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.
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Despite the officer's recommendation to approve this plan, the Planning Committee on 13th October voted against the construction of the 5 storey block of 39 flats as the Second phase of the Benwell House development in Green Street, pictured. (Artist impressions are always designed to look seductive!)
It was a close run thing with the vote: 6 in favour and 7 against. In addition to two well-organised and professional local residents, the Vice-chairman of this Association and Cllr. Kathy Grant (in whose ward the site is situated) also spoke against the application.
The reasons for refusal which have now been published on the Council website are summarised below:
1. The proposed development, by reason of its height, bulk and close proximity to the boundary with the residential properties in Meadows End and Dunnell Close, would result in an unacceptable, overbearing effect and lead to overlooking and loss of privacy to these residential properties, detrimentalto their amenity and contrary to Policy EN1(b) of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD, February 2009, and the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
2. The proposed development will lead to an unacceptable loss of trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order, which make an important contribution to the urban environment and the landscape quality of the site and surrounding area, contrary to Policies EN1(d), EN7 and EN8(c) of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD, February 2009, and the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
3. The proposed development by reason of its height, bulk and scale, would result in an unacceptable development which would fail to respect and make a positive contribution to the street scene and character of the area, contrary to Policy EN1(a) of the Core Strategy and Policies DPD, February2009, and the National Planning Policy Framework 2021.
It's important to state that, at no time, was there an objection to some form of development taking place on this site. Our objections, as described above, would have been made clear from the outset had there been any meaningful public engagement from the outset - a requirement specified by the National Planning Policy Framework.
Spelthorne Borough Council has announced that, for the 11th year running, the Sunbury Walled Garden and Staines Cemetery have been awarded Green Flag status.
The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of green spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.
The historic Walled Garden in Sunbury Park was built in the early part of the 18th Century. Following years of neglect, Spelthorne Council embarked on a restoration project of the two-acre garden in 1985. Now home to over 200 varieties of clematis, this 'hidden gem' provides a tranquil spot all year round.
Michael Garrick MBE (30 May 1933 – 11 November 2011) was an English jazz pianist and composer; and a pioneer in mixing jazz with poetry recitations and in the use of jazz in large-scale choral works.
The 10th anniversary of his death will be celebrated by the Terry Collie Trio with guest, Nette Robinson at the Riverside Arts Centre, Thames Street at 7.45pm on Sunday 7th November.
For poster and booking details, click here
The following email has been received from Liam Caplis, the Events Manager at London Irish Amateur RFC and will be of interest to pet owners living in the vicinity of the Club:
"We would like to inform you that the London Irish Amateur Club is holding a Fireworks Night at Hazelwood on Saturday 30th of October 2021. The event will run from 17.30pm to 9.00pm with the display planned to take place at TBD and will last for 10 minutes.
"We will make the local council, Police and Fires Services aware of the event and the precautions we have taken.
The Council are seeking the assistance of local communities and others to put forward areas of green space, through a Call for Green Spaces process.
The purpose of this is to identify green spaces that could be considered suitable for designation as Local Green Space (LGS).
LGS is an additional layer of protection for green spaces, included in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and allows those that meet a set of criteria to be designated. The NPPF (2021) in paras 101-103 sets out the role of LGS:
For further information, please click here
Spelthorne Council's continued efforts to create a cleaner, greener and more colourful Borough were, once again, recognised at this year's prestigious South & South East in Bloom Award.
In particular, The ever-popular Sunbury Walled Garden, pictured, struck gold in the Small Park competition. This matches their successes from both 2019 and 2020.The judge commented on the Walled Garden, saying: "My first visit to Sunbury Walled Garden and how impressed I was [by the] amazing, beautiful, very attractive gardens, well maintained to a very high standard."
In addition, Sunbury, Ashford and Staines Cemeteries all picked up gold awards in the cemeteries category.
Surrey Police have recently launched an external engagement survey programme where they are working to understand how to better engage with our communities. They have asked Neighbourhood Watch to distribute the link to the survey. Here is a chance to have your say regarding Surrey Policing. Their message is:
Regards Martin Stilwell Chair, Surrey NhW
Music Nights resume at Sunbury Cricket Club on FRIDAY 8TH OCTOBER, with a special “Welcome Back To Music Nights” gig by the Club's all-star house band THE CHAIN GANG.
It was decided to do it this way because after a break of eighteen months the Club wanted to test the water before it started booking outside bands, and also because it was thought the circumstances demanded a bit of a party night to celebrate being back, and the CHAIN GANG shows are very much that kind of occasion.
The CHAIN GANG always play at the Club's annual Mayor’s Charity Night, but the proceeds from this Music Night will be used to help fund much-needed improvements to the Club’s patio area, and the musicians, as usual, will be giving their services free.
