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.
On Friday 7th September we have another opportunity to commemorate the late Albert Skinner, much-loved former postmaster and newsagent, who was not only a friend to everyone in Lower Sunbury and a pillar of the community but also a great jazz fan. The 3rd of our occasional Albert Skinner Jazz Nights is being held, once again featuring Lower Sunbury's own jazz celebrity Tony Kinsey with his Quintet at Sunbury Cricket Club.
Tony is, of course, one of the major figures of British post-war modern jazz, ranking alongside the likes of John Dankworth, Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes, with a reputation not only for being one of the classiest drummers in the business but also a highly-respected bandleader. For this performance he has brought together some of the top names on the contemporary jazz scene: John Horler (piano), Andy Cleyndert (bass), Jimmy Hastings (tenor sax & flute) and Andy Panayi (alto sax & flute). We can guarantee a thoroughly entertaining evening of top class and very accessibly jazz - even if you're not a dyed-in-the-wool jazz fan, this is very easy music to enjoy and an opportunity to see one of the godfathers of the genre working with a hand-picked ensemble.
This Tony Kinsey Albert Skinner Jazz Night is now part of the regular series of Music Nights held at Sunbury Cricket Club, which we know local people have supported so well over the last year or so.
On Sunday afternoon,19th August, a small parrot was found as it flew in to a church building in Green Street/Rooksmead Road. The bird is very tame, really craves human company and is sure to be someone's beloved pet.
The finder, a local resident is keeping it for the time being but is naturally very anxious to trace the owner.
If you, or anyone you know, has lost a bird which is green with white rings around its eyes and a wine-red tail; and which resembles that in the photograph, please get in touch by emailing LOSRA via the 'Contact LOSRA' menu at the top right hand of this page.
Sunbury Cricket Club is very pleased to announce that Blues Patrol, who were quite excellent when they first played at the Club last September, make a welcome return to Sunbury Cricket Club on Friday 17th August. Many of you may well be away on holiday, but for those who are around and will be looking for some diversion having been freed from the TV with the end of the Olympics, an entertaining and enjoyable evening is guaranteed. Blues Patrol play a highly accessible blend of blues and R&B, and the Club looks forward to seeing you there.
Following the article on 24th July, LOSRA has received the following email from Jonathan Stoddart, Director of CBRE Planning:
"On Thursday 2nd August, The Salvation Army hosted a public exhibition at Sunbury Court, where plans were unveiled for the proposed redevelopment of the existing residential accommodation block and site landscape improvements.
"The exhibition had a great turn out from local residents, who provided a number of useful comments on the proposals. We collected over 35 feedback forms which offered resounding support for the proposals (with no objections) and outlined a few issues for consideration. These included comments regarding appropriate landscaping and screening of the new development and appropriate ecology management.
"We will take into account all of the information gathered, together with queries and comments received since the public exhibition as we work now to develop more detailed plans for the site ahead of the planning application."
Regatta day at Rivermead Island on Saturday 11th August will provide a fun and action packed experience for all the family starting at 9am when racing begins. The racing is a mixture of club skiffing and punting, as well as the ever popular local events such as “row for your local”, local dongolas and “Tug of War”. As well as racing events there are lots of sideshows and stalls. For the younger group of supporters there will be face painting and puppet shows, along with lots of other events in which to participate.
At the end of the racing and after the prize-giving, open air entertainment will begin in the central area, featuring local bands and singers. The entertainment will take guests up to the illuminated sail past by the Middle Thames Yacht Club, followed by the famous fireworks display. The bars and restaurant areas will remain open until dusk offering a variety of foods all prepared by local restaurants and bakers.
As ever, LOSRA will have its usual stand which will be manned by our Committee members. We will be pleased to answer questions on current projects and to renew your membership if you haven't yet done so for 2012.
Since the Spelthorne Planning Committee refused the Linden Homes application for the Police College site in Green Street, the Police College Development Action Group (PCDAG) has had several meetings with Linden Homes about their development plans. These discussions have been most positive; and new plans have been drafted for the development of the site and have now been submitted to the local planning authority. To view plans, visit: http://my.spelthorne.gov.uk/planning/ and insert the reference 12/00995/FUL.
