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 2023 are now payable.
Gas Safe Engineers, cold calling, concert ticketing and product recalls are all featured in the latest Trading Standards Alert. To view, click here
March sees another band making their debut at the SCC Music nights, as they welcome the Blue Bishops, who work at the rocky end of the blues/R&B spectrum.
They are performers with a rich heritage, including Geoff Grange (guitar, vocals, harmonica) collaborator of Bill Wyman and Nicky Hopkins; Jim Rodford, formerly of Argent and The Animals on bass; Justin Hildreth, formerly with Joan Armatrading, on drums; and Simon Burrett, veteran of may bands since his days as an artist with Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon label in the '60s.
They work in the studio with former Abbey Road luminary, John Leckie, producer of Bebopo Deluxe, Argent and Radiohead.
Find out lots more and hear some tracks at www.bluebishops.co.uk
Back in January we published an appeal for volunteers to join Thames 21 in a clean up Sunbury Lock Island. Those who came will remember the remorselessly cold day it was too. Thames 21 will again be coming to Sunbury Lock Island on Saturday 16th March from 10am - 1pm. This location is a charming part of the Lower Sunbury riverscape and we are being asked to join a team to give it a clean-up and to help manage the vegetation.
Volunteers are asked to report to the footbridge ahead of the lock at 10am. Old clothes recommended but all necessary equipment will be provided. Details of the public events are also on the Thames21 website www.thames21.org.uk/events/
As ever, full of important up-to-date information, the Spring Newsletter is now at the printers and will be delivered to Lower Sunbury households from 14th March. To view the electronic version, click here.
Further to the article posted on 20th February, we are very pleased to report that over 150 protesters gathered at the Civic Centre in Esher for the Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 27th February, representing an alliance of interested parties: residents affected by Waterside Drive proposals, including LOSRA Committee members; residents affected by Stompond Lane proposals and supporters of Walton & Hersham Football Club (WHFC) who have played at Stompond Lane for 80 years.
A double decker bus arrived carrying WHFC fans who proceeded to wave banners and placards calling for the council to “Save Stompond Lane” as councillors arrived for the meeting.
The public gallery was packed beyond its standing room capacity and extra committee rooms were opened to accommodate the crowd. The level of public turnout evidently took Council officials by surprise, with comments made by the Mayor, Cllr Janet Turner, Cllr Chris Sadler. The Reverend called upon councillors to consider the communities they represented during the prayers.
Cllr Stuart Selleck called for a further amendment to the Stompond Lane development proposal for an "appropriate period of consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders be held in close proximity to the Stompond Lane sports ground". The Council leader, John O’Reilly agreed to a ‘significant period of consultation prior to the planning application for Stompond Lane… with a reasonable expectation that, as part of that consultation, amendments will be made and taken on board’.
Whilst this was good news for supporters of Stompond Lane, LOSRA will be calling for a similar consultation process to be held with Sunbury residents before a detailed Planning submission is drawn up for the sports stadium complex at Waterside Drive. The scheme submitted last year was poorly designed, and there was no input sought from Spelthorne representatives.
Apart from these latest scams, the Trading Standards Alert also draws attention to product recalls. To see the full TS Alert, click here.
All are welcome to a coffee break on 1 March 2013; any time between 10am and midday at Sunbury Library, The Parade, Staines Road West.
Coffee and cake will be served together with an opportunity to take part in a mystery town quiz, all for just 50p.
The April Coffee morning is cancelled.
On 16th January, an article headed: 'A last Chance to Save Hampton Court Railway Station' was published on this Website. Although it concerned a development which was not within the Lower Sunbury area, it was nevertheless felt that, because of its heritage status, it would be of interest beyond its immediate locality.
The following announcement now comes from the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign (HCRC):
The public's response to the Demolition Application was unprecedented. 900 letters of objection were sent to Elmbridge's Planning Officer opposing the proposals, not just from the UK, but from around the world. This time, bolstered by the overwhelming volume of opposition, Councillors on the Planning Committee rejected the Planning Officer's recommendation to permit the Application. In a very close result and greeted by loud applause from the public gallery, the demolition Application was refused by a single vote, 5 to 4. The Councillors' decision was significant and far-reaching, because without the Station's partial demolition, Gladedale's wider development, approved by Elmbridge in 2008, could not be progressed.
HCRC is very grateful to all those who took the trouble to write in opposition to the scheme. To view complete press release, click here.
Regular visitors to this site will recall the announcements posted on 23rd May, 1st August and 10th December of 2012. (To refresh your memory on these related articles, please enter Xcel in the search facility above; and/or the LOSRA Newsletters Menu for the Autumn 2012 edition).
As was suspected, Elmbridge Council is now progressing plans for the proposed Sports Stadium complex on Green Belt at Waterside Drive by submitting a development proposal for the football and athletics clubs' current site at Stompond Lane in Walton.
Last year, and to allay the strong suspicions of residents, Elmbridge officers and councillors repeatedly assured us that the two sites were completely unconnected (in other words, the development of one (Xcel) was not contingent upon the sale and development of the other (Stompond Lane). This year, however, they have admitted that the two are indeed connected and, amazingly, deny that they ever claimed there was no connection between existing sports ground and the development of a £6m sports hub adjacent to Xcel.
