Restricted airspace

cartoon model aircraft 2

KKG – Document 82     KKG - Document 83

Dear Neighbour

After 26 years of flying from Kempton Park, the Kempton Park Model Flying Club has been given notice to quit by the end of April next year. Kempton Park have also written to local Councillors asking for help in finding the club a new home (Document 82, attached).

The letter from Mr Phil White, the General Manager of Kempton Park, is undated, but was sent out late last week, just as the KPMFC was told of the decision. He says there have been “a number of complaints from neighbours”. As we understand it, there have been just two complaints this year. One was resolved to the satisfaction of the complainer within days of the complaint being made. The other is the subject of a yet-to-be-completed investigation by Spelthorne’s Environmental Health Department. In fact, the KPMFC have told us that Mr White had said, in their meeting last week, that there was only one complainant.

Kempton Park is quoted in today’s Surrey Herald as saying that the eviction of the KPMFC has nothing to do with the proposed construction of 1500 dwellings + commercial units on the Kempton Park estate. It must be sheer bloody coincidence, then, that the club’s flying area (outlined in red on Document 83 attached) is right in the middle of the expanse which The Jockey Club wishes to cover with concrete (outlined in yellow).

And what about a response from Spelthorne Council? It’s been a week, and nothing, to our knowledge, has been said or done. One would have thought that it is part of the Council’s remit to encourage the public use of Green Belt land such as the Kempton Park estate.

The areas outlined in blue on Document 83 are the parcels of land subject to the Covenant, whereby Spelthorne Council stands to receive, based on conservative estimates, more than £14 million, if they or anyone else grants permission to develop that land. There is another £14 million to be had by the Council from other sources of “planning gain” if the development goes ahead.

KPMFC’s flying area lies within the northern of those two areas of land, and their clubhouse within the southern area. What a glad event of totally unforeseen serendipity for the Council.

If anyone knows of a possible new site for the KPMFC, please could you contact the club on 07891 900372 .

 

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. At the same time we are likely to have to fight to ensure that swathes of Spelthorne’s open spaces are not released for development in the Review of our Local Plan. We will need funds to fight both.

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, in which the Council appears to be planning the building of 8000 dwellings over the next twenty years. This threat is against the whole Borough. It has to be fought.

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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Open Letter to the Spelthorne Head of Planning

KKG – Document 84         Letter to John Brooks 25 November 2014

para007

(The letter below was sent to all the Spelthorne Borough Councillors today. The letter to Mr John Brooks, Head of Planning, is attached. The full correspondence since 8 October between Mr Brooks and KKG is in Document 84, attached.)

Dear Councillor
 
Attached please find a letter sent today to Mr John Brooks, Head of Planning, and copied to the Spelthorne Residents Associations and your fellow Borough Councillors.
 
Various obligations to provide information and to work with local communities on the ongoing Review of our Local Plan are set out in The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, and the Practical Planning Guidance from the Department of Communities and Local Government (Paragraph: 007 Reference ID: 2a-007-20140306).
 
The phrase used in the Guidance is “work with’. In this planning context, that phrase means a closer involvement than is meant by the word ‘consult’. It is clear that preparatory work on this Review has already been going on for some time. Local communities should have been involved with this process already, but have not been.
 
You will be very aware how this kind of exclusion, and failure to comply with what is required by law, planning guidance, and what is also simply good practice in terms of democratic accountability, merely fosters the widespread belief in this Borough that things are being hidden from residents for unacceptable purposes.
 
You will therefore no doubt agree that the inclusion of local communities in the preparation of the evidence base and any further work on our Local Plan should be put in place as soon as possible.
 
Yours
 

Alan Doyle
for Keep Kempton Green

 

 

Contrary to national security?

Old Nursery Chancellors 2

KKG – Document 72     KKG – Document 75     KKG – Document 81

Dear Neighbour

The future of another tranche of Green Belt is in question.

