The Costco connection

KKG – Document 15 KKG – Document 16 KKG – document 17

Dear Neighbour

This latest in our series of messages gets a little complicated. We will try and keep it as simple as possible.

Costco – the chain of wholesale cash-and-carry stores – submitted a Planning Application to build one of their stores just to the east of the Sunbury Cross roundabout. The application received widespread support at Spelthorne Council, due to the proposed store replacing currently unused warehouses on land unsuitable for housing, and due to the jobs the store would bring with it.

On 4 September last year, Mark Boyes from Aspire, Development Consultants to The Jockey Club, wrote to Spelthorne Council to lodge an objection to Costco’s Planning Application (see KKG Document 17 attached). The letter includes some technical objections to Costco’s Transport statement (which later emails show to have been related to clerical errors, and easily corrected).

However, the letter also says:

“The Costco transport assessment makes no allowance for potential future development at Kempton Park, …”

Being Development Consultants, Aspire will be very aware that, in planning law, Costco are under no obligation whatsoever to take account of “potential future development” anywhere. In any case, it is difficult to see how they could do so in any practical way. They are required to take account of committed developments, and the correspondence shows that they did in fact take account of the developments (not yet completed) at the London Irish ground, Hazlewood, and the old Police College – all in Lower Sunbury – in their transport assessment.

So what was the purpose of the objection by The Jockey Club? Why did they wish to “open a dialogue” with Costco? Could it have been that they were trying to get Costco to contribute to the large cost of redeveloping Sunbury Cross roundabout (see KKG Documents 2, 3 & 4 circulated previously)? Or some other reason? An information request was put in to try and find out, but more on that later.

Another thing. If Costco were to take account of the traffic impact of  “… potential future development at Kempton Park, …” (which they are not at all obligated to do) they would have to know what the size of the potential development at Kempton Park was. The traffic and the size of the development are intricately linked – you cannot know one without the other.

So, if The Jockey Club’s consultants were trying, on 4 September 2013, to get Costco to take account of potential future development at Kempton Park, the size of the potential development, and the traffic generated by it, must have been available in number form. Certainly, at least one department within Spelthorne Council was aware as early as mid-August 2013 that “very large developments (are) being proposed in the vicinity of Sunbury Cross” (from an email we have on file which we have omitted for the sake of brevity.)

Yet, as late as mid-November 2013, representatives of Spelthorne Council were telling residents in the following, and similar words, that “no plan whatsoever (has) been developed for the scale of housing that you allude to”. The scale being alluded to was the +/- 1000 dwellings mentioned in the LOSRA newsletter in October 2013. As it turns out, of course, that 1000 figure turned out to be a significant underestimate – see KKG – Documents 1 & 8 circulated previously.

Anyway, back to The Jockey Club’s objection to the Costco Application. The request submitted, and the reply we got, are set out in KKG Documents 16 & 15 (attached).

A meeting is held, where The Jockey Club discuss, amongst other things, an objection they have to the major and widely welcomed Costco development, and the record of that meeting consists of 5 sketchy handwritten lines?

As ever, these documents are in the public domain. Please feel free to pass them on.

Please encourage your neighbours to join the mailing list.

There is more to come, in due course, over coming weeks.

Yours

Keep Kempton Green

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The deeper we dig, the bigger it gets. 2000 houses?

KKG – Document 5 KKG – Document 8

Dear Neighbour

1. The more we dig, the bigger the size of the development at Kempton Park gets.

First we thought it was plus or minus 1000 units. Then that rose to 1000 to 1500 (see KKG Document 1 circulated previously).

And now we find an internal Surrey Highways email referring to 1500 to 2000 dwellings.  (see attached KKG Document 8).

How big is this thing? And why haven’t we been told?

2. KKG Document 5 (also attached) shows the developer’s time-table for this project. The Feasibility Study should have reported by late last year. What does it recommend – proceed or abandon? Why haven’t we been told?

But note, especially, the first bullet point:

“Spelthorne Borough – scheduled 2014 update of Housing Evidence Base likely to set higher residential targets.”

Two thoughts spring immediately to mind:

a. Why is Spelthorne even considering setting higher residential targets?

Under the current local plan, they have a target – for the Borough as a whole – of 166 units per year. They have been exceeding this target consistently since the latest local plan was accepted (as they did for the duration of the previous local plan).

