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Formal objection re the ECM on 6 June 2023

2 June 2023

Mr Daniel Mouawad

Chief Exective

Spelthorne Borough Council

(by email)

Dear Daniel

We wish to register a formal objection regarding the Extraordinary Council Meeting scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 6 June 2023.

Cllr Saliagopoulos, in her role as Mayor, will be convening and chairing the meeting. She will be able to exercise a casting vote.

Cllr Saliagopoulos has a Direct Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the outcome of the vote to be taken at the ECM, as to whether the Local Plan should continue its progress through the Examination in Public.

For the absence of doubt:

It is a well-understood and well-established risk (clearly identified in the Officers’ Report for the meeting) that, should we continue to not have a valid Local Plan (as we do not have at the moment), for however long, sites in this Borough will be open to “Planning-by-Appeal”.

This is the process whereby a developer, who has a Planning Application refused at the Borough’s Planning Committee, takes it on Appeal, where it is highly likely that the Appeal Inspector will grant the application, on the grounds that the Borough cannot demonstrate a supply of homes, because we do not have a valid Local Plan.

This has already happened to sites in this Borough, and is happening all over the country. Please see this very recent report from the CPRE:

Cllr Saliagopoulos submitted a Regulation 19 objection to the draft Local Plan concerning land she jointly owns with her father: the “Land adjacent to No 3 Penton Hook Farm, Staines”, which is currently designated as Green Belt. She wishes to build 11 homes on the site, but the site is not included as development land in the draft Local Plan. The relevant document is appended to this email. (click here to read it )

As this document makes clear, Cllr Saliagopoulos objects to the draft Local Plan in its current form. She would like the draft Local Plan amended to allow her her to build on this land through a direct amendment by the Council. Failing that, there is the significant risk that an application to build on this land would end up at an Appeal Tribunal in the Planning-by-Appeal route.

Cllr Saliagopoulos thus has a Direct Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the draft Local Plan NOT progressing forward through the Examination in Public.

The Borough’s Standing Orders are very clear:


11.1 Where in relation to an item on the agenda, a councillor has a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest, that interest should be declared at the start of the meeting by giving full details of the interest and the item to which it relates. The councillor must thereafter leave the room when that matter falls to be discussed and take no part in the debate or the vote for that business.

Cllr Saliagopoulos should recuse herself from the ECM in its entirety, as directed by 11.1 of the Standing Orders. Failure to do so would bring the meeting and the vote into disrepute.


John Hirsh (Acting Chair of LoSRA)

Alan Doyle (for Keep Kempton Green)


Petition – please sign

The most important stage in our new Spelthorne Local Plan – the Examination in Public run by the Planning Inspectorate – has just completed the first week of a total of three. Having a proper approved Local Plan will give the best protection possible to Green Belt in our Borough.

However, at an Extraordinary Council Meeting on 6 June, some local councillors are going to try and stop the Examination from continuing.

The financial cost to all Spelthorne Council Tax payers, and the risk to our Green Belt from not having a Local Plan, will be huge.

Please sign this petition to help stop the delay!

Astonishing behaviour

The Examination in Public hearings begin today, Tuesday 23 May.

KKG and LOSRA, who have briefed a very experienced planning KC, applied for, and were granted, an invitation to be represented at three of the sessions related to Lower Sunbury in general, and Kempton Park in particular.

A lot of work and a lot of money has been spent for these hearings – not just by us but by everyone else who is involved, not least the Inspector and the Spelthorne Strategic Planning team.

Yet last Tuesday (16 May) we began to hear stories of a last-minute attempt by some councillors to stop the hearings taking place. As days went by, the facts behind these stories began to emerge.

It boils down to the fact that last Friday, the leaders of the Greens, the Independents, the Labour Group and the Lib-Dems wrote to the Inspector via the Examination Coordinator asking for the hearings to be suspended to give “the new Council, especially our new councillors, the opportunity to understand fully what this means for the communities they represent.”

