The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust completed another local project on Friday 5th May 2017, when the Cobham Village sign was unveiled by the Worshipful The Mayor of the Borough of Elmbridge, Councillor Mrs Tannia Shipley. The sign was commisioned by the Trust and made by Black Forge Art of Wittersham, Kent.
As you may have heard we lost our battle against the application to redevelop Holly Parade. Whilst we are keen to see this eyesore redeveloped we were unhappy with the scale, mass, height and architecture of the proposed development which we felt was out of scale and overbearing with the surrounding area. We believe it adversely impacted on the adjoining conservation area and the street scene generally.
The application was heard late on into the evening and was at times heated and bad tempered with two members of the public gallery being asked to leave because they quite correctly challenged our ward councillor, Dorothy Mitchell, on the veracity of a number of her comments. Even though only one (Dorothy Mitchell) of our five councillors fully supported the proposals they were passed nevertheless. Although it was acknowledged that the proposals would have some adverse impact on both the conservation area and the street scene, councillors believed that the benefits of the scheme would outweigh these adverse impacts. I am still at a loss to understand what the special benefits of this scheme are.
Clearly we are not happy with the situation and I am writing to the Elmbridge CEO, the Conservative leader and the Chair of the Planning Committee making certain points and requesting meetings.
Planning does not cease here as we now have to consider the major proposals for the green belt in our area and you will be hearing more about this shortly from us.
Again I should like to thank all of you for your continued support.
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||7-9pm||Lecture Hall, 1st Floor Weybridge Library, Church St, Weybridge KT13 8DE|
|Wed 11 January 2017||7-9pm||Cobham Community Centre, Oakdene Road, Cobham KT11 2LY|
|Tue 17 January 2017||2pm||Stoke d’Abernon Village Hall, Station Road, Stoke D'Abernon KT11 3BN|
|Thu 19 January 2017||7-9pm||Hinchley Wood Secondary School, Claygate Lane, Esher KT10 0AQ|
|Mon 23 January 2017||7-9pm||Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Bridge Street, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1AU|
|Thu 26 January 2017||7-9pm||Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD|
|Sat 4 February 2017||10-2pm||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.
Holly Parade Development in Cobham to be considered at Full Planning Meeting. Why it should be Refused.
NOTE: Planning Meeting Time brought forward, see new times in red below
Those of you who were able to join a capacity gathering at our Open Meeting in December will have heard the disappointment expressed in no uncertain manner at the news that the South Area Planning Sub-Committee had recommended approval of 1-7 Holly Parade (Planning Ref 2016/2185). Our view remains that the Officers report was flawed and some of the content legally unsound, with little or no reference made to the letters of opposition. Hopefully all is not lost and the Application will now go to a meeting of the Full Planning Committee on the 17th January 2017.
I have written to the Chairman and members of the Full Planning Committee, with relevant enclosures pointing out our fundamental concern at the decision. We continue to challenge the mass, height and design of the building, its view from the conservation area coming from Riverhill and air quality in our High Street.
We also pointed out that the Council Conservation Officer was not consulted, even though the proposed development would be visible from the Conservation Area. I can report that comments have now been lodged by the Conservation Officer, who has reported:
"I consider there would be the possibility of this part of the building being visible from within the Conservation Area, particularly in the part of the High Street nearer to River Hill which is in the vicinity of a number of listed buildings. Given its height and bulk and large flat roof area, I consider, therefore, that there could be some detrimental impact on the setting of the Conservation Area."
We have gathered together various documents below including our correspondence to members of the Planning Committee, together with the comments provided by the Conservation Officer.
This Application will be considered at the Full Planning Committee meeting to be held at the Civic Centre,High St, Esher KT10 9SD on Tuesday 17th January starting at 7.00pm 7.45pm, and we urge you to come along to this meeting to support our opposition to this application in its present form. It is most important that we have a good turn out. We are hoping to meet outside the main entrance to the Civic Centre at 6.30pm 7.15pm and we will have a suitable banner to make our point about this flawed application. Please feel free to bring your own placards!
It was very disappointing that at the Sub-Committee Hearing less than 20 objectors came along in person, despite the fact that there were some 450 written objections. So if you want to support us come out and show that support on Tuesday 17th January 2017 – wrap up warmly and we shall see you at 6.30pm 7.15pm outside the main entrance of the Elmbridge Borough Council, Civic Centre, High St, Esher KT10 9SD.
The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust (CCHT) was relaunched in November 2005 from the Cobham Conservation Group. You can find out more about the Trust on the About Us page.
We hope you enjoy exploring our website and find the information interesting and stimulating and if you are not already a member that this will spur you on to join and support us. Click on the Membership menu for more details.
Become a Volunteer with Cobham Heritage
The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust is a local charity which relies on vounteers to help run the Trust, promote local history and conservation issues and organise fund raising events such as our annual Cobham Heritage Day. If you think you might like to join us, visit our Volunteer Vacancies page to find out which roles you might like to get involved with. We always try to make it fun.