The incredible disappearing article

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KKG – Document 69b      KKG – Document 74

Dear Neighbour

Missing since May this year! A published article mentioning that Redrow Homes had been granted the right of first refusal over 70 acres of land at Kempton Park. If found, please return to the Leader of Spelthorne Council.

This all goes back to the ongoing saga of the Spelthorne Overview & Scrutiny Committee, at whose 8 July meeting the Deputy CEO of A2 Dominion let the Kempton Park cat out of the bag, when he expressed his surprise that the Committee appeared not to know anything about the plans to build 1500 homes plus commercial units at Kempton Park.

To cut a long story short, Cllr Evans, a Cabinet member present at the meeting, demanded answers from the Leader and Chief Executive of Spelthorne Council. Initially, an email from the Head of Planning was all that materialised. KKG asked the Chair of the Committee why the statement had not come from the Leader and CEO, and why the minutes did not reflect that this (at times very heated) exchange between the Committee and A2D had even taken place. You can read the trail of correspondence in Document 69b, attached.

The Chair said she would correct both issues. In due course, on 7 October, Spelthorne published a joint statement from the Leader and the Chief Executive. (See Document 74 attached.) Amended minutes were published on 10 October.

Leaving aside the fact that the statement failed to answer the central question of what and when the Council knew about the plans for the massive housing development at Kempton Park, what did interest us was the first paragraph:

“The Council first became aware that the Jockey Club had agreed to work with Redrow Homes in relation to future development aspirations they have for the Kempton Park site, when the Leader, Councillor Robert Watts, read it in a weekly publication of the Institute of Civil Engineers, in or around May this year.”

In the correspondence in Document 69b, you will see that the release of the statement was delayed slightly in order to ensure that the date that that article was published was correct.

That might be interesting to read, we thought, as we had not come across it before. So we searched for it in the online edition of New Civil Engineer, which is the weekly publication of the Institution of Civil Engineers. We found nothing. So we phoned the Institution.

They couldn’t find it either. So we wrote back to the O&S Committee. They replied that it could possibly have been published in some other building trade journal, but that the Leader was adamant that he had found out about Redrow’s arrangement with The Jockey Club from something that was in the public domain.

We checked the Building Journal, and Construction News. Then we searched The Planner, the Architects Journal, and the Housebuilder. Nothing in any of those either. Where could the Leader have read it?

If you have any idea where such an article could have been published around May this year, please let the Leader know. He really would like to know.

Recently released FOI documents confirm that a planning application is expected to be made by The Jockey Club after the general election in May 2015. We will need funds to fight it.

Donations to the Keep Kempton Green Fighting Fund can now be made through PayPal. Just go to http://www.losra.org, scroll down a little, and click on the button marked “Donate to the Keep Kempton Green Fund”. You can also donate by cheque. Please make your cheque payable to LOSRA and send it to:

20 Green Street, Sunbury, TW16 6RN

As you would expect, the identity of all donors will be kept confidential.

Remember: Keep Kempton Green began as a campaign to protect Green Belt at Kempton Park. That campaign has now been forced to expand to protect Green Belt throughout Spelthorne, which is all at risk in a forthcoming review of our Local Plan. This threat is against the whole Borough.

Visit us at http://www.keepkemptongreen.com, Like our Facebook page, and Follow us on Twitter (links to both on the website).

Leave your comments at all three.

Kind regards, and thank you very much in advance for your generosity.

Keep Kempton Green

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