The Planning Application for the Page Aerospace site is now with the Council.
You can view the proposals on the Spelthorne Council website (click here).
You can comment on the proposals (click here).
You may remember the various episodes we have reported on over the last year or so regarding the Old Nursery site on Fordbridge Road. Click the following links to see them again:
The developer, Heronslea, were due to hold a public consultation last August, but it was cancelled at the last moment. We have not heard of any plans to hold another one, although Heronslea have now submitted a formal application to Spelthorne Council.
This is Green Belt land – pure and simple. Heronslea’s consultants have used every alternative description they can think of to disguise this simple fact, but a fact it remains.
There are buildings on the site which are in a very poor state of repair. But that does not mean the land is not Green Belt. The entire Kempton Park estate is designated Green Belt, for example, but that has all sorts of buildings on it, including an extremely large grandstand.
The point is that it is not the presence or absence of buildings, or their state of repair, which defines whether land is Green Belt or not. There are various commercial uses to which Green Belt is permitted to be put. In the case of Kempton Park, it is the recreational activity of horse-racing. All buildings necessary for carrying out that activity are potentially allowed to be constructed. In the case of the Old Nursery site, the permitted business was agricultural, specifically horticultural. Buildings necessary for carrying out that permitted horticultural business were potentially allowable.
What is not allowable for either Kempton Park or the Old Nursery site, or any other piece of Green Belt, is residential development.
It is very important that residents’ views are taken into account, especially as the developer does not appear to have any plans to consult us publicly.
Please write to the Planning Office at Spelthorne Council, quoting reference 15/01423/FUL , or – much easier – send in your views online through the following link:
Keep Kempton Green
Which has the shortest lifespan; the average Chelsea manager, or the common shrew?
Chelsea managers win that one, even if they win nothing else. But it’s a toss of a coin as to whether their lives are shorter than the average Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council. The last half a dozen Spelthorne Leaders have held office, on average, marginally over 14 months.
The last one survived only a matter of weeks. On Tuesday this week, the Council convened an Extraordinary Meeting to formally remove Cllr Edgington from office, after he had lost an election as leader of the Conservative Group a week or so previously. Cllr Edgington had been elected leader of both the Conservative Group and the Council after the death of Cllr Watts in October 2015.
There were allegations, and an allegation about an allegation. The police had been involved in a previous fracas, and they are now considering, it seems, that alleged allegation. But it is still not entirely clear what Cllr Edgington had done to attract this ire.
As it happened, the vote to oust him never took place, as he resigned less than a minute before the vote was due, tossing down his badge of office as he did so, and flouncing out of the Council Chamber. Two other councillors left in sympathy, one of them Cllr Edgington’s fiancée. Cllr Harvey was then elected Leader in Cllr Edgington’s place.
There was a complaint about how strenuously the Conservative councillors had been whipped – one of those who left apparently resigned the whip as he did so in protest. But before you get excited, this was no bedroom farce. All a very suburban Am-Dram production, unlikely to trouble any West End impresarios. And the whole thing was finished off by an (awful) rendition of the National Anthem.
Bad theatre apart, there is an important point at issue here. Councillors have two responsibilities: firstly to represent the residents of their wards, and secondly to control the business of the Council. Every time they self-indulge in this by now traditional game of Stab Thy Neighbour, they neglect those responsibilities. The last time this happened, during the protracted Leadership upheaval from Cllr Packman via Cllr Leighton to Cllr Watts, so we discovered, the Council took it upon itself to start negotiations with the Jockey Club about building 2000 dwellings on Green Belt at Kempton Park.