Whilst Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) is proposing to grant permission to build as many as 4,000 new residential properties in and around Virginia Water, it made the astonishing and chaotic decision to close Bourne car park which is close to Virginia Water rail station. Further, RBC closed the car park during the peak of Ascot Week and it permitted other developments which encroached on the station’s remaining parking capacity at the same time. The community lost ±160 car parking spaces and mayhem has descended on the Village. RBC knew that the closure would cause severe difficulties for the community but proceeded without the due diligence of identifying a solution prior to closing a much used car park. Clearly, confidence in RBC’s planning competences has been severely shaken. The WRA is informed by RBC’s Chief Executive, Paul Turrell, that an appropriate solution is now being sought and hopefully he will conclude soon. in the interim, the tills at RBC’s parking fines department must be ringing!
SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL PROPOSE TO MAKE the above mentioned Temporary Order “this Order” under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the effect of which will be to prohibit vehicles from entering or proceeding in the entire length of Chobham Lane (C10), Chertsey and/or any part and/or parts therein. Vehicular traffic will be diverted via the Longcross Roundabout to Longcross Road and Kitsmead Lane.
This Order is required to enable Balfour Beatty to carry out safety barrier replacement works. These works are anticipated to be carried out between the hours of 20:00 and 05:00 within ten days of the six month period of operation of the Temporary Order, which commences on 15th August 2016.
Advanced warning signs will be displayed and the temporary closure will only operate when the relevant traffic signs are displayed. Access for emergency vehicles, residents and businesses will be maintained at all times. There is no footway to Chobham Lane (C10), Chertsey and no pedestrian access to any property will be affected; on grounds of safety, it will only be possible to maintain pedestrian access outside of working hours except in the event of an emergency situation
Following our letter to all residents about the extent of proposed Green Belt development on the borders of Virginia Water, there is an opportunity for residents to attend a drop in presentation of the proposed Local Plan, on Wednesday 3 August 2016 between 2 and 5 pm at the Virginia Water Community Association hall in Cabrera Avenue.
There is another drop in session between 5pm and 8.30pm on Thursday 11 August at the Addlestone Civic Centre.
This will be a very important issue for the Wentworth Estate and the future of the whole of Virginia Water.
New local plan sets another 4,000 houses on our doorsteps
Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) has just published its new ‘Local Plan’ consultation. Residents have until August 26th to make their views known the Council. The Plan has far reaching consequences for Virginia Water over the next 10 – 20 years so it is imperative that residents’ views are expressed clearly and taken into account; so the WRA is striving to make its members and other local residents aware of the issues for the sake of the future of our community.
Council has now identified several sites adjoining Wentworth Estate to take out of Green Belt
RBC is proposing the removal from the Green Belt of DERA North, Longcross Road; DERA South, Longcross Road; Lyne Lane East & West and Land South of Sandhills Road; Virginia Water South – Knowle Hill, Virginia Water West – Wellington Avenue.
If these recommendations go ahead over the next 20 years another 4,000 houses will be built around Virginia Water
That’s potentially 10,000 new people wanting to share current services and roads. If DERA South with its 400 acres is taken out of the Green Belt, this will cause approx 12 years of housing construction with related traffic accessing the site through Christchurch Road, Wellington Avenue and Trumpsgreen Road.
In addition, 19 acres accessed from Hollow Lane, extending down to Woodlands Road East and West are suggested for over 120 homes.
15 acres of grazing land sited on Trumpsgreen Road adjoining the rear entrance to Wentworth Estate are also being identified to yield 150 homes.
We are taking the brunt of Runnymede’s push for homes, over 60% of the land to be taken out is in Virginia Water
RBC seems to be targeting Virginia Water to take the brunt of their new housing requirement for the future. Its primary objective seems to be to grab the money with scant regard for the consequences. Every new house to which RBC consents, means rates to the Council plus governmental grants. Yet none of the money comes back into Virginia Water for re-investment purposes. Bourne car park is certainly a lesson learned.
How much can residents put up with? It seems that we have a Council which is hell-bent on destroying our special community.
Your support is vital
We urge all Virginia Water residents to participate in the Local Plan consultation by writing to RBC to express your concerns about the points raised. Please cc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Points you may wish to make include:
- Removal of Land from Greenbelt has to be minimised due to the irreversible loss of natural environment; has the council has done everything it can to minimise this?
- Stress on local resources new housing will bring, there will be a huge impact on local facilities and services – e.g. Dr, Hospital, Schools. What assessment has been made?
- Impact this will make on further congestion in the village, particularly heavy goods vehicles.
