Category Archives: Weekly Updates

Save The Date …

Sunbury Open Gardens are back, this year in support of Keep Kempton Green.

Sunday 21 June, from 11am to 5pm

Watch this space for more details.

See you there.


The Schwarzenegger gambit

The Jockey Club announced today that they have asked Spelthorne Council to consider an application for a smaller development – 550 dwellings – on the Kempton Park estate.

“The Local Plan process continues and a new submission at the Preferred Options Consultation stage has seen a much smaller part of the site highlighted by The Jockey Club and Redrow Homes for the Council’s consideration, alongside the original proposals. This would involve only previously developed land and would retain all racing facilities to continue as today, including both the Jumps course and All-Weather Track.”

This latest brass-neck manoeuvre is aimed more at placating that substantial membership of The Jockey Club who oppose the planned closing of Kempton Park racecourse. And it assumes local opinion will be mollified by a smaller development. But both groups should beware. We don’t believe for one second that this will be the end of it. The Jockey Club and Redrow will be back.

Our position remains the same: We don’t want ANY houses on Kempton Park.

Arup and Spelthorne Council have twice assessed Kempton Park, and twice concluded it is “strongly performing” Green Belt. And that includes the area taken up by the racecourse, the grandstand, and all the other buildings – “the previously developed land” as The Jockey Club puts it. Green Belt does not mean green space, as they well know.

As the Jockey Club itself says, this schoolboy wheeze of theirs has been submitted alongside their original proposals for 3000 dwellings on Kempton Park. i.e. they still want the Green Belt status of the entire estate to be lifted. And always remember, they could build far more than 3000 dwellings even given current density guidelines, and those guidelines will rise in the future. The Jockey Club has been playing with the numbers they want to build for years, saying one thing to some people, and another thing to others.

Our message to Spelthorne Council is clear: Don’t let The Jockey Club terminate our Green Belt and home.

“The increase in house prices is not the result of a shortage of new houses”

Mean house prices between 1985 and 2018, in real (RPI-adjusted) terms (2018 pounds)

We’ve been making this point for years. Now there is a paper from the Bank of England making the same argument.

It’s a bit technical, but if you wish to read it, the link is in the following comment on the paper:

Click here to read the article.

As the author of the comment says:

“My question is why this point is almost never made in the popular discourse on the house price problem? One answer is that housebuilders have a vested interest in suggesting a dire need for more housebuilding, in part because it adds to pressure on governments to free up greenfield sites. This is exactly what has happened since 2010. There is nearly always a vested interest in perpetuating incorrect economic explanations.”

Another step forward

First the good news: Very many thanks to all of those who have contributed to our Fighting Fund. We have more to raise, but we are well on our way.

And now the very good news:

After six years, Arup, Surrey Highways and Spelthorne Council have agreed with what we have been saying all along: a housing development on the Kempton Park estate would destroy vital Green Belt, would alter the character of Sunbury for the worse, and would cause lasting traffic chaos throughout the surrounding area.

You may remember, in May and June last year, the Issues and Options consultation, where we were all asked where we would like development in the Borough to take place. Spelthorne Council have just released their Preferred Options for consultation, showing, in detail, where they propose that housing and other building will take place.

Kempton Park is NOT included among the sites proposed for development.

The Stage 2 Green Belt Assessment (a more detailed study) conducted by Arup came to the same conclusions it had in the more general Stage 1 Assessment: “that Kempton Park strongly meets the purposes of Green Belt land, and makes an important contribution to the wider strategic Green Belt. Not recommended for development.”

Surrey Highways were asked to assess the traffic impact of a development of 3000 houses at Kempton Park. They conclude that it would generate 1,700 extra cars on the A308/Staines Road East in the morning and 2000 extra cars in the evening. (And we suspect Redrow and The Jockey Club want to build way more than 3000 dwellings.)

Spelthorne planning officers conclude: “The loss of this site from the Green Belt would risk the merging of Spelthorne with Greater London and this would also significantly alter the character of the area.”

They also made this comment regarding the Jockey Club’s request for the estate to be included as a site for residential development: “The racecourse is a historic and established asset in the area and it should be explored whether its loss is inevitable on viability grounds or if a large housing scheme is simply more economically appealing to the landowner.”

We can’t argue with any of the above comments and conclusions.

