A planning application has now been made to Runnymede Borough Council (RU.15/1939) regarding proposals for the redevelopment of the Bourne car park to the rear of Station Parade in Virginia Water, adjacent to Virginia Water Station.
The scheme as proposed will provide 58 1 and 2 bedroom Assisted Living apartments (for residents aged 70 and over) with an underground car park for 34 cars and parking for a further 14 cars at ground level. The site will also feature two landscaped courtyards with a drop-off area.
The Bourne car park is currently the only car park in Virginia Water, other than the station car park, available for all day commuter parking. Concerns have been raised by a number of our residents that the development as submitted would result in the loss of a significant number of long term car parking spaces in the village, vital particularly when a number of Sunningdale commuters are now using Virginia Water station. Accordingly a letter of objection has been sent by the WRA on behalf of residents to the planning application as it stands, as follows:
Dear Sirs 7 March 2016
Planning application: Bourne Car Park RU.15/1939
I am the Secretary of the Wentworth Residents Association (WRA) and am writing at the request of Wentworth Estate residents to object strongly to the above planning application.
First of all, it is important to point out that we have been informed that the property in question, known as the Bourne Car Park, was given to Runnymede Borough Council by Sir Lindsay Parkinson, then an important Wentworth Estate landowner, specifically for use as a car park for the benefit of residents of Virginia Water. We therefore require Runnymede Borough Council to disclose immediately and publicly the exact terms of the grant of this property to RBC. We submit that RBC would not be at liberty to circumvent the terms of a conditional grant of the land.
Secondly, we submit that the planning application should not be granted as it
- fails to make adequate parking provision for either the residents of the development itself (the Transport Statement submitted makes it clear that the proposed use of the development falls within Class C2 and Class C3 and that for the latter the on site car park provision falls short) and
- deprives local businesses, shoppers and commuters of very valuable car parking space (around 160 long stay car parking places) in Virginia Water, with no alternative at all offered.
Thirdly, it is now vital for RBC to consider the overall parking needs for the village. RBC approved the Sainsbury planning application for 1 Station Approach (RU.15/1283), despite the provision of no additional car parking space and the concerns of over 1000 petition signatories about, inter alia, the increased parking which would be needed in the village. Now it is being asked to substantially decrease the available parking. The number of rail commuters from Virginia Water has increased over recent years, whilst the number of long term parking spaces in the village have decreased including with the establishment of Penny Car Hire on part of the station car park. The proposed loss of a further, and much needed, 160 long stay parking places in the village would be a very adverse consequence of granting this planning application.
Finally, there is no reference in any of the planning documents to the resiting of the recycling centres which are currently situated in the Bourne car park. RBC encourages villagers to recycle as much as possible, but taking away these recycling facilities would be a very backward step.
We very much hope that the Planning Committee will refuse these planning applications unless and until these important issues are properly dealt with.