Playing its customary mix of rock ‘n’ roll, ‘60s R&B, rock, blues and country, the line-up features the familiar array of talented musicians associated with the Club which is particularly delighted to welcome back on guitar and vocals our very own beat era superstar, Karl Green, former Sunbury resident, who was the original long-time bass player with Herman’s Hermits, and then often played at the club with his band Dave’s Not here.
The band also features guitarists Gerry Cook, originally with Decca recording band from the ‘60s The Saxons and now with Matrix; Chris Allard, once with top Nottingham band Dawn Trader, and now also with Matrix – he will also be on harmonica; and Mark Doyle of The Marshall Taylor Band. Bass players are Phil Miller-Tate from The Marshall Taylor Band; Martin House, formerly with Life And Soul and now with The Next Big Thing; and Roger Harding, once with a recording line-up of East Of Eden and now with The Rebel Yell Jazz Orchestra among others. On keyboards is Kevin Welling, once a band colleague of Elaine Paige and a member of Dave’s Not Here, and now with the Stan Bland Band; and on drums is Stephane Booroff, formerly with Edison Lighthouse and now leader of jazz group The Blue Notes as well as being with a new line-up of 70s hit band Butterscotch. On vocals and rhythm guitar is Music Night organiser Paul Watts.
Hot food, prepared by the expert chefs from our resident caterers from the food bank charity Surplus To Supper, will be available from 7pm, and the band will be on stage at about 8.45pm.
Admission is £10.00 on the door, payable by cash or card. If you are not already a member of the Club – annual social membership is £10 and you can join on the night just by filling in a form – our licensing arrangements require that we take your details on admission so that you can be signed in by a member.
The musicians are very much looking forward to playing again and the club hopes to welcome a good crowd to kick things off with a bang.
On 20th September, Ann Biggs, The Strategic Planning Manager for Spelthorne Borough Council, gave a comprehensive presentation to Residents' Associations on the Local Plan and its progress towards completion and eventual submission in June 2022.
To view the notes of the presentation, click here (pdf)
Another great evening of jazz at the Riverside Arts Centre is in prospect for Sunday 26th September.
The Terence Collie Trio is joined by Georgina Jackson, vocals and trumpet.
For full details click here
A poppy appeal event will be held at the Admiral Hawke Pub on Saturday, 18th September between 12pm and 5pm.
To see poster, click here
The following press statement has been released by the Council:
Spelthorne Borough Council is holding a consultation on the Arts and Culture provision in the Borough.
Arts and Culture play a vital role in helping to make Spelthorne a prosperous and attractive place to live. Like the Arts Council England, Spelthorne Borough Council believe the Arts have the power to change lives and create opportunities for people.
We acknowledge that the current cultural infrastructure could be improved. To help us to develop a new strategy for Arts and Culture in the Borough and shape our future plans, we want to hear from you. We would like to understand how you currently engage with the Arts, where you go for cultural pursuits, the type of activities you would like to do in the future and any barriers you come across when trying to access the Arts.
The consultation will run for four weeks from 1-28 September.
To take part visit https://spelthorne.inconsult.uk/
Chair of Spelthorne’s Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee, Cllr Sandra Dunn, said: “Arts and culture bring people together and provide a sense of vitality, belonging and civic pride. A strong arts and cultural offering is not only good for individuals and families, but also benefits the wider community and local economy.
“We are keen to understand what currently works well here in Spelthorne and where improvements could be made. By taking part in the consultation you will have the opportunity to say what cultural and creative facilities and events you personally value and help to shape future provision within the Borough."
Louise King, PR & Communications Officer
Spelthorne Borough Council, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB
Tel: 01784 444260
Further to the article posted on Monday (see below) the Council has published the following notice:
Spelthorne is pleased to confirm that 58 Afghan refugees, including 10 women and 38 children, arrived in the Borough to move into temporary accommodation, after the successful completion of their quarantine period. This accommodation is being funded by the Home Office, while Councils across the region assist them in providing a longer-term solution.
The Council is extremely grateful to residents across the Borough, partners including our foodbanks and Council staff for their generosity in asking how they can help and make donations to support these refugees. Our guests are being provided with appropriate catering and each of them has been provided with a welcome pack, which has been translated for them.
We are currently assessing what support each of them will need in terms of donations, such as clothing, which would need to be new or nearly new and clean, and we will look to provide details on how you can support them in the coming days.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank the charity Penny Appeal for generously assisting the Council by providing funds to assist with purchasing clothing, toys, educational items and travelcards.
Cllr Lawrence Nichols, Leader of the Council, said: "On behalf of Spelthorne residents, I want to extend a warm welcome to our guests. I am humbled by the offers of help we have had from Spelthorne residents and partners and I want to thank everyone who has got in touch. The Family Support team are working with these refugees and are establishing what support they need, and we will update you when we can on how best you can help."