And;

b. Why do we have to find this out from a developer’s Power Point slide?

What is it about the Borough that they tell a developer about plans for higher residential building targets before they tell their own Council Taxpayers? And before it has even been discussed, or consulted upon, or voted on by the Council?

As ever, these documents are in the public domain. Please feel free to pass them on.

Please encourage your neighbours to join the mailing list.

There is more to come, in due course, over coming weeks.

Yours

Keep Kempton Green

Not 1000 houses, but 1500

KKG – Document 6 KKG – Document 1

Dear Neighbour

Attached (KKG Document 1) are the draft minutes of a meeting prepared by Mouchel (consultant traffic engineers to The Jockey Club) in connection with the Feasibility Study for the residential/non-residential development being mooted for Kempton Park Racecourse. Also attached is a map (KKG  Document 6) showing the site being planned for development.

It had previously been thought that the proposed housing development would be +/- 1000 dwellings. These minutes, however, show that the development could be as much as, if not more than, 50% bigger than that. That would imply an extra 3000 cars added to the local road network, which is already very often overburdened with traffic. Some representatives of Spelthorne Council have said that any development would be confined to an area near Kempton Park Station and on a narrow strip bordering the A308. The map shows that this is not the case, and that a very much bigger area of land is being considered, on designated Green Belt land.

There are other non-residential elements to the proposed plans, including a supermarket from a well-known national chain. However, a suggestion from one Spelthorne Councillor (who serves on the Planning Committee) that a hotel should also be built has apparently not been met with any enthusiasm from the hotel industry.

The minutes relate to a meeting held on 2 July 2013. The map is dated May 2013. The concept plan for Sunbury Cross Roundabout (sent to you previously) is dated September 2013.

All documents are in the public domain.

Please feel free to forward this message to other residents. Please encourage them to join our mailing list.

If you do wish to join the mailing list, please make sure to add our address to your Safe Senders list.

More to follow in due course over coming weeks.

Yours

Keep Kempton Green

Do something about Sunbury Cross!

KKG – Document 2 KKG – Document 3 KKG – Document 4

Dear Neighbour

Attached is a concept “Do Something” plan for Sunbury Cross Roundabout (KKG Document 2), prepared by Mouchel (consultant traffic engineers to The Jockey Club) in connection with the Feasibility Study for the residential/non-residential development being mooted for Kempton Park Racecourse.

Changes to the Roundabout would be needed to try and offset the increased traffic along the A308 generated by the cars owned by the residents of the housing estate at Kempton Park. The size of the residential part of the development could be as large as 1500 houses. That means up to 3000 extra cars added to the already overburdened local transport network, particularly the A308.

The current traffic problems along the A308, of course, are not only in the direction of Sunbury Cross. The already overburdened  A308 in the direction of Hampton Court would also be further stressed. It would be interesting to see Mouchel’s concept plan for solving that problem …

The plan is dated Sep 2013.  As the notes at bottom left say, a more detailed plan is to be drawn up on a topographical, rather than OS, basis.

Also attached are two photographs of parts of the current civil works at Sunbury Cross, which are noted on the plan.

All documents are in the public domain.

More to follow in due course over coming weeks.

Yours

Keep Kempton Green

How the Kempton Park problem suddenly got bigger …

First we discovered plans by Spelthorne Council and The Jockey Club to build 1500 dwellings + commercial units on Green Belt at Kempton Park.

Then we discovered Council plans to build 6500 additional dwellings elsewhere in the Borough.

The Council is reviewing our Local Plan. The risk is that this review will remove Green Belt or Protected Urban Open Space status from our Borough’s open spaces in order to provide land to build these 8000 dwellings.

The only way we can fight these plans is to be involved in the review of our Local Plan. The Council itself is required to “work with” local communities from “the earliest stages of plan preparation“ in “early and meaningful engagement”.

Work has already been done in compiling the evidence base for the housing targets. But local communities have not been involved, as they should have been. All this work has been going on in secret.

It will take “months, not weeks” the Council says, to work out how to “work with” local communities.

The petition (link below) calls on Spelthorne Council to start “working with” local communities without any further delay.

If any of Spelthorne’s open spaces are precious to you – whether you live in Spelthorne or not – please sign this petition.

Remember: All members of a household are entitled to sign if they wish to.

To sign the petition, go to:

http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/keepkemptongreen

… or they'll pave paradise and put up a parking lot …

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