The various communications can be read by clicking on the following links:

Councillors’ letter to the Inspector

Inspector’s letter to Councillors

Chief Executive’s letter to the Inspector

Chief Executive’s letter to Councillors

A few points:

  • This draft Local Plan, the subject of the Examination, has been debated ad nauseam at committee meeting after council meeting for years. If the returning councillors haven’t got their heads around it already (which we don’t believe) then they never will. And how many of the new councillors knew this was going on on their behalf? Not all and it would be interesting to know more precisely.
  • During these debates it has been made quite clear what the consequences of having no Local Plan would be, in terms of opening the Borough to the free reign of predatory developers. It has also been made very clear what the cost implications would be. Almost £9 million pounds has been wasted already by the constant delays and moratoriums related to the redevelopment of the Council’s own properties. Delaying or re-doing the Local Plan would be very expensive indeed.
  • This isn’t about suspending or pausing the hearings for four months. Anyone who has had the misfortune to follow the progress of the draft Local Plan over past years know full well that that at least two of the four leaders want the draft Plan not paused, but thrown in the bin.
  • These four leaders know full well that there is a due process which has to be followed to establish decisions of the Council. You can’t just write to the Inspector off your own bat. A motion must be debated at a legal meeting of the council, and a vote taken. Of course, no such meeting or debate or vote had taken place.
  • These four leaders wrote to the Inspector without even telling the Planning officers or the Chief Executive. That is the kind of behaviour most of us left behind in our adolescence.

Examination in Public: Details

The dates for the Examination in Public of our new Local Plan have now been set, along with details of what issues will be discussed on what days. You can see the details by clicking here.

Kempton Park is not earmarked to be discussed – specifically in the entire second week taken up with “Allocations”. This is because Kempton Park has been excluded from the new Local Plan as a site for housing development. Nevertheless, there are issues of planning policy which have a bearing on Kempton Park: Redrow – The Jockey Club’s preferred developer – have submitted claims that our new Local Plan is not sound, based on various over-arching planning issues, which will be discussed on various days.

It used to be the case that residents had a right to be heard at Examinations in Public, but the nature of these Examinations has changed. They are now inquisitorial, rather than adversarial, in nature, and it is up to the Inspector as to who is invited to speak.

We have just had a very fruitful planning conference with our KC, and will be applying to the Inspector for an invitation to put our case at a number of the sessions. Members of the public, of course, can still attend any of these hearings.

Save the Dates

Finally, after an extremely long wait, we have firm dates for the Examination in Public. A Planning Inspector will hold public hearings about our new Local Plan on :

Tuesday 23 May 2023 and run until Thursday 25 May 2023

• Tuesday 13 June 2023 and run until Thursday 15 June 2023

Tuesday 20 June 2023 and run until Thursday 22 June 2023

The hearings will start at 10am each day.

This the final step in this extended process – it has taken six years to get to this point.

It is vital that we have a Local Plan that has been approved by the Planning Inspectorate. Without a valid Local Plan, the entire Borough is open to predatory Planning Applications from developers, against which the Borough has no defence.

The official notification can be found at

Major milestone reached…

Message from Spelthorne

Dear Sir/Madam,

As you have responded to Local Plan consultations previously or are on our Local Plan database, we are writing to you to tell you the Pre-submission version of the Spelthorne Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination on Friday 25 November.

This is a crucial milestone and follows agreement last week by the Chair and Vice Chair of Environment & Sustainability Committee to minor changes and corrections to the Plan. We have received confirmation from the Planning Inspectorate that the Plan has been submitted and they will now proceed to appoint us an inspector.

We have a new dedicated website for the examination: , where you can view the Local Plan and the supporting evidence and documents required for submission. It will be updated as we progress through the examination process and will soon include officer responses to representations people made during consultation, any letters we receive from our planning inspector, information about what stages we reach and the dates and documents for each hearing session, including links to the Planning Inspectorate videos explaining the examination process.

The hearings will be open to the public and live-streamed online. An inspector will be appointed within the next three weeks and then we will provide further details on when the hearings will take place, likely in spring 2023. We will notify the inspector of those residents and organisations who indicated their request to appear when they responded to the consultation.

