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.
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
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