We believe this revised plan successfully addresses the concerns raised by local residents and the Planning Committee; and we are happy to endorse it as the best alternative available. The main advantages of the new plan are the reduced density (28 dwellings as opposed to 44 in the previous plan); the entrance/exit being moved to Thames Street from Green Street, thus alleviating the predicted traffic pressure on the Green Street/Church Street/Thames Street 'triangle'; and an increase in on-site parking provision from 1.8 spaces per unit to 2.4 - a figure more in keeping with average car ownership in Lower Sunbury.
In addition, the buildings at the centre of the site are further away from the Stile Path boundary as proposed in the previous plan and the Green Street frontage is further back from the street. In design terms, the siting of various buildings is more organic and less rectilinear; and the frontage of Thames Street with its corner building is a great improvement. LOSRA believes this to be the best alternative scheme but readers will be aware that Linden Homes has also appealed the Planning Committee's refusal of their previous application for 44 dwellings. If this revised plan for 28 homes is approved by Planning Committee, Linden Homes have undertaken to withdraw that appeal with savings for all, including us as local tax payers.
Our thanks go to everyone who signed the petition outside Skinners on Saturday morning and gave their support for the 28-unit plan. If you have not yet had an opportunity to sign, you may do so when visiting the LOSRA stand at the Sunbury Regatta this Saturday or, alternatively you may do it online at: http://www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/yes-in-our-backyard/4607
This lovely view from King’s Lawn and St Mary’s Church in Sunbury is under threat from Elmbridge Borough Council’s outline plans for a ‘sports hub’ to be built in the greenbelt right next to Sunbury Weir. We think this is one of the most beautiful stretches of the river Thames and the sports complex will ruin the setting of the river Thames and the peaceful Sunbury conservation area.
The complex includes an Athletics Stadium, four more football pitches, a huge spectator stand and parking for an extra 250 cars and coaches. There will be 28 floodlight masts, which will look like a wind farm during the day, and spread light pollution from the Xcel building to the Weir Pub at night. The plans for this site include moving two football clubs to this location, which will result in residents suffering the noise of football matches being played most days of the week in the football season. Floodlights could operate until 10pm every day.
Why has Elmbridge Borough Council not considered the impact on Sunbury? Like a typical developer they want to profit from selling the vacated land for housing. The only difference between Elmbridge Borough Council and a commercial developer is that Elmbridge granted themselves Outline Planning Permission!
Come to the LOSRA stand at the Regatta and sign our petition to Save the view of Sunbury Weir from floodlighting in Waterside Drive
Following the Information Day held at the Riverside Arts Centre on 23rd June, Linden Homes have sent this report to LOSRA and, as part of the Steering Group, we are pleased to reproduce it here. The report details the questions and answers to concerns raised by residents.
"We held our first information day on the proposed development of the Environment Agency site in Fordbridge Road, at the Riverside Arts Centre in Sunbury on 23 June, where we shared the initial plans we have developed so far and got feedback from those who attended.
Around 25 people came along, with most living in the roads nearest to the development site. We collected some very useful feedback from them, which will be considered by the steering group as we work together to develop more detailed plans for the site ahead of any planning application.
We have gathered the issues raised at the information day, along with points, questions and concerned raised since the steering group was first formed, and have produced an extensive Q&A for anyone interested in the development. To view Q & As, click here.
The Hampton Court Rescue Campaign has written to LOSRA with the following release. Whilst not in our immediate area, the site is one of national importance and LOSRA has given its support to the Campaign from the outset. Please take a couple of minutes to view the film and to add your support.
HCRC has made a short Youtube film which beautifully illustrates the 'new plans' for Hampton Court.
Support is gathering pace. Your messages have begun to flow into Elmbridge Planning Dept., and HCRC is very grateful for your contributions. But we must ensure that Elmbridge is given a clear and forceful message about the long term future of the Jolly Boatman riverbank.