- What has RBC put in place to ensure any development proposed in the Local Plan is brought forward with the infrastructure to support it?
- Has RBC assessed all of the alternatives with a fair and even hand and has it ‘cooperated’ with its neighbour boroughs as it is required to do to?
- The ongoing pillage of Virginia Water’s assets and lack of any material re-investment.
Be wary that RBC has a very poor record of listening to Virginia Water residents as exemplified by closing Bourne car park with the resulting chaos, it is vital as many be heard as possible.
The consultation material is available at www.runnymede.gov.uk search ‘New Local Plan 2035 consultation page’. The documentation is also available to view at the Civic Centre and the libraries (including Virginia Water) in the Borough.
This statutory consultation is now open until 5:00 pm on Friday 26th August. Representations must be made in writing. Anonymous representations will not be accepted. Any comments that could be construed as derogatory towards any particular individual or group will not be recorded or considered.
RBC would like you to send your views electronically if possible. You can complete the questionnaire on their website or download a copy of the questionnaire to complete and email back to: email@example.com
If you cannot do this, please request and return a printed copy of the questionnaire. Please send your completed questionnaire to:
The Policy and Strategy Team, Runnymede Borough Council, Civic Centre, Station Road, Addlestone, KT15 2AH.
Please support the campaign by joining or donating to WRA @ www.thewentworthestate.co.uk WRA is appointing planning consultants to act so raising funds is vital to a successful intervention for our village. Updates will be posted on the WRA site, www.thewentworthestate.co.uk
I am writing to ask for your help once more to ensure our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, rules out a 3rd Runway once and for all.
The decision is likely to be taken towards the end of the summer, and I urge you to join me today in writing to the Prime Minister, sharing your experience and highlighting a few of the following vital reasons why she should not give the green light to a 3rd runway.
- The Economy– The Airport Commission Report indicated that any new activity at an expanded Heathrow would be at the expense of other UK airports. A 3rd runway would stifle competition and lead to a monopoly.
· Tax Payers Money– Transport for London believe that Heathrow have underestimated the cost of accommodating the hugely increased demand on road and rail by £18b meaning the tax payer would have to pick up the bill.
· Air Quality– With only 2 runways at the moment, air pollution around Heathrow already exceeds EU limits. An extra runway would add 300,000 extra flights and 25 million additional road passenger journeys a year creating even more pollution.
· Health– Back in 2008, Theresa May said “I will continue to put pressure on the Government over the third runway at Heathrow as an extra 222,000 flights a year would undermine our national targets and seriously damage the health of the local community.” This comment is just as relevant to the health of local residents today as it was then.
· Noise– Heathrow is already the largest noise polluter in Europe. With a 3rd runway, over 1,00,000 people could be impacted from its aircraft noise.
· Congestion– A 3rd Runway at Heathrow would add 25 million road passenger journeys a year.
· Deliverability– The legal case against Heathrow expansion is strong, and even if the Government gives a green light to the third runway, both Heathrow and the Government will face years of legal challenges, delaying for years and likely stopping any construction of a 3rd runway entirely.
· All of this, plus the demolition of 1,000 homes, for only 12 more long haul destinations from Heathrow Airport.
It was recently announced that the Department for Transport would be ready to make an announcement on airport expansion in the UK in September this year. So let’s all pile pressure on the new Transport Secretary and the Prime Minister to ensure they make the right decision!
Please see their details below.
Many thanks in advance for your help in this important campaign.
Member of Parliament for Richmond Park and North Kingston
The Prime Minister, Theresa May:
10 Downing Street
The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling:
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Your Local Member of Parliament:
To find out how who your local MP is and to ask them to write to the Prime Minister, click HERE
Village car park closed
without alternative parking provision
The Bourne car park, at the rear of Station Parade has been the subject of a planning application for a new development which was recently granted and, despite a pledge from Runnymede Borough Council to provide alternative parking for the village, the car park has now been closed with no such provision made. We believe this to be a major and potentially dangerous issue for the village with pressure for parking growing every year.
The land was given to Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) by Sir Lindsay Parkinson, a Wentworth Estate landowner, specifically for use as a car park for the benefit of Virginia Water’s residents. However, the Council proposed and agreed the sale of the Bourne car park, for a considerable sum, to a developer and has since granted planning permission on the land for residential development. Further, the Council has declared that proceeds deriving from the sale of the car park will not be invested in Virginia Water but elsewhere.
The Wentworth Estate Roads Committee (WERC) has launched a challenge against Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) in relation to the recent planning approval for this new residential development at Bourne car park.