The website also includes all the responses made during the Regulation 19 consultation, in A-Z order by respondent and also in policy/site order. These are very lengthy documents at around 2000 pages each so if you wish to find a particular individual, organisation or landowner, please use ‘ctrl F’ to bring up the search box where you can type the name of who you are trying to find.

Consultation responses and your personal data will be passed to the Planning Inspectorate and a Programme Officer. The Programme Officer works for the Planning Inspector who will examine the plan. The Programme Officer may contact you using the personal information you have provided.

Ann Biggs
Strategic Planning Manager

It’s time to have your say

The last Public Consultation has just over five weeks to run. 5 September is the final date to submit your opinions to the Planning Inspector who will decide on our new Local Plan.

You will have heard from councillors of all flavours that the new Local Plan is not ideal. This is not through any errors by the Spelthorne Planning team. It is entirely the fault of the massive increase in housing targets sent down from Whitehall.

Nevertheless, we can be grateful that Kempton Park has been ruled out as a site for development.

But we are not out of the woods yet. Redrow and The Jockey Club will be arguing as strongly as they can – when the Planning Inspector holds the Examination in Public – that the Kempton Park estate should be opened up for development. KKG intends to be there to argue the opposite, in support of the Local Plan.

So it is vital that the Planning Inspector understands how important an issue Kempton Park is amongst the residents of Sunbury. It is so important that you express your opinion.

You don’t need any reminding of the reasons thousands of houses should not be built on Kempton Park. They would:

* destroy a vital section of Green Belt

*  increase the traffic load on the A308 Staines Road East, especially the pinch points at Sunbury Cross, Hampton, and the Hampton Court roundabout.

*  put unstainable pressure on all areas surrounding the estate, through extra flooding risk and pressure on overloaded infrastructure.

* permanently and negatively change the character of areas surrounding the estate.

You will no doubt have your own reasons.

All the details of how to respond to the Consultation can be found at

Please use the Representation Form provided by the Council.

If you support Kempton Park being excluded as a site for development, our suggestions are as follows:

* Please type “Kempton Park” into the box marked “Other (Please specify) in Question 3 of Part B.  

* Please reply YES to all questions in question 4a of Part B.

* Please write your reasons why Kempton Park should NOT be developed in the box at Question 5 of Part B.

No need to write in to the Planning Inspector at length. Keep it short.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us at

Reasons to be Cheerful #1

The draft Local Plan has been published, and Kempton Park is excluded as an area for development.

The twelve week final public consultation began last Wednesday, and will run until 5 September.

All the Local Plan documents can be viewed at:

The Local Plan itself is at:

Draft Local Plan 2022 – 2037

Kempton Park is only mentioned in passing in the above document, because it is not scheduled for development. That is because it was rated as well-performing Green Belt in two Green Belt Assessments, which can be viewed here:

We are going through all these documents in depth, and will get back to you with what we find.

You will have plenty of time to submit your thoughts on the draft Local Plan, and it is very important that you do.

If you would like to hear more, Ann Biggs, the Spelthorne Strategic Planning Officer, will be giving a presentation at the LOSRA AGM at 8pm on Wednesday 22 June.

Another step forward

Spelthorne Council met last evening to decide whether to send our draft Local Plan to what is known as the Regulation 19 Consultation. This will be a final Public Consultation, during which everyone in Spelthorne can have their say about the Plan.

There were fears beforehand that the vote would be extremely tight. As it happened, the meeting was run swiftly and efficiently, and there were no wrecking amendments. The motion to send our Local Plan forward to the next stage succeeded. By our calculation, the vote was 26 votes in favour vs 8 against.

The Public Consultation will run from 15 June 2022 to 5 September 2022 – so, twelve weeks, which is double the statutory requirement. Once the Consultation documents are available we will publicise details as to where to find them.

Submissions by the public will be collated and sent, together with the draft Local Plan, to the Planning Inspector who will preside over the Examination in Public of the Local Plan. That public hearing is crucial to the protection of Green Belt, at Kempton Park and elsewhere in the Borough.

So, two things:

  1. Please use the Public Consultation as an opportunity to send your views direct to the Planning Inspector.
  2. We are now entering an intensely legal process. Any contributions to our Fighting Fund will be most welcome.