• Welcome to the LOSRA Website

    Welcome to the LOSRA Website

    The Lower Sunbury Residents' Association Read More
  • Become a Member

    Become a Member

    We invite anybody interested in the issues facing Lower Sunbury to subscribe Read More
  • View Our Newletters

    View Our Newletters

    You can find all the recent LOSRA Newsletter available to download Read More
  • LOSRA's Aims

    LOSRA's Aims

    To optimise and enhance the quality of life for Lower Sunbury residents by all appropriate means Read More
  • Sunbury As It Was

    Sunbury As It Was

    Visit the LOSRA Gallery for images past and Present Read More
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Welcome to the LOSRA Website

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 2024 are now payable.

A fantastically exciting, playful and inventive saxophonist, Art Themen has been a beloved character of the British jazz scene for 60 years, famously combining his role as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon with saxophone duties in the bands of Alexis Korner and Stan Tracey among many others.
 
Art joins the Terence Collie Trio at the Riverside Arts Centre, Thames Street on Sunday 3rd March.
 
Monday, 19 February 2024 11:03

BESS Company Admits LOSRA Error

As indicated in a previous post on this site, LOSRA was furious that the Planning, Design and Access Statement (PDAS) for the BESS application indicated that our Association was supportive of this ill-conceived enterprise (scroll down to articles of 5th and 8th February). Following our representation to the company, they made the following statement:

“Following submission of the application for Sunbury BESS (Spelthorne planning application reference 24/0017/FUL) the Applicant was made aware of an error in paragraph 1.9 of the Planning, Design and Access Statement (‘PDAS’). The error stated that Lower Sunbury Residents Association had indicated support for the application, which they had not. The Applicant has subsequently updated the PDAS to remove this sentence and resubmitted it to Spelthorne Council, and made the case officer aware.”

Jordan Martin,
Associate at DWD Chartered Surveyors and Town Planners

The RTS is a major engineering project by the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council to reduce the risk of flooding along the Thames between Egham and Teddington.

In addition to two new channels upstream of Walton, there will be additional weirs downstream, including a large one across Sunbury Lock Ait. This will inevitably damage the view from Kings Lawn.

The principal benefits of the RTS are reduced river levels upstream of Sunbury. These are estimated to be up to 90cm in the area of the two channels - but only 4-8cm downstream of Sunbury Lock. This is a minimal amount given recent river level increases.

The proposals include an “active travel” route between Egham Hythe and Walton, including two new bridges at Chertsey and Desborough Island. However this will be of little benefit to Sunbury residents because the continuation of the active travel route is the tow path on the Walton side of the river.

We believe that incorporating our proposed bridge at Sunbury into the project would provide Sunbury residents with a material benefit from the RTS and we will be lobbying hard for this. Without this benefit there is little, if anything, for Sunbury residents to gain from the RTS.

A “consultation event” is being held at the Hazelwood Centre on Monday 19th February, between 1pm and 7pm. We encourage anyone with an interest in this important subject to attend - and to let the promoters know your views on incorporating a Sunbury bridge and on the new weir.

To view our more detailed comments, click here.
 
To view the RTS Consultation website:

https://www.riverthamesscheme.org.uk/consultation

Further to the article posted on Monday 5th February (scroll down), the following is the text of the Association's letter of objection:

The comments given below on planning application 24/00017/FUL, for the construction and operation of a Battery Energy Storage System (‘BESS’) on strongly performing Green Belt land adjacent to the Charlton Lane EcoPark, are from the Lower Sunbury Residents Association (LOSRA).

LOSRA dissociates itself from the impression given in paragraph 1.9 of the submitted PDAS that it supported the proposed development that was presented to local residents on 19 June 2023. Not only did LOSRA attendees express no such support at the time; LOSRA is now strongly objecting to the submitted proposal for the following reasons:

1. The proposal comprises ‘inappropriate development’ within Green Belt under paragraphs 152-156 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF):

  •  The Applicant has therefore put forward a ‘Very Special Circumstances Report’ in order to argue that the application should nonetheless be approved

2. The claimed ‘very special circumstances’ do not justify such approval:

  • Whilst the application argues the country’s need for electricity storage in order to manage intermittent renewable generation more effectively, it does not justify using the Sunbury Green Belt site in order to do so.The site is land-locked, with only a single route to the public highway over land owned by others. In spite of claims to the contrary, it is a considerable distance from the nearest Grid Supply point:
  • The application points out that a cable route of 2.8km in length is ‘at the end of viability…due to the cost of laying cables long distances’. But the route shown actually measures around 3.5km (on the Surrey CC Interactive Map).
  •  It is also claimed that the cable route ‘will avoid any major infrastructure’, and yet it has to cross not only the six-lane M3 motorway but also the Staines Aqueduct – twice.
  •  The land-locked site is also surrounded – by the M3, the Shepperton branch railway, Charlton Village, Ashford Common Water Treatment Works, Upper Halliford’s Birch Grove area and the Charlton Lane EcoPark.
  •  The application claims to provide ‘support for the rural economy’. This is simply implausible for an operationally unmanned industrial complex on suburban Green Belt with its major components, the 96 battery modules themselves, specified from a Chinese supplier.
  •  It is also claimed that the proposed development is ‘temporary’, since it will only last for 40 years and then revert back to nature. That is not only both unenforceable and unlikely, but also of no advantage whatsoever to current local residents.