You may have noticed, travelling along Fordbridge Road, that there are large signs advertising for sale the site of the former nursery that used to operate from there. Quite clearly, in big red letters, the sign says:

“Potential Residential Development Land”

Further information is available on the website of Chancellors, the estate agents promoting the sale. There are, in fact, three parcels of land, stretching back to Highfield Road, on sale for £2.1 million. And on a Chancellors’ advert on the Rightmove property website, they state quite categorically that:

“Informal discussions have taken place with the Local Planning Authority with (sic) its development potential.”

See Document 72 attached.

The problem is, all three parcels of land are clearly designated Green Belt, upon which residential development would be inappropriate. Perhaps this was just a case of estate agent exaggeration, we thought, so KKG and LOSRA wrote to Chancellors (see Document 75 attached.)

We received no reply. So we phoned Chancellors. They were not developers but estate agents, they told us, and therefore would not themselves have had any discussions with the Local Planning Authority. But, in advertising that the parcels of Green Belt land for sale had the potential for residential development, they said, they were acting on the instructions of the vendor. So, we assume, discussions did take place.

One of the councillors for that ward put in a formal question to the meeting of the full council.

“Can the Portfolio holder for Planning let me know if the owners of the site of the former Fordbridge Nurseries in Sunbury-on- Thames, or any developers, have been in discussion with the Planning Department regarding its possible use?”

Cllr Leighton, member of the Cabinet for Planning confirmed that the sites were indeed designated Green Belt (see Document 81 attached). But Cllr Leighton also made the staggering claim that even the fact of a meeting with an owner taking place was confidential, and would be neither confirmed nor denied.

“The Council has numerous ‘pre-application’ discussions each year where planning advice is given and the content of that is confidential, as is also the question of whether any particular developer has approached the Council for such discussions.”

First, the owner had already openly stated that there had been discussions with the Council.

Second, the law governing what information the Council must make public on request, and what it may keep confidential, is very clear.

Put simply:

a public authority may respond to a request by neither confirming nor denying whether such information exists and is held by the public authority, if that confirmation or denial would involve the disclosure of information that would adversely affect international relations, defence, national security or public safety; and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

Assuming, again, that there isn’t some secret French military facility hidden on that land, Cllr Leighton, put simply again, is wrong. As is whoever advised her.

Since the so-called “leak” of the Council’s plans for 8000 new dwellings in the Borough several weeks ago – we got so many copies it was more of a tidal wave than a leak –  there has quite obviously been a Council-wide clamp-down on all information which might get into the hands of us pesky tax-payers. We are entitled to conclude that some members of the Council are scared of being found out – again. What other explanation could there be?

 

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. At the same time we are likely to have to fight to ensure that swathes of Spelthorne’s open spaces are not released for development in the Review of our Local Plan. We will need funds to fight both.

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, in which the Council appears to be planning the building of 8000 dwellings over the next twenty years. This threat is against the whole Borough. It has to be fought.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wish to make it absolutely clear …

cartoon clear as mud

KKG – Document 79     KKG – Document 80

Dear Neighbour

They wished to make it so absolutely clear that they said it twice.

We refer to the statement issued on 7 October by Spelthorne’s Leader and Chief Executive about Redrow and Kempton Park.  In it, Councillor Watts said that he had first become aware of Redrow’s possible involvement with the proposed development of 1500 dwellings plus commercial units at Kempton Park in May this year. In fact, the release of the statement was delayed slightly so that he could be absolutely clear about the date he had read it, which he said was in an article in a weekly publication of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Trouble was, no-one could find this article. Not us, nor the Institution of Civil Engineers, nor the Council itself. We tried looking for it in other building trade publications. Nothing there either. We discussed this whole saga of the Incredible Disappearing Article three weeks ago (https://keepkemptongreen.com/2014/10/24/the-incredible-disappearing-article/ ).

