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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This may take a bit of time so please persevere to the end:
Those readers who have been following the progress of our campaign for the construction of a foot/cycle bridge connecting Lower Sunbury to Walton (See top of Home Page) will be aware of our recent application to YFS (Your Fund Surrey) to bring the campaign to fruition.
It is therefore disappointing to receive the following from the YFS Project advisor: "Regrettably, Your ideas submission has been assessed against the criteria and requirements for the fund and unfortunately does not meet the requirements to be shortlisted to progress to the full submission stage...."
All does not appear to be lost as the advisor continues: "However, whilst this project is not suitable for YFS at this time, the Lower Sunbury Crossing has been added by SCC to the Surrey Infrastructure Plan which was reviewed at Cabinet on 26th October....
"The Lower Sunbury Crossing is designated a Category 2 project within the Surrey Infrastructure Plan Cabinet Report Annex 2 (pg198), noting that further feasibility work will be required and without a specific funding commitment at this time.
"I realise that this is not the information which you would have wished to receive, but I hope that the above information is helpful and that we can work together regarding the feasibility of this project as an infrastructure project as we move forward".
Coincidentally, and quite separately, the following Council notice has hit our inboxes and offers another medium through which we can make our views and preferences known:
"Surrey’s 2050 Place Ambition presents a long-term ambition and priorities for Surrey local authorities and their strategic partners. The priorities and implementation framework set out what we want collectively to achieve over the next 30 years in terms of “good growth” and how we intend to deliver it.
"There are real opportunities for Surrey to grow and become even more attractive as a place to live and work, but this needs to be done in a way that helps address the challenges around climate change, doesn’t put excessive pressure on our infrastructure, improves the overall quality of our environment and enables our economy to grow sustainably.
"The Place Ambition has been developed by the Surrey Future partnership and is informed by, and will be implemented through, various local and countywide plans and strategies including district and borough local plans, climate change strategies, economic strategies, and the local transport plan. It does not replace any local proposals and priorities but is intended to promote a long term, co-ordinated and cross boundary approach to planning and managing the impacts of growth. The Place Ambition will be used to help shape projects we are working on together as well as seek the support of our wider sub-national partners and Government, particularly in relation to accessing additional funding and investment opportunities for infrastructure and to support a zero-carbon future".
To maintain the momentum please make your views on the footbridge known by visiting and completing this easy to follow questionnaire and, in particular, questions 3, 4 & 6 at:
Closing date 4th March
The Association has a long history when it comes to the speed of vehicles driving through Thames Street.
Over the years our entreaties to the Highways Authority have been rewarded with the introduction of traffic calming measures and the 20 mph speed limit.
For residents living in the Street, the practical effect of these measures are limited with drivers of speeding vehicles continuing to disregard them.
Unsurprisingly a Thames Street resident believes there is more that can be done and has started a petition which he invites you to sign.
The petition can be found on the website change.org/ThamesStreet
The Association has received a number of emails querying why we have remained silent over the proposed 5G Mask in Thames Street. To put the record straight, we reproduce below the representation made by the Chairman on 17th December 2021:
Subject: FW: SPN20391-Planning pre-consultation enquiry for proposed new telecommunications mast on Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames,Spelthorne, Surrey,TW16 5QH
I am writing on behalf of the Lower Sunbury Residents Association.
May I firstly welcome the introduction and expansion of the 5G network as this is widely seen to be essential to the future of technical communications.
The proposal states that ‘As per the extract from the Spelthorne Borough Council Plan we note that this site is not located within a designated Conservation Area.’. This is wrong. We’ve plotted the proposed mast site on Spelthorne’s own map which shows the outline of the Lower Sunbury Conservation Area; it is well within it. This would also exclude it from all of Sunbury Park , Orchard Meadow , the Walled Garden and the two car parks.
The proposal rightly rejects other possible sites within the ‘Nomination Point’ circle – in The Avenue, Kingsmead Avenue and Saxonbury Avenue – as being ‘Residential street’ and/or ‘overlooked by residential properties’, and yet the proposed location in Thames Street is also a residential street and additionally places the mast and its antennae adjacent to two multi-story blocks of flats and close to a primary school? This is surely wrong?
It also hardly seems sensible to have such a tall mast and its attendant large cabinets taking up space on a pedestrian pavement on a busy street.
There are a number of points we would like clarification on, please:
In terms of services the mast obviously needs power – and we also note from the specification that it is only receiving transmission data from the fibre network. Does this mean that it has therefore to be located on a pavement above a fibre network route, or can it be installed at an alternative location with a new separate fibre feed routed to it?
With regard to the map shown as Figure1 on p2 of the Site Detail Sheet document, just above the ‘blue circle’ map what does the ‘green marker’ refer to?
We would like to propose that you, the surveying company, or 5G company, talk to LoSRA directly and for us potentially to understand more clearly what the constraints are, and suggest/discuss where any mast might sensibly go. It seems to us that a location away from housing and schools and not on a pavement would make more sense. Within the proposer’s Nomination point circle there might be some less obtrusive alternatives.
Finally, we should like to know why the specification is showing the use of Huawei 5G equipment when that has, we believe, now been banned by the UK Government?
Spelthorne Borough Council successfully prosecuted a man for the breach of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) for cutting the roots of a Horse Chestnut Tree in The Avenue without the authority of the Council.
The Avenue is arguably the most iconic residential thoroughfare in the Borough largely due to the linear arrangement of mature horse chestnut trees which have framed the detached houses for generations. Indeed, we were inspired to adopt the horse chestnut tree as our emblematic logo at the Association's inception 50 years ago.