You can do this using the instructions below:
HAVE YOUR SAY
IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ALL CORRESPONDENCE MUST CARRY THE PLANNING REFERENCE NUMBER OR YOUR MESSAGE WILL NOT BE COUNTED - 2012/2362
Or, by post to Elmbridge Borough Council, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD
You can also use the link below to send your message. Just click the link below to 'EBC Planning Application Search'.
Key in this Reference Number 2012/2362 to open the correct page, and scroll down to the 'submit comments' box at the base. In due course, your message will be published by EBC there, in ‘view attachments’.
LOSRA has been contacted by Jonathan Staddart, Director of CBRE Ltd to notify residents that a public exhibition will be held on 2nd August on behalf of the Salvation Army who have asked the Company to prepare a planning application to replace an accommodation block on their site at Sunbury Court. The plan's aim is to ensure there is sufficient space for the Army’s delegates and members when they need to visit. Below is the poster which is also being reproduced in the Surrey Herald:
PLEASE COME ALONG AND GIVE YOUR VIEWS!
The Salvation Army invites you to view our proposals for the partial redevelopment of the Sunbury Court site which involves demolishing the very dated accommodation block and outbuilding, and re-providing modern accommodation on-site with enhanced landscaping.
WHERE AND WHEN?
Date: Thursday 2nd August 2012
Time: From 2.30pm until 7pm
Venue: The Red Room, The Mansion House, Sunbury Court, Lower Hampton Road, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex, TW16 5PL
Representatives from the Salvation Army’s professional team will be available throughout the exhibition to listen to your comments and answer questions you may have about the proposals and a questionnaire will be available for you to register your views.
* on arrival at reception please ask to be directed to the Sunbury Court public exhibition in the red room
And now, as they say, for something completely different, as the SCC welcomes MOSQUITO-B this coming Friday 20th July.
The Club has had two stunning shows from the visiting North American artists with Buddy Whittington and Hamilton Loomis, and we can be certain that they're going to have another electric night with Canadian indie band MOSQUITO-B.
Their music is hard to pin down and if you check out the tracks on their web site at www.mosquito-b.com, you'll understand why.
It's all original songs, all very up-front and musical, and very exciting, so it's hoped that a big crowd will welcome them to Sunbury this coming Friday.
Further to the article published on 10th July below, the following reply has been received from the Case Officer at the Planning Inspectorate. Despite LOSRA providing evidence that the application would indeed "have significant effects beyond its immediate locality", the Secretary of State, doesn't agree; and signally fails to give a reason for his disagreement. Readers will have to make up their own minds as to the degree of enquiry devoted to LOSRA's request given that the reply appears to derive from a standard template and was turned around within 3 days.
The full text of the email is reproduced here:
Further your email of the 9th July 2012, regarding the above planning application.
Firstly, I would like to explain that local planning authorities have the statutory responsibility for considering proposals for development. Authorities have to determine planning applications in the light of the local development plan for the area and any other material planning considerations. They must also take into account any representations received and give reasons for their decision. The Government is clear that localism and decentralisation are at the heart of their planning agenda and the general approach of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of authorities on planning matters
As requested, 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 national 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.
In considering whether to exercise his discretion to call in this application, the Secretary of State has not considered the matter of whether the application is EIA development for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011. The local planning authority responsible for determining this application remains the relevant authority responsible for considering whether these regulations apply to this proposed development and, if so, for ensuring that the requirements of the Regulations are complied with.
I appreciate that you will be disappointed with the decision. It is, however, now for Elmbridge Borough Council to determine this application.
Mrs M Peart
Further to the article published on this Site on Wednesday 23rd May, LOSRA has now formally requested that the application by Elmbridge Borough Council be 'called in' by the Secretary of State. The following email was sent today:
Further to recent correspondence from Mrs Muriel Bankhead, I write on behalf of this Association to support the request for a call-in by the Secretary of State in relation to the above application on the grounds that it falls within the criteria for the Secretary of State to 'call in'; namely, that it is "a development that could have significant effects beyond its immediate locality".
