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.
Come and see photos of Sunbury from the extensive archives of the Sunbury & Shepperton Local History Society. Saturday 20th October between 10am and 4 o’clock.
There will be a display on the ground floor at Sunbury Library. Please bring your old photos and memories of Sunbury. Local history books will be on sale.
See the Sunbury & Shepperton Local History Society website: sslhs.org.uk
A series of roadshows asking residents for their views on Surrey's worst roads will run in the county this month.Residents will be able to put forward a road for possible inclusion in a proposed new road maintenance programme, designed to renew Surrey roads by resurfacing those in the worst condition.
For more details, click here
Father Paul of St.Mary's Parish is pleased to announce the Seven Days of Sunbury, an Arts in Education Project.
The aim of the project is to unite seven Sunbury Schools (Chennestone, Hawkedale, Springfield, St Ignatius, Beauclerc, Bishop Wand and Sunbury Manor) to produce a stunning artwork entitled “Seven Days of Sunbury.”
Each School will be assigned a “Day of Creation” and will create their own artistic interpretation of the creation story incorporating aspects of life in Sunbury.
This unique artwork will consist of seven separate panels, framed by two Angel panels by Donagh Curwen. It will be on show in St Mary’s Church on Saturday 13th October, 2012 until 15th October between 10.00am and 4.00pm together with individual displays from each School expanding on their creation theme.
At the meeting of the Spelthorne Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, 19 September, the 28-unit plan for the Police College site was approved, with a rider attached.
The Police College Development Action Group (PCDAG) have been lobbying for this plan to be approved by the Council for several months. It is not a perfect plan but we think it is the best compromise available, because:
There had been an earlier last-minute attempt by the Council to try and demand £1.1 million from Linden Homes in return for approval. This would have effectively scuppered the scheme, as it is most unlikely that Linden Homes would have agreed to pay such an inflated sum. The basis of this calculation was never explained.
Fortunately, Councillor Alfred Friday raised an amendment which will involve the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Smith-Ainsley, and the Head of the Planning Office, Heather Morgan, negotiating with Linden Homes for the maximum possible S. 106 contribution in lieu of the lack of affordable homes in the plan. The negotiations have to be completed within three weeks.
We are now preparing for the Appeal of the 44-unit plan, which is running in parallel with the Application for the 28-unit plan. We had hoped that this Appeal would not have been necessary, but that opportunity appears now to have been lost.
Councillors Friday, Sandra Dunn, Tim Evans, Caroline Nichols, Daxa Patel and Suzy Webb, all from Lower Sunbury, have given residents solid support over the last ten months. We are very grateful to them, as we are to Councillor Chris Frazer and other Councillors from various wards within Spelthorne. It was however very disappointing that, apart from a very few faithful stalwarts, the public gallery was almost empty. This Website urged members to attend as did the e-bulletin; and it's reasonable to suppose (from informal feedback) that had the gallery been filled, the application may have been passed without the difficult condition being attached.
Back again this week with what is also guaranteed to be another highly entertaining evening as we welcome The Mustangs once again. They continue to develop their reputation as one of the most in-demand bands on the blues circuit, appearing at many of the most important festivals all around the country as well as their regular club gigs.
They did the Strawberry Hill Music Day for the second year running in July, playing a great show to around 4,000 people, then played the Cambridge Rock Festival for the second year running in August, and since then have played at the Blues on the Farm festival in Sussex and at the revived Crawdaddy Club in Richmond - the week after their SCC gig they are back at the Swanage Blues Festival for the sixth consecutive time.
As those who have seen them before at the Club, they deliver a real high-energy show, playing almost all original material, and they have quite a few new songs in the set since the last gig as they are preparing a new album. Those who have seen them before will want to catch them again, and if you haven't seen them, you really should come along for this one.
You can get full information, read reviews, listen to all their music, and see some excellent videos, on their web site at www.themustangs.co.uk
We all love Lower Sunbury. That is why we have chosen to live here. It used to be a thriving commercial centre; a Butcher, a Baker, a Green Grocer, a Bank and so on. In recent times, the economic downturn (coupled with the effect of a certain hypermarket down the road) has had a big effect on the village and we have lost a lot of key services.
