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OPEN COMMENTS FROM THE POLICE COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT ACTION GROUP TO LINDEN HOMES CONCERNING THE POLICE COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN


A BACKGROUND

The Steering Committee of the Police College Development Action Group (PCDAG) met with representatives of Linden Homes (LH) on Monday, the 2nd of April.

At that meeting we explained why we considered that the proposed development was inappropriate for Sunbury. We were told by those acting on behalf of Linden Homes that they were prepared to listen to our concerns, and that they would prepare a response after the meeting. In fact, we have received no response, though the plans have been amended.

The following issues were raised with Linden Homes on behalf of the residents of Sunbury.

B DENSITY.

At the meeting, we requested a fundamental review of the plans, due to the fact that the density levels for the proposed housing are far too high. They are approximately twice the levels of the neighbouring residential areas. We pointed out that this would be inappropriate in any case, but was particularly inappropriate in a setting at the edge of a Conservation Area (in fact the plot includes part of the Conservation Area) and at the edge of the village. For this reason we pointed out that a small reduction of the proposed housing levels, which we called 'tinkering', would not deal with our fundamental objection.

The response by Linden Homes to the density objection

The amended plans (notice of which was sent to Spelthorne BC on 17th April) indicate that LH has reduced the number of dwellings from 49 to 44.

This is a wholly inadequate response. A more blatant example of tinkