for the following reasons:

a. The proposal does not satisfactorily demonstrate there are genuinely 'very special circumstances' to justify development of this Green Belt site contrary to saved Local Plan Policy GB1.

b. The scale of the proposal goes beyond the existing site boundary and results in an adverse impact on the wider area through loss of existing landscaping and development in close proximity to [private address shown] contrary to Policy EN1 of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD (Development Plan Document).

c. The height and design of the structures are conspicuous and inappropriate in this Green Belt location and, in conjunction with the position of the internal roadway and buildings, has an unacceptable impact on [private address shown].

d. The landscaping should utilise all the land in the County Council's ownership to provide maximum screening and be designed to more appropriately reflect the wider landscape character of the area."

It is emphasised that this recommendation by no means brings the matter to an end. Spelthorne Borough Council are merely statutory consultees in the planning process and the final decisions will be taken by the Planning and Regulatory Committee at Surrey County Council. (See also articles published on this site (see 11th & 21st January).

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