In addition, The Wentworth Residents Association (WRA) is further challenging the Council over the lack of provision of new parking following the recent closure of the 160 space car park to facilitate this development. As stated the Council had promised to offer alternative parking following the closure which has not materialised. To make matters worse, the current work at Virginia Water station’s car park has further restricted parking, leading to an overall severe shortage of parking in the village.
In the very short term, we urge the Council to do whatever is necessary to fulfil their pledge to provide additional parking and alleviate the current chaos in the village. At the same time, the Council should reconsider urgently how it invests the proceeds which should be focussed for the benefit of the Virginia Water community as was conceived when the ownership of the car park was originally transferred to the Council.
Your support is vital
We urge all Virginia Water residents to contact Runnymede Borough Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Turrell, to register your dissatisfaction with the current situation which is clearly unacceptable and unstainable.
Points you may wish to make include:
- Closure of the car park without due consultation
- Lack of provision for alternative parking resulting in the loss of 160 car park spaces
- Impact this will make on further congestion in the village, particularly Station Parade which is a busy thorough fare to the station
- The sale of an amenity gifted to the council for the express benefit of the village
- The total failure to reinvest any of the proceeds in Virginia Water
Mr Turrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior to Monday 14th March 2016, the proposition, with which the WRA SubCom were being confronted by Reignwood, was the following:-
- Termination of membership on 31st March 2017 with the option to re-apply to be considered by the Club thereafter for Full Membership only.
- Membership restricted to 800/900 applicants subject to payment of an onerous “debenture” (unsecured loan) for gross £100,000 for existing members and £125,000 for new members.
- No Tennis & Health membership.
- No Social & Spa membership.
A great deal of activity has been undertaken by various stakeholders (THE EXTENDED GROUP) including the Club Captain, the WRA, the WERC, the Trustees and the WHG as well as considerable consultations between individuals and the Club’s management.
Following constructive meetings last week with the Club’s owners and management (with the WRA SubCom and Club Capt), Reignwood announced the following notable changes to their proposition:
- Categories of membership
There will, in perpetuity, be continuity of 4 categories of membership available for all existing resident members:
- Tennis & Health.
- Social & Spa.
There will be no conditionality between existing resident membership and the purchase of a debenture, the purchase of which will now be optional.
Resident members who have left for good cause (under the belief that their membership would be debenture or excessive fee-linked) can (subject to status) rejoin without a rejoining fee or “debenture” purchase.
Residents applying for membership and/or “debentures” go to the top of the priority list.
- Optional Debenture Purchase – Residents, who wish to, can buy a debenture by either paying upfront or or paying a £20,000 deposit with the balance at the end of 3 years.
Residents will not be able to link the debenture to their homes, but will be given a legal agreement that allows the new owner to apply for membership.
This would remain an exclusive right only for residents of the Wentworth Estate.
Although we have covered considerable ground, there are still a number of elements to be addressed with the Club. These are:-
❖ Future Residents – We have requested the Club to extend fee-paying membership to all future residents – i.e. making a debenture purchase optional.
❖ Annual Fees – The annual fees for 2017/18 were announced this week. We consider the massive increases in fees are unreasonable. Further, the fee increases should be linked to the upgrading program and fees should only be increased by RPI in perpetuity. These latter points were agreed previously by the Club but seem to have now been forgotten.
❖ Resident Member (disturbance) discount – The Club has agreed to the principle of a discount on annual fees for Resident members. Negotiations continue here.
❖ Upgrade – We understood that £20 million for an upgrading plan has already been committed over the first 2 years although details remain sketchy. We have demanded that an investment committee is formed to review where and how this money is spent. The club has accepted it needs to be transparent in this process and two elected members of the residents’ committees will be co-opted.
❖ Debenture Discount – The club owners want to encourage residents to become debenture members in the future and have suggested a discount on their sales commission from 30% to 20% if the debenture is redeemed. We are not satisfied with this and seek a meaningful discount on the market price for all existing and future residents. As a resident, you may wish to check your title deeds for ‘special privileges’ agreements, or other rights of membership which may attach to your home.
We are gratified that the Club has registered the voices of the Extended Group and trust that the remaining, reasonable, requests will equally be accepted for Residents, the Club’s neighbours on the Estate.
The discussions with the Club are ongoing and it remains to be said that the final terms of any proposal made by the Club will be put forward for consideration by the ExCom of the WRA, and, of course, to you, the residents.
John Pyle (Chairman WRA SubCom)
For the WRA Sub-Committee
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.
A meeting between residents’ and members’ representatives and Mr Ni took place on 17 December. https://www.thewentworthestate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Meeting_II_17Dec2015.pdf to download and see the report of that meeting.