The Costco connection

KKG – Document 15 KKG – Document 16 KKG – document 17

Dear Neighbour

This latest in our series of messages gets a little complicated. We will try and keep it as simple as possible.

Costco – the chain of wholesale cash-and-carry stores – submitted a Planning Application to build one of their stores just to the east of the Sunbury Cross roundabout. The application received widespread support at Spelthorne Council, due to the proposed store replacing currently unused warehouses on land unsuitable for housing, and due to the jobs the store would bring with it.

On 4 September last year, Mark Boyes from Aspire, Development Consultants to The Jockey Club, wrote to Spelthorne Council to lodge an objection to Costco’s Planning Application (see KKG Document 17 attached). The letter includes some technical objections to Costco’s Transport statement (which later emails show to have been related to clerical errors, and easily corrected).

However, the letter also says:

“The Costco transport assessment makes no allowance for potential future development at Kempton Park, …”

Being Development Consultants, Aspire will be very aware that, in planning law, Costco are under no obligation whatsoever to take account of “potential future development” anywhere. In any case, it is difficult to see how they could do so in any practical way. They are required to take account of committed developments, and the correspondence shows that they did in fact take account of the developments (not yet completed) at the London Irish ground, Hazlewood, and the old Police College – all in Lower Sunbury – in their transport assessment.

So what was the purpose of the objection by The Jockey Club? Why did they wish to “open a dialogue” with Costco? Could it have been that they were trying to get Costco to contribute to the large cost of redeveloping Sunbury Cross roundabout (see KKG Documents 2, 3 & 4 circulated previously)? Or some other reason? An information request was put in to try and find out, but more on that later.

Another thing. If Costco were to take account of the traffic impact of  “… potential future development at Kempton Park, …” (which they are not at all obligated to do) they would have to know what the size of the potential development at Kempton Park was. The traffic and the size of the development are intricately linked – you cannot know one without the other.

So, if The Jockey Club’s consultants were trying, on 4 September 2013, to get Costco to take account of potential future development at Kempton Park, the size of the potential development, and the traffic generated by it, must have been available in number form. Certainly, at least one department within Spelthorne Council was aware as early as mid-August 2013 that “very large developments (are) being proposed in the vicinity of Sunbury Cross” (from an email we have on file which we have omitted for the sake of brevity.)

Yet, as late as mid-November 2013, representatives of Spelthorne Council were telling residents in the following, and similar words, that “no plan whatsoever (has) been developed for the scale of housing that you allude to”. The scale being alluded to was the +/- 1000 dwellings mentioned in the LOSRA newsletter in October 2013. As it turns out, of course, that 1000 figure turned out to be a significant underestimate – see KKG – Documents 1 & 8 circulated previously.

Anyway, back to The Jockey Club’s objection to the Costco Application. The request submitted, and the reply we got, are set out in KKG Documents 16 & 15 (attached).

A meeting is held, where The Jockey Club discuss, amongst other things, an objection they have to the major and widely welcomed Costco development, and the record of that meeting consists of 5 sketchy handwritten lines?

As ever, these documents are in the public domain. Please feel free to pass them on.

Please encourage your neighbours to join the mailing list.

There is more to come, in due course, over coming weeks.

Yours

Keep Kempton Green

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