It therefore comes as a great disappointment to read that a resident has been found guilty at Guildford Magistrates' Court of cutting the roots of a protected horse chestnut, presumably to end its viability as a living mature tree. He has found himself over £1,500 lighter in the pocket as a result. (A breach can lead to an unlimited fine if it is likely to result in the tree being destroyed, otherwise up to £2,500).
As an Association we have frequently pressed for the enforcement of the legal requirement to replace trees which, through disease, have been granted permission to fell and we will continue to do so.
Further to our notice (scroll down to 17th January) we can report that a significant number of residents have made known their opposition to the granting of this licence. The Senior Environmental Health Officer for Spelthorne has sent the following very helpful email to the ward councillors of Lower Sunbury:
I want to make you aware of this licence application as it will have a significant impact on our residents if its permitted to go through. The first information I want to give is that Environmental Health has made representation on this licence application to Elmbridge Borough Council Licensing team. We also believe some 20 of our residents may also have submitted representations to Elmbridge Borough Council. You may therefore have already been approached by residents, or you might be in the future.
Elmbridge Borough Council has received a licencing application for Apps Court farm which is on the Elmbridge side of the River Thames opposite Sunbury Park (see map attached for your reference). The application is for 29 events per year and includes every type of event possible covered by the tick-boxed on the application form, and include up to 6 music festivals which could facilitate up to 50,000 attendees, with some events continuing overnight until 5am in the morning. The applicants state this would be similar to Greenfields https://www.musicfestivalwizard.com/festivals/greenfield-festival-2022/ The license applicants have engaged the services of expert licensing consultants and noise consultants.
As you know our side of the River Thames in Lower Sunbury is a quiet location, especially at night. Events are already held at Apps Court Farm (although not at the scale being proposed) and even at this smaller scale we occasionally receive noise complaints from our residents about the events already held at Apps Court Farm. So this, along with the scale of the application convinces us that should this licence application if granted it will have a significant impact on our residents.
Our Environmental Health team have joined forces with Elmbridge Borough Council’s Environmental Health team in respect of this Licensing Application as they too have similar concerns. Elmbridge and Spelthorne’s EH teams have also jointly engaged the services of expert licensing and noise consultations to assist us in challenging this application. Both Spelthorne’s and Elmbridge’s EH teams have submitted representations to Elmbridge’s Licensing team and the application will be going to a Licensing hearing at EBC. If refused it is most likely the applicants will appeal to the Courts for a review of the decision.
I will continue to provide you with information as this licence application progresses. If you have any questions please do drop me an email.
Tracey Willmott-French, CEnvH, MCIEH
Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner
Senior Environmental Health Manager
Spelthorne Borough Council
Lester Brown, the British trumpet and flugelhorn player joins Paul Silver on saxophone with the Terrence Collie Trio at the Riverside Arts Centre on Sunday 6th February at 8pm.
For booking and venue details, click here
Now that we're well into the new year it's timely for a tactful reminder that our 2022 subscriptions became due on 1st January.
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Before driving to Staines in the coming months, and to avoid disappointment, you should be aware of the forthcoming Iron Bridge replacement.
Network Rail has forwarded the following briefing note
This Association is always particularly wary when a controversial application is put before the Council at the start of the Christmas period in the knowledge that the Council will not be open for business until 4th January and will thereafter be dealing with a host of other business distractions accumulated over that period.
The local community, and especially those living close to the riverfront, will remember the event at Apps Court last September and its almost deafening impact on residents.. We have already had some discussions with both Elmbridge (to whom the application is made) and Spelthorne Councils but as with all licensing representations these may only be made by individuals who are, or are likely to be affected.
If you wish to make a representation, time is very tight as it will not be considered after 19th January. The premises licence application is available to view online on Elmbridge Council's licensing web page using the licence number: LN/202000162 - Apps Court Farm, Hurst Road, Walton-on-Thames KT122EG.
SWR are making residents aware that, from Monday 17 January, South Western Railway will be running a new temporary timetable.
The spread of Omicron has necessitated the need for a new timetable, with staff shortages across the SWR network leading to short notice cancellations.
Of particular note to residents, the Shepperton branch will be reducing to an hourly service outside of peak times.
These temporary timetable changes will remain under review going forward. Journey planners will be updated on a week-by-week basis, with updates taking place towards the end of each week.
Details of the temporary timetable can be found on the SWR website
An uncertain December progresses into a cautiously optimistic January, but there is some excellent news... THE PANTO WILL GO ON!
The superb, traditional panto, OLD KING COLE, will take place as planned between 20th and 23rd January at Riverside Arts Centre in Sunbury. Tickets are on sale now, and we are poised to deliver a fantastic show!
As things are a bit worrying at the moment, a number of things have been put in place just in case Covid gets in the way. The Riverside Players are offering a Money Back Guarantee...
1) if the Show has to be cancelled because Government action bans performances then you will receive a full refund of the ticket price paid;
2) if you or any of your party have to cancel because of having to isolate due to Covid you will be offered a credit to be used for any event at the Riverside Arts Centre at any time during 2022 or 2023.
Extra measures will also be in place at Riverside to ensure the safety of all members of the audience, cast and crew
Riverside Players look forward to seeing you all there!
To view poster, click here
A night of Latin Jazz with Guillermo Hill on acoustic guitar and the Terence Collie Trio will be performed at the Riverside Arts Centre on Sunday 9th January at 8pm.
For more information, click here
Christmas information including rubbish and recycling dates may be found here
In what has now become a Christmas tradition at the Riverside Arts Centre, Mood Indigo Events are putting on a Christmas special performance which this year features the Three Simons (Allen, Bates and Spillett) who will be playing alongside the resident Terence Collie Trio.
Festive mince pies and mulled wine will be served at the interval.
For further details, click here for poster