Heronslea, the developers who have been eyeing up the Old Nursery site on Fordbridge Road in Sunbury, had been due to hold a public consultation event on Tuesday next week. That has now been cancelled. We believe this is because the pre-application discussions with Spelthorne have not been concluded.
Heronslea insist the site is brownfield. They quote a report by a “non-profit” organisation called London First. Non-profit it may be, but it’s hardly objective. It’s a lobbying group set up by, amongst other big businesses, a number of property developers and associated firms: the large planning consultancy Terence O’Rourke, for example, who, incidentally, are involved in working up the proposals for Kempton Park for Redrow. Oh, and Heathrow – also a London First “partner”.
It’s quite simple, really. All Heronslea need to do is look at the Spelthorne Proposals Map, accepted by the Secretary of State in 2009 as the definitive planning map for this Borough. That map shows what is and what isn’t Green Belt. The Old Nursery site is.
Couldn’t be clearer.
Keep Kempton Green
A property developer, Heronslea, has emerged as showing more than a passing interest in the site of the Old Nursery on Fordbridge Road, between Lower Sunbury and the Esso petrol station at the Marshall’s Roundabout.
We have covered the issue of housing development on the Old Nursery site before: see here and here. There are actually three parcels of land
and it is not clear at this stage whether Heronslea are hoping to build on one or more of these parcels.
The point is that all three parcels of land sit firmly in the Green Belt. As many of us heard at the public meeting in February this year about the plans for 1500 dwellings on Kempton Park, the Council insist that Green Belt land will be protected. Here are some of their words:
Councillor Watts, Leader of the Council: “The Green Belt has played a huge part in making this area what it is today. We have a very clear Green Belt policy, and it is backed up by equally clear Conservative government policy.”
John Brooks, Head of Planning: “Our own policy as a Council is unequivocal. The Green Belt shown on the Proposals Map, will be permanent. That is the policy … Is housing more important than anything else? Does housing need trump Green Belt policy? The simple answer is no.”
And this is what Mr Brooks said at the end of January regarding the Old Nursery site itself:
“If anyone [makes an enquiry as to the planning constraints on this site] they will be told about its Green Belt status and the implications of that – and I am sure you are already well aware of the Council’s strong stance on the Green Belt.”
So why are Heronslea even bothering?
They plan to hold a public consultation meeting on August 25 from 3:00 to 8:00 pm in St Mary’s Church Hall, at the river end of Green Street in Lower Sunbury. Put it in your diaries – it is very important that Heronslea get unequivocal feedback on the plans they have to build on Green Belt land.
Keep Kempton Green