The Lower Sunbury Business Community was founded 18 years ago for two reasons; to help promote businesses within the village and to work towards making Lower Sunbury a pleasant place for shoppers to come.
Residents will no doubt have seen flags up in the village for the Jubilee & Olympics and we all enjoy the trees and lights at Christmas in Thames Street and The Avenue. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the Council that is responsible for these decorations, it is the LOSBC and its members who put them up and pay for them with the help of financial contributions by some of the Thames Street residents.
The Village Card scheme is another example of their work. It is a loyalty card, rewarding users with discounts or offers from participating retailers. Over the past year around 400 residents have been enjoying the financial benefits by carrying their village card when shopping or eating out.
Members of the LOSBC also run the popular Summer and Christmas markets in the village. Every penny of the money raised through these schemes is put back into making the village a popular and pleasant place for residents and visitors.
Since November 2011 the Council has ceased all funding to local business chambers and this has put the LOSBC under severe strain. Chairman of the LOSBC, Dennis van Wonderen says: “As the LOSBC is a non for profit making organisation all of our members donate their spare time to run the chamber. Raising money in these difficult times is not easy. Even the local Council has felt the impact of the recession which has caused funding to cease. All we can do is try and encourage our local residents to continue to support their local shops and businesses by promoting ourselves. Without our residents we don’t have a business, without our businesses Lower Sunbury doesn’t have a village. We need your help”.
Some members give time and some give services. For example, local Tree Surgeon Clive Cummings helps in his way. He works with the Tree Wardens to put wood chippings down on TP26 to help establish saplings. LOSBC members need your support. You can find a list of members and their services on the website: www.losbc.org and there is a link from the LOSRA Home Page.
Thames Corner in French Street, at the junction with Thames Street, is a site for which planning permission has been granted; and it's one of those sites specified by the Government which would, and could, provide its share of the 450,000 dwellings just waiting to be built. When it comes to 'banking' land, developers seem to care little for the degrading effect such sites may have on the resident community and adjoining properties - and this site is an example of that lack of care.
When such plots are neglected, it is only a matter of time before the security of the site becomes compromised by fly-tippers and other anti-social elements who are drawn to it like moths to a flame.
The Thames Corner site has been on our agenda for a very considerable time but it seems that, legally, there is nothing that can be done to enforce the commencement of construction. Residents should however be aware that we are in constant dialogue with the Council in order to minimise the worst effects of the neglect and to call the owners to account. If you have cause to complain it would be well worth remembering that your local councillors for Sunbury East ward, Suzie Webb, Caroline Nichols or Alf Friday are only an email or phone call away.
Linden Homes, whilst appealing the Planning Committee's refusal to build 44 houses on the Police College site in Green Street are nevertheless to be commended for coming back to the table and responding to residents’ concerns. They have re-drawn the site plan with the much lower density of 28 dwellings and an access from Thames Street rather than Green Street. It is this plan which will now be considered by the Planning Committee this coming Wednesday, 19th September. If approved, it is highly likely that the Company will withdraw its appeal against the Planning Committee's refusal of the original application.
This story may sound an improbable one and, indeed, it's almost unique in the experience of our Association; but it does demonstrate that when developers and the community act in concert, it's possible to conceive a scheme which fits well within the local vernacular; and one which will dignify its location as a gateway to the Lower Sunbury Village. It now remains for the Planning Committee to demonstrate its resolve to uphold the principles of localism once more by supporting its community in approving this application. LOSRA is very grateful to all those residents who have signed the petition in support of the revised scheme, which numbers in excess of 700 signatures. We are now asking that you go the extra mile by attending the Planning Committee at 7pm, to show your support.
The next great gig is on Friday 21st September, when SCC welcome back Paul Cox and Charlie Fabert during one of Charlie's visits from France for a mini-tour to take in the Boogaloo Blues Weekend on the Isle of Wight.
