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.
At the Residents Associations' quarterly meeting with the Local Planning Authority on 23 January there was particular interest in hearing more about mineral extraction. The LPA offered to arrange a special meeting on the subject and the offer was widely supported by those present.
This special meeting will be held on Monday 27 February starting at 7.00pm and will be held at the Council Offices at Knowle Green. The meeting will not end later than 8.45pm but as always the LPA will be happy to stay on longer to talk informally with those who may have further questions. The evening will be in two parts with a slide presentation on the subject by John Brooks, Head of Planning Policy, followed by time for questions. As with all of the meetings with residents groups this will be an informal occasion with Council officers.
This meeting will be very timely as the Council is expecting two large mineral proposals to be submitted in the next few months – at Manor Farm between Laleham and Staines; and Watersplash Farm between Shepperton and Sunbury. In the coming few years there are also likely to be further proposals. Whilst planning application decisions on minerals and waste matters are taken by the County Council, the Borough Council is a statutory consultee and will always give its views. Such proposals always arouse concern and the LPA hopes to provide a good background on the subject for residents.
The following will give you an idea of what the LPA will try and cover:
In view of the likely wider interest in the subject the LPA plans to use the Council Chamber rather than the Committee Room. LOSRA is being invited to send 3 or 4 people. This is not a public meeting and we may exceed this number if necessary.
If you would like to attend, please use the Contact LOSRA menu button by Wednesday 22nd February and leave your details. We will operate on a "first come first served" basis.
Residents are reminded that the closing date for written representations to Surrey County Council closes on 24th February (See article of 16th January).
The Leader of the Council, Cllr. Vivienne Leighton, has written to residents and her letter is reproduced here.
It was only recently that the Registered Charity, Thames 21 extended its remit to include the non-tidal reaches of the Thames and will again be coming to Sunbury Lock Island on Saturday 18th February 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.
Volunteers are needed to help with removing litter and managing the vegetation. It will also be a great opportunity to learn about the environment, spot wildlife and meet new people. Volunteers are asked to report to the footbridge ahead of the lock at 10am. Old clothes recommended but all necessary equipment will be provided. For more details, click here.
The following Press Release has been received by LOSRA:
Surrey’s leaders have vowed they will do all they can to help people throw street parties to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, Cllr Vivienne Leighton said: “There is going to be a real buzz of excitement around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I’m sure many Spelthorne residents will be planning to celebrate this historic event. We are committed to making it easy for residents to hold street parties and can offer support and advice to help ensure things go smoothly. Visit our website at www.spelthorne.gov.uk/streetparties or contact us on 01784 451499.
Surrey County Council Leader, David Hodge said: “There were more than 200 street parties in Surrey for last year’s Royal wedding and we want people to come together again and show the sense of community spirit that makes the County such a wonderful place to live.
“I can’t think of a better way to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign than spending the day celebrating with neighbours or friends and I have asked our highways teams go out of their way to help make this happen.
“To help people turn party plans into reality we’ve made it simpler and quicker to apply for a road closure but of course there will be some cases where the potential effect on the emergency services means we have to ensure safety is not compromised.”
Applications for parties can be made to district and borough councils, who make the final decision. Surrey County Council is consulted on road closures. For more details visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/diamondjubilee.
For a mere £5 on the door, this will be a rousing evening of good time rock ‘n’ roll, bar room blues and rock from a star-studded line-up.
The band are: Nick Simper (bass), originally with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates back in the ‘60s – Nick survived the car crash in which Johnny was tragically killedin 1966. He was a founder member of Deep Purple, staying with them for their first two albums, then formed Vertigo label act Warhorse (formerly Marsha Hunt’s backing band), introducing Rick Wakeman to the world of rock. He formed Fandango in the late ‘70s and has also played over the years with acts as varied as Screaming Lord Sutch and The Flowerpot Men; Richard Hudson (drums) was an original member of hugely successful band The Strawbs, then left in 1973 to form Hudson Ford, who were equally high profile, and also made the 70s cult album “Bad Habits” with The Monks; Simon Bishop (guitar) was also in Hudson Ford and also played in one of the several incarnations of Renaissance; Pete Parks (guitar) was also with Warhorse in the early ‘70s, and with Nick in Fandango. Alan Barnett (vocals) was with the British band called Jo Jo Gunne (as opposed to the admittedly more high profile US hit band of the same name!).
It’s the kind of pedigree that underpins an effortless and well-honed show – highly entertaining. There’s a huge amount of interesting background at www.nicksimper.com.
PC Barnes highlights an increase in motor vehicle crime in Sunbury and gives crime prevention advice in her January policing report. Click here to view.
We are very grateful to all those readers who took the time to respond to our appeal (see report of 16th January). It was also feared that the application to develop the Eco Park would be approved by SCC officers without the matter again being considered by Planning and Regulatory Committee. We have always maintained that, in view of the material matters which have come to light since the application was referred to the Secretary of State, a further hearing was imperative, if only in the interests of democratic fair play.
The following paragraphs are an extract from an email received from County Cllr Marisa Heath, Chairman of the Planning and Regulatory Committee:
"As it has now been confirmed that the application is to come back to the Planning and Regulatory Committee, I am not going to comment on the specific points you raise as that will jeopardise my position. However, they have been read and noted.