3. If it were to be built, the BESS complex would represent an unacceptable industrial visual intrusion and extensive health and safety risks:

  •  Although the Applicant has provided no drawings showing the actual appearance of the overall proposed BESS scheme, it is not difficult to imagine what 144 industrial containers laid out in rows across the stated 5.9 hectare site will look like; it would surely be irredeemably ugly.
  •  It is further stated that the site layout has been amended as a result of advice from the Fire Services and reference to the planning guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council. This resulted in the battery modules being located further from the M3 motorway in order to avoid the impact of the smoke plume on vehicles in the event of a BESS fire. The site is also required to have 9 large water tanks containing a total of 225,000 litres water to fight the fire. A battery fire is a chemical fire that provides its own oxygen; quenching it requires the provision of huge amounts of water to cool it down over many hours and sometime days.
  •  Depending on the wind direction at the time, the smoke plume from such a fire, which would contain a range of toxic gases, might not affect the M3 but rather Charlton Village, Upper Halliford, the Ecopark or, most worryingly, the Ashford Common Water Treatment Works. If it were raining at the time then presumably the toxic chemicals in the plume would wash out into whatever lay beneath.
  •  In a similar vein, the large volumes of water being used to quench such a fire would inevitably pick up those chemicals, most notably hydrogen fluoride, and potentially pass them into the water table should the sump manholes surcharge.
  •  The ‘Framework / Outline Safety Management Plan’, written by consultants and submitted with the application, might have been expected to provide details of how these fire and other risks would be managed, but it is almost entirely conditional upon the receipt of further information from the Applicant. As such it does not provide the level of detail necessary to make an effective assessment of an intended Full Planning Application.
Thursday, 08 February 2024 10:32

Fire & Water Return to the SCC on 16th February

The next Music Night at Sunbury Cricket Club is on Friday week, 16th February, when the Club welcomes back FIRE & WATER, a band who played one of first Music Nights more than 12 years ago, and who have headlined one of their Beer & Music Festivals in the past.

Capturing the spirit and music of Free, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, Fire & Water comprise Paul Cox, who Radio 2’s Paul Jones says has “one of the best voices in Europe” and has worked with Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and others; guitarist Mike Summerland, who was with Blodwyn Pig, Georgie Fame and William Bell; bass player Al Maclean, formerly with Kokomo and Hershey & The 12 Bars; and drummer Jim Russel, whose background includes Stretch, Scotty Moore, Curved Air, Desmond Dekker and others.

An evening of top quality rock and blues is absolutely guaranteed, and it will be a classic old school Sunbury Music Night.

It's £10.00 on the door payable by cash or card. Hot food will be available as usual from about 6.30pm, and the band will be on stage around 8.30-8.45.

Sunbury residents only have until the 12 th February to comment on a proposal to build a very large Battery Energy Storage System next to the EcoPark.
On the 24th January a planning application by consultants DWD, acting as agents for the Applicant Sunbury BESS Ltd., a subsidiary of developers EcoDev, was uploaded to the Spelthorne BC Planning website, with reference 24/00017/FUL. It is for the ‘Sunbury Battery Energy Storage System’ (‘BESS’) which featured on the front page of LOSRA’s 2024 New Year Newsletter. 
 
Residents have until the12th February to comment on the plans, which is a ridiculously short time for such an unprecedented application. The accompanying documents are many in number, technical in nature, and at times lacking in consistency. The Applicant is applying to build a large industrial complex on nearly 6 hectares (14.5 acres) of Green Belt land adjacent to the Charlton Lane EcoPark, involving a hundred and forty shipping-type containers containing Lithium-Ion batteries and associated plant. A considerable number of issues are at stake for local residents, including:
  •  The difficulties created by the application as lodged being technically complex, incomplete and inconsistent with respect to detail.
  • The suitability of suburban Green Belt land to locate a large and undisguisable industrial development.
  •  The explosion and fire risks associated with such batteries and the challenges of quenching and clear-up when they occur.
  •  The acceptability of placing such a complex close to suburban housing as well as the EcoPark’s incinerator and bio-digester and the Ashford Common Water Treatment Works.
  • The disruption involved in routeing a very high voltage cable across the M3 motorway and through Charlton Village en-route to a grid connection point near Staines.
  •  The political acceptability of imposing another industrial complex on local residents when there was so much opposition to the EcoPark.
LOSRA has endeavoured to set out more details of what is being proposed and is shown below. We would ask all residents to consider this proposal and provide their views to the council’s planners prior to the 12th February, via the SBC website
 
To view our detailed comments, click here.
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02 March 2024