Charlie is one of the real rising stars of the international blues scene, playing a constant round of Festivals in his native France, and with a style that one critic described as "Hendrix meets Reinhardt - total magic".
When he visits the UK he is joined by the great blues and rock vocalist Paul Cox, who on other days leads Fire & Water, his Free/Bad Company/Led Zep tribute band, and sings with the Alan Glenn All Stars.
They will be joined by Paul's regular finely-honed line-up of Nigel Hardy (bass), Peter Stroud (drums) and Roger Cotton (keyboards). On both their previous appearances at the Club, Paul and Charlie both ended up on the tables, and we can expect similar no-holds-barred stuff this time around - we know they are very much looking forward to coming back, as they really enjoy playing at the Club, so it is hoped we can deliver a packed house for them.
They are doing a session for the Paul Jones Monday Night Blues Show at 7pm on Radio 2. Check Charlie's web site www.charliefabert.com - it's in French but has some fab videos, and check out Paul & Charlie's CD at www.note-music.co.uk/ThatsWhatWeWereBornFor.html
The following email has been received from the Council with a request that it be published for the attention of our readers. We are happy to oblige:
"The Government is planning to abolish Council Tax Benefit and has asked local councils to develop their own schemes to replace it.
We have started a consultation period which goes on until 30 November – asking for views on a series of proposals.
We would be most grateful if you could distribute this email to your members and ask them to complete it online at: http://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/benefit_consultation
Or recipients can print the questionnaire and fill it in by hand and return to FREEPOST, Revenues & Benefits, Spelthorne Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB.
If you would prefer to distribute paper copies of the consultation questionnaire to members, please let me know how many you require and they will be delivered to your postal address. The questionnaires can be posted back using the FREEPOST address provided.
Please encourage your members to pass on the message to family, colleagues and other contacts in Spelthorne.
The following announcement is made by Spelthorne Borough Council:
Spelthorne Council has a new website: http://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/ which offers users in the Borough an improved way of doing business with the Council and also a better way of providing information.
The front (home) page of the new site offers four distinct sections which include: ‘buttons’ to report, apply, pay, book and comment on content; news; top tasks - the main things that users want and need; and 'My Spelthorne' - a postcode search that brings up information on matters local to your street.
In addition, the site’s content has been reviewed and the best possible effort has been made to ensure it is accurate, up-to-date and useful. There is also an events calendar which allows visitors to list their community events for all to see.
The ‘pay for it’ button will make it easy and fast for people to pay for things on-line, without the necessity to phone, write or call in. This is particularly important for those who work or for whatever reason prefer to do things in their own homes in their own time. It will also mean that staff time can be better spent, dealing with more difficult enquiries.
Pages are colour coded so that visitors to the Site will be able to identify clearly, where they are, and the site will be available for use on smart phones and other mobile devices.
Readers will remember the article published on this Site on 24th July regarding the application by Andrew Roberts to convert to parkland, the Jolly Boatman Riverbank at Hampton Court. In a most unexpected step, Elmbridge Planning Officers have used their delegated powers to approve the application.
731 individual responses of support flooded in to the Planning Office. Added to these, representations from neighbouring residents' associations (including LOSRA), interest groups and professional bodies all joined the lobby of support. There were even endorsements from far-flung Los Angeles, Canada and the Netherlands, proving a point that the HCRC (Hampton Court Rescue Campaign) has long stressed, that this is not merely a local issue.
HCRC extends its thanks to LOSRA and its other supporters who spared the time to write to the Planning Officer. Clearly, the deluge of responses convinced Elmbridge Officedrs of the strength of support for a Jolly Boatman Park.
Further to the article published on 11th August, and following the public exhibition, two changes have been made to the original proposal:
Mr Jonathan Stoddart, Director of CBRE wrote to LOSRA with the additional comment: "I note on the LOSRA website that someone made a comment regarding the archaeological assessment. We address this in our Statement of Community Involvement but for your benefit we have undertaken an initial study and it shows that the site is not in an area of archaeological significance and coupled with the fact we are building on brownfield land it is unlikely that further assessments are required."
For Site Plan and Elevations, click here