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Thursday, 27 September 2012 10:01

Revised 28 Dwelling Plan for Police College Site Gets Qualified Go-ahead

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At the meeting of the Spelthorne Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday, 19 September, the 28-unit plan for the Police College site was approved, with a rider attached.

The Police College Development Action Group (PCDAG) have been lobbying for this plan to be approved by the Council for several months. It is not a perfect plan but we think it is the best compromise available, because:

  1. It has a much lower density of housing than the previous, rejected, 44-unit plan, more in keeping with the surrounding residential area.
  2. It addresses the previous problem with the access point, by proposing a much more sensible exit and entrance onto Thames Street.
  3. There is far greater provision of on-site parking, thereby reducing the possible overspill into surrounding streets.
  4. It gives the developer financial viability.

There had been an earlier last-minute attempt by the Council to try and demand £1.1 million from Linden Homes in return for approval. This would have effectively scuppered the scheme, as it is most unlikely that Linden Homes would have agreed to pay such an inflated sum. The basis of this calculation was never explained.

Fortunately, Councillor Alfred Friday raised an amendment which will involve the Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Smith-Ainsley, and the Head of the Planning Office, Heather Morgan, negotiating with Linden Homes for the maximum possible S. 106 contribution in lieu of the lack of affordable homes in the plan. The negotiations have to be completed within three weeks.

We are now preparing for the Appeal of the 44-unit plan, which is running in parallel with the Application for the 28-unit plan. We had hoped that this Appeal would not have been necessary, but that opportunity appears now to have been lost.

Councillors Friday, Sandra Dunn, Tim Evans, Caroline Nichols, Daxa Patel and Suzy Webb, all from Lower Sunbury, have given residents solid support over the last ten months. We are very grateful to them, as we are to Councillor Chris Frazer and other Councillors from various wards within Spelthorne. It was however very disappointing that, apart from a very few faithful stalwarts, the public gallery was almost empty. This Website urged members to attend as did the e-bulletin; and it's reasonable to suppose (from informal feedback) that had the gallery been filled, the application may have been passed without the difficult condition being attached.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Disillusioned Saturday, 29 September 2012 10:53 posted by Disillusioned

    "There had been an earlier last-minute attempt by the Council to try and demand £1.1 million from Linden Homes in return for approval". Is this not bribery & corruption???

    "...and it's reasonable to suppose (from informal feedback) that had the gallery been filled, the application may have been passed without the difficult condition being attached". The council chamber at the final planning application for the UN-Eco Park was full to overflowing, and the outcome did not reflect the wishes of those whom the councillors represent- to the long-lasting detriment of the residents of Charlton, Halliford, Sunbury and Shepperton.

    Councils seem do what councils want to do on a 'what's in it for them' basis.

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