But The Jockey Club and Redrow inevitably will, when we get to the Examination in Public next year, where our new Local Plan will be decided.

So we will be meeting shortly with our QC to discuss how The Jockey Club and their developer buddies will respond, and our strategy for that public hearing.

All the relevant documents, and details of public events you can attend, are available at

If you would like to contribute to our Fighting Fund, below is how you can help:

By Direct Bank Transfer
Barclays Bank
Account name: Keep Kempton Green
Sort Code: 20-42-76,
Account number: 5326 5943

or through PayPal Reference:


by cheque, made out to Keep Kempton Green, to 20 Green Street, Sunbury-on-Thames, TW16 6RN.

Raffle Draw

(Winning tickets being drawn by Sir David Reddaway)

Many thanks to all those who bought KKG raffle tickets at the Sunbury Regatta last weekend. We raised almost £500, which is a big boost to our Legal Defence Fund.

The winning tickets were:

#183 : Selection of Soaps.
#86 : Bottle of Charles de Courance Champagne
#153 : Bottle of Cardhu Single Malt Scotch Whisky
#91 : Bottle of Graham’s Vintage Port
#93 : Six Bottles of Chateau Pibran 2005 Pauillac, worth £300

If you would like to contribute to our Legal Defence Fund, you can donate as follows:

1. Cheques made out to Keep Kempton Green, to 20 Green Street, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 6RN.

2. PayPal: Reference

3. Direct transfer to:
Barclays Bank
Account name: Keep Kempton Green
Sort Code: 20-42-76
Account number: 5326 5943

Why don’t you come down and see us sometime …

We’ll be at the Sunbury Regatta on Saturday. The weather forecast looks good, and we’d love to meet you.

And while you’re there, buy a ticket (£3 each, 2 for £5) for our fantastic raffle, including, – the Grand Prize – a half case of Chateau Pibran 2005 Pauillac, worth £300:

Excellent Bordeaux wine, on the traditional, rustic, four square side. Best served with all types of classic meat dishes; veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, and mushrooms and pasta.

All proceeds to our Legal Defence Fund.

See you there.

Stop their free lunch!

First The Jockey Club wanted 1000 dwellings. Then 1500, with shops and hotels (although those have been conspicuous by their absence from later plans). Then 2000. All on just half of the Kempton Park Green Belt. Their latest number is 3000 – on the whole place, bulldozing the racecourse and the grandstand in the process.

Will they be satisfied with 3000? Given their track record – the move from 1000 to 2000 all took place in a matter of months, and involved giving different numbers to different people at the same time – we don’t think so. We fully expect the 3000 number to be upped, and upped. This will become – if they’re given half a chance – an all-you-can-eat buffet. They will keep coming back for more.

To put it in context, the whole of Lower Sunbury comprises 5300-odd households, 12700 individuals. 3000 extra dwellings on their own would bring almost 7200 people onto the already overburdened roads, schools and health facilities – an increase of 56%. Never mind the further increase from 3000 dwellings we expect from the Jockey Club.

These plans must be stopped. And so far we have managed to do just that, through much effort in the background, but without spending much money at all.

But we are now in the midst of the review of our Local Plan, through which The Jockey Club and Redrow, their builders of choice, hope to get permission for their free lunch. If we are to stand a fighting chance, we need to have a lawyer to represent the interests of residents, particularly at the Examination in Public at which our new Local Plan will be scrutinised by a Planning Inspector.

We have already instructed one of the leading QCs at the London Planning and Environmental Bar. He is very familiar with Sunbury, having represented residents during previous planning hearings, and he is extremely good value for money.

So we are appealing to your generous nature.

Contributions can be made

a) by direct transfer to our bank account;
Barclays Bank
Account name: Keep Kempton Green
Sort Code: 20-42-76
Account number: 5326 5943

b) through PayPal – Reference Continue reading Stop their free lunch!

Soliciting for business

An interesting little document has surfaced among the responses to the recent Issues and Options consultation for our new Local Plan in Spelthorne.

The letter, from London Irish Holdings Ltd, contains the following phrase (see the last page):

“…it will also be necessary to identify and allocate larger sites in the Green Belt to come forward later on in the plan period if the Council is to meet its development needs.”

We’ve already lost one London Irish site to 220 houses off The Avenue. They are trying again …