We gave the search one final effort. We asked Cratus Communications (the PR consultants to The Jockey Club for the Kempton Park proposal) the following:

“Has the potential involvement of Redrow in the proposed development of KP ever been the subject of a press release by either them or the Jockey Club? Has it otherwise ever been published in the building/construction trade press or journals?”

Cratus ought to know – they are paid to know – and their answer was as brief as it was rapid:

” No.”

(See Document 79 attached.)

So, it wasn’t that the article had disappeared. It never existed in the first place. And just to make it even less absolutely clear, the statement was altered for the second time. The first revision was on 30 October, when some of the phrases were made slightly less formal. The meaning remained unchanged, however. And then, on 11 November the first paragraph was changed to delete any reference to the article published by the Institution of Civil Engineers. Councillor Watts merely “read about it”. (See Document 80 attached.)

Why are we going on about this, you might ask? Because it means that this information about Redrow and Kempton Park was never in the public domain in May. It was only put into the public domain by the men from A2Dominion at the meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 8 July, and since then was published only by KKG, and referred to in two articles in the Surrey Herald.

So, if Councillor Watts didn’t get it from an article in the public domain, he must have got it from a private communication.

We do hope there has not been any communication between the Council and The Jockey Club regarding the plans for Kempton Park since earlier this year. Because the Council have said categorically that they have had no contact with The Jockey Club or its agents regarding Kempton Park since 20 February.

Far from being absolutely clear, then, this issue gets more opaque by the day. It’s currently as clear as mud, and getting thicker.

 

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. At the same time we are likely to have to fight to ensure that swathes of Spelthorne’s open spaces are not released for development in the Review of our Local Plan. We will need funds to fight both.

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, in which the Council appears to be planning the building of 8000 dwellings over the next twenty years. This threat is against the whole Borough. It has to be fought.

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

Traffic chaos at the Hampton Triangle

hampton1

KKG – Document 7

Dear Neighbour

There have been traffic diversions at the Hampton Triangle since at least 25 October. The reason is that Thames Water are digging up the water mains. Nothing new there – they seem to dig up the A308 somewhere along the stretch between Church Street, Hampton and the junction with the Lower Sunbury Road every year around now.

This time, however, they are digging in front of The Bell, and at other sites around the Hampton Triangle. Traffic is now one-way only (westbound) in front of The Bell. Vehicles travelling along the A308 towards Hampton Court and Kingston are being diverted up High Street and then down Church Street to rejoin the A308. The result has been traffic chaos. There have been several accidents, danger to pedestrians, and road rage at enhanced levels. Large vehicles have been forced into three point turns to negotiate the sharp corner at the top of the Triangle.

This is a timely pre-run of the practical implications of The Jockey Club’s plans for the Hampton Triangle. These plans can be seen in Document 7, attached. The salient points are a ban on vehicles turning right from the A308 into the High Street, and left from the High Street onto the A308, and a ban on vehicles turning right from Station Road onto the High Street.

That will mean the traffic from Station Road having to use the Triangle as a large misshapen roundabout, travelling up the High Street and turning very sharply right into Church Street in order to get to the A308. Vehicles coming south from Hampton Hill and wishing to travel towards Sunbury Cross on the A308 will have to use Church Street, whereas before they might have used either Church Street or the High Street. And all this on top of what The Jockey Club assumes will be an increase of only 300 cars during rush hours resulting from the 1500 dwellings plus commercial units which they want to build on Green Belt at the Kempton Park estate. One might justifiably call that wild, bordering on criminal, optimism.

Sunbury Cross roundabout and the Hampton Triangle are already pinch-points for local and through traffic. Just the slightest restriction – as the current Thames Water road-works show so clearly – causes huge tailbacks all over the place. Traffic has regularly been queuing as far back towards Sunbury Cross as Harfield Road, and that’s out of rush hour. Add in the likely extra traffic from the proposed development at Kempton Park – which could easily be three times the assumption of The Jockey Club – and the result will be gridlock for anyone who wants to travel other than at midnight. No amount of fiddling with traffic arrangements will change that.

 

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