Fri 13 Jan 2017
I apologised for writing to you three days ago and I am afraid I must now apologise again for this submission but the seriousness of the situation regarding this application and the consequences if it were approved on Tuesday on the basis of the evidence, analysis and conclusions put forward by the planning officer leaves one increasingly disturbed. The developer contacted me today and remarked that this application had caused much angst in the community; this is true, but this angst has not been of our making. We and other objectors have been consistently ignored right up to and including at the South Area Planning Committee hearing when the "unsafe" approval to the application was given.
Our Leading Counsel, Matthew Horton QC from 39 Essex Court Chambers - an acknowledged planning expert - has settled the attached Opinion just a few hours ago. You will see he uses strong language and I give just four examples:
- Para 8 "...is manifestly flawed and therefore not reliable in law"
- Para 8 "Factually that is incorrect just as is her bizarre proposition that the building as a whole would not be “overbearing”
- Para 9 "That is an entirely inadequate manner in which to advise members."
- Para 10 “In my experience, that demonstrates an indefensible indifference by the Planning Officer to the conservation issues arising in this case” and "I regard this advice to be particularly damning and the failure of the Planning Officer to request it earlier to be unpardonable and incompetent. In my opinion, in reliance on that advice, permission should be refused.”
After reading his Opinion we hope you will share with us that this planning application should be refused.
With best wishes and again apologies for disturbing your weekend.
Click here to view QC's Opinion.
Those of you who attended our Open Meeting in December will have heard Councillor James Browne explain that the Council was having to produce a new Local Plan, and a major part of the Plan was to provide 9,480 new homes by 2035 - an increase of 5,755 more than previously planned.
I am sure the first thought that came to most people's mind was 'What about the infrastructure, roads, local school places, local health provision etc?". What we are faced with is the possible loss of three areas of Green Belt land within the borough of Elmbridge:-
- North of Blundell Lane in the Knowle Hill Park, Fairmile Park, and the Polyapes (Scout Camp) area, and the area of land up to the "Brickpit" pond which includes a number of designated "Ancient Woodland Areas".
- Chippings Farm and the Fairmile between the Portsmouth Road and the A3.
These two are local and the third area is in Long Ditton near the A3.
We are now in a Consultation Period lasting up until the 10th February 2017.
You can find out more about what is proposed and how it might affect you by attending one of the drop in sessions provided by the council as detailed below, and by reading the documentation on the Elmbridge Borough Council website via the following link:
Council Drop in Sessions
|Tue 10 January 2017
||Lecture Hall, 1st Floor Weybridge Library, Church St, Weybridge KT13 8DE
|Wed 11 January 2017
||Cobham Community Centre, Oakdene Road, Cobham KT11 2LY
|Tue 17 January 2017
||Stoke d’Abernon Village Hall, Station Road, Stoke D'Abernon KT11 3BN
|Thu 19 January 2017
||Hinchley Wood Secondary School, Claygate Lane, Esher KT10 0AQ
|Mon 23 January 2017
||Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Bridge Street, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1AU
|Thu 26 January 2017
||Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD
|Sat 4 February 2017
||Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD
Our team is analysing the information provided, and we will be putting more information on this website (www.cobhamheritage.org.uk) and the Cobham Greenbelt website (www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.uk), which we feel will be helpful during this consultation period.
Other local organisations including Cobham & Downside Residents' Association, Stoke D'Abernon Residents' Association and Oxshott Residents' Association (Fedora) are also very concerned and are objecting to these proposals.
Finally, the Government, who are pushing for more homes to be built, has emphasised that Greenbelt designation should only be amended "In exceptional circumstances" and "with the support of local people".
We do hope you will take part in the Consultation and encourage your neighbours and friends to voice their opinion. It is our communities which could be affected.