The land at Waterside Drive is in the greenbelt. The proposal is for an athletics track, a grandstand, the main football pitch and three practice pitches which will stretch from the Xcel building along behind the Weir Pub. The view from the historic conservation area in Sunbury will be ruined by the very visible 28 floodlights,18 metres high, on top of the bund.
The two football clubs currently playing at Stomponds Lane have absolutely no desire to move to this out-of-town location and will be expected to play their matches every Saturday and Wednesday. The floodlit practice pitches will be in use most days and the noise, amplified by the water of the Thames, will be constant.
Elmbridge Council will be proceeding with similar haste to last year, stating that they expect to finalise plans for the Waterside Drive sports hub by March 2013. That seems absolutely astonishing given that the land is contaminated, and the Outline Planning Application required a number of reports to ascertain whether it could be excavated and built on safely, particularly when it is so close to the river Thames. Residents in Sunbury were not properly consulted last year when the Outline Planning application was 'pushed through' and there is now a much wider alliance of opposition.
The first meeting will be at Full Council at 7.45 on Wednesday 27th February at the Civic Centre in Esher. LOSRA members are urged to attend and, if reluctant to drive themselves, there will be a coach leaving the Weir Pub at 6.45, stopping at Stompond Lane at 7.00pm before continuing to the Civic Centre.
Please try to come along.
It seems that news on the criminal substitution of beef products with horsemeat changes by the hour.
For all up-to-date information about the current situation visit the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk There is also a dedicated telephone helpline 0845 051 8322.
After months of deliberation, and following an unsuccessful appeal to develop 87 units on the EA Fordbridge Road site, a new application (13/00153/FUL) has been submitted by Linden Homes and the Environment Agency for the Riverside works site in Fordbridge Road.
Overall the scheme proposes 37 new houses and flats with associated access, parking, open space and landscaping; and a new workshop, compound and storage facility with associated access for the Environment Agency, following the demolition of all buildings and structures on site (except the substation).
The proposals include the following details:
LOSRA and the Campaign Against Riverside Over-development have been involved from the outset and, as parties to the creation of the eventual plan, are very pleased to endorse this application.
To view the application in full together with associated plans, please click here: www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/3898/Riverside-Works-Fordbridge-Road-Sunbury
A reminder that the next Coffee Concert at the Riverside Arts Centre will be held on Saturday 9 February.
Joseph Tong (piano) will give an exciting recital of Romantic works, featuring Debussy’s Estampes, Chopin’s Ballade no.3, Rachmaninov’s Etude-Tableau (op.39 no.5) and Schubert’s mighty ‘Wanderer Fantasie’
The Shepperton and Sunbury Arts Association would like you to join them for coffee and croissants from 10.15am. The recital will start at 11am and last approximately an hour.
The scam drawn to your attention in December is sill doing the rounds. The intended target gets a recorded message saying he/she is due an immediate pension bonus and, as the case is urgent, the target must immediately respond by pressing 5 or sometimes a 9 on the phone's keypad.
Trading standards officers are aware of this scam and say: "The scammers are telephoning and may well say they are from the Pension Helpline and claim that you are due a £1,000 bonus. Callers may even be able to provide you with some personal information such as name and address. Protect yourself and never provide any personal information to these callers or any cold caller."
This scam is aimed at pensioners, but there may well be variations aimed at other age groups.
For the rest of the Trading Standards most recent alert, click here
Following Spelthorne Council’s application for Judicial Review, Surrey County Council and SITA Surrey Ltd have confirmed to the High Court that they will not build the disputed incinerator at the Eco Park at Charlton Lane.
In order to avoid further public expenditure on a costly Judicial Review, Spelthorne Council suggested that the County Council and SITA should give the Court a clear written statement that they would not implement that part of the permit which relates to the disputed gasifier.
Leader of the Council Robert Watts said: "This is an important concession which the Council has won from the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council and SITA. Despite all the explanations which the Environment Agency gave to us, we were still concerned for the safety of our residents. Our legal advice was clear that the permit would potentially allow pollution in excess of that which was legal under European Law. As a new permit is about to be negotiated for a new design of technology, it was important to make this point and stand up for the best interests of Spelthorne residents. We will be fully involved in the negotiation of any new permit to make sure that any new design does not have the same issues which have dogged this application and the failed incinerator at Dargavel in Scotland.”
SITA and the County Council have confirmed that they intend to apply for a variation to the existing permit to allow for a new design of incinerator. This application is expected shortly. The Borough Council will be consulted as part of the process and will be assessing the permit application to make sure it complies with European Law.
Readers of this Site will be aware that LOSRA, in conjunction with SATEP (Shepperton Against the Eco Park). has fought a long and hard battle against the installation of an incinerator of unproven technology in the centre of a populated area. We have together spent £8400 in legal fees and countless hours examining the hundreds of pages of technical specification so that we were able to challenge this project on sound scientific grounds; and to ask questions of SITA which were never satisfactorily answered.
We are very grateful for the support of the Planning Office and Legal Services Department of Spelthorne Borough Council without which the challenge to the Environment Agency permit would not have been affordable or even possible. It must however be emphasised that this success represents a 'round one' victory only and we await a further application by Surrey County Council.
To view the Judicial Review Position Statement, click here
To view the Planning and Permit Position, click here