"Just to alleviate any concerns you may have over a lack of information on the process, it may interest you to know that a total of 1908 notification letters covering those who have previously expressed an interest in the application and to properties adjoining and in the locality of the site will be sent out in the next couple of days. A public notice will appear in the Surrey Herald on Thursday 2 February and notices will be placed on site. Our website http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/ will be updated ready for publication on Wednesday and will have the documents referred to in the notification letter available for downloading. Please be assured that members of the public and interested parties will have access to all the information and will have the opportunity to put forward views to be considered by members of the Committee, some of which represent and live in the Spelthorne area."
It should be noted that you are being asked to submit (or re-submit) your representations. For the purposes of the P&R Committee the project is being treated as a fresh application, the last one having been heard before the Advertising Standards Authority published their damning final adjudication on the public consultation. (See also articles of 26th October, 7th & 22nd December). In making further representations you may wish to consider the following points which were reflected in the ASA judgement:
The technology is not proven, as claimed by SITA. Shepperton would receive an untried, untested prototype gasification unit.
The reference sites that SITA claim are "operating successfully with emissions falling within predicted levels" has been ruled as misleading, unsubstantiated and also fail on environmental claims, as the quoted Dumfries site has suffered operational issues since inception and experiences emission breaches on an alarmingly regular basis.
LOSRA has just been notified that the Planning & Regulatory Committee will be re-hearing the application on 9th March at County Hall, Kingston at 10am.
Further to the article posted on 18th January, the public consultation exhibition at the Holiday Inn was attended by LOSRA at exactly the same time as the details of the plan were being uploaded to the CEMEX Website. It is emphasised that no planning application has yet been lodged with Surrey County Council who will ultimately decide whether to approve or refuse it.
If you were unable to visit the exhibition you may view CEMEX intentions and associated documents by visiting their website: http://www.cemexcommunities.co.uk/
You may also wish to visit Sunbury and Shepperton Against Gravel Extraction at: http://www.ssage.org.uk/
Further to articles published on this Site on 20th October and 3rd November, Linden Homes has now formally applied for full planning permission for the Police College Site in Green Street.
The application follows a period of public consultation and one-to-one representations from neighbouring residents.
The site is a "brownfield" (ie previously developed land) and the number of homes falls within the density limits.
The planning application and associated documents may be viewed by clicking here
The following announcement comes from the Chairman of the Sunbury Sports Association:
"A belated Happy New Year to you all, and here’s hoping, among other things, for some great evenings of music at Sunbury Cricket Club during 2012. This is by way of an introduction to the events already in the diary for the first few months of the year, which will be added to and updated as we go along. However, as you will see, we already have some exciting things in the book. We have built on the experience of our first year or so, and have tried to bring you names with a real background and heritage in the business, and also one or two important contemporary stars, including touring American artists. We are also aiming to increase the frequency of the music nights, so that they are occasionally at fortnightly intervals rather than monthly, as we have quite a pool of new bands to bring into the calendar, quite apart from those who have appeared before who we would like to get back."
To see the calendar of events and artists click here.
LOSRA has just been advised that the gravel mining firm, CEMEX Ltd will be holding a public consultation event at the Holiday Inn, Ferry Lane, Shepperton.
So far as we understand it, the event will take place during the afternoon and evening of 23rd January. At the time of writing we have had no formal communication from the Company and this Site will be updated just as soon as more detail becomes known.
Update as at 19th January; the following email has been received from the applicants Cemex Ltd:
"As part of the Mineral Plan, adopted by Surrey County Council, we propose to extract sand and gravel over 4 – 5 years from Watersplash Farm site, off Fordbridge Road, Shepperton.
We plan to extract the material in phases and progressively restore the land back to agriculture and nature conservation, while minimising the environmental impact.
Please do come and join us at an informal public consultation on Monday 23rd January 2012, from 1 – 8pm in the Hampton Suite, Holiday Inn Hotel, Shepperton TW17 8NP. Our plans will be displayed and you will be able to discuss them with colleagues."
We are very disappointed at the very short notice given for this consultation and appropriate representations have been made to Cemex.
Despite the numerous articles published on this Site, Spelthorne Council has received a mere 4 letters in opposition to the proposed Eco Park.
The planning application for the Eco Park is back with Surrey County Council for final approval. The Minister for Local Government and Communities has not given it his approval, but handed it back to Surrey to determine.
Despite all the flaws in the application that have been pointed out, Surrey has no alternative plan so it is very likely to be passed.
Spelthorne Borough Council is also aware of the shortcomings of the application and will be opposing it but needs to be able to state that there is strong local opposition. There is a petition going round but individual messages are far more effective.
Please act as soon as possible.
The Sunbury and Shepperton Arts Association is delighted to announce their forthcoming Series of Coffee Concerts at the Riverside Arts Centre. Three concerts are to be held Saturday 28th January, Saturday 25th February and Saturday 28th April; and will feature works by Mozart, Brahms, Locatelli and Beethoven. Please see attached leaflet for details.