The Borough of Spelthorne has a duty as the local planning authority to prepare proposals for the preservation and enhancement of its conservation areas (S.71 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation areas) Act 1990) and it has acquitted itself of this duty as far as it falls within its remit do do so.
The character of any area derives primarily from its physical form both visually and from the expression of history which it represents; and secondly from the uses and activities within the area. A number of distinct elements have had an influence on the development of the Lower Sunbury Conservation Area and its character today, not the least of which is the River Thames and the residents or visitors, who enjoy its amenity.
In the nineteenth century many visitors began to be attracted to Lower Sunbury to use punts and rowing boats on the River. Recreational boating has in the last century largely taken the place of freight river traffic and both moored and moving boats remain a distinctive feature of Lower Sunbury. It goes without saying that views both towards and from the River Thames are one of the most important characteristics of the Conservation Area.
Alongside the River Thames to the south of Thames Street areas of open space provide direct views from the Conservation Area to the River and beyond. They provide both windows to the River and an important green backcloth for views from the River. The interspersing of these open spaces between building development is a very distinctive feature of the Conservation Area. In particular, Kings Lawn is a sloping grassy area opposite St. Mary's Church and the old brick wall boundary of Sunbury Park. It is a popular area for walking, sitting and fishing; and provides mooring for private and hire boats.
Whilst PPG2 has been superceded by The National Planning Policy Framework, para. 81 of the NPPF is quite specific: "....local planning authorities should plan positively to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belts such as....to retain and enhance landscapes, visual amenity and biodiversity. This obligation is most certainly not confined to areas which fall within the purview of one local authority area alone but must necessarily extend to those adjoining it. This is a woeful oversight on the part of Elmbridge Borough Council who, it would seem, are minded to approve their own application.
Furthermore, as para. 89, NPPF allows for the provision of appropriate facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation....it contains the important qualification: "as long as it preserves the openness of the Green belt". In this respect the application manifestly fails to meet the requirement when viewed from the River or its northern bank.
I would be grateful if this request for 'call-in' could be treated as urgent. It is intended that the application will be determined by the LPA on Tuesday 10th July, 2012.
Lower Sunbury Residents' Association (LOSRA)
The following appeal has been received by LOSRA and we are pleased to reproduce it here:
Surrey Police is appealing to members of the public to come forward with information that could help the Force deliver a safe and secure Olympic Games.
With Surrey hosting the Torch Relay, Cycle Road Races and Cycle Time Trial, many people will be visiting the county during Games time. This makes Surrey attractive to some individuals or groups, who see it as an opportunity to commit crime, or disrupt the events in the county.
Planning for the Games has been ongoing for a number of years, and a lot of work has gone in to ensuring the county remains safe - but we need the public to remain vigilant. If you hear anything, or see anything, including information on the internet that you think looks suspicious or causes you concern, please let us know.
If you do have information to report please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) by dialling 101. To find out your local SNT, simply add your postcode into the Surrey Police website www.surrey.police.uk , or if you own a Smartphone, you can download the Surrey Police app, by searching for Surrey Police in the App Store or Google Play. Alternatively you can report online by visiting www.surrey.police.uk. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or report online by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org
If you’re planning on going to any of the events then please ensure you plan your journey as there will be disruption on the roads. Make sure you keep your valuables safe, and let a friend or relative know where you’re going and what time you expect to return.
Chief Superintendent Gavin Stephens said:
“First and foremost, we want the Olympics to be enjoyed by everyone. If you’re going to an event, please visit www.gosurrey.info for useful information, and travel news.
We have been planning for this event for years and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure the county remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
We’re getting closer to the start of the Games now and it is vital we disrupt those intent on committing crime or using the Games as a platform to protest. If you have any information please contact us, even if you think it might be nothing, we will judge if the information you have is useful intelligence. For more safety and security advice, please visit www.surrey.police.uk/olympics. You can also follow your local SNT on Facebook and Twitter.”
Call 101 for all non-emergency policing matters.
Call 999 if you have a genuine emergency requiring the attendance of the police (eg a crime is in progress or someone is in immediate danger).
Call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 if you have information about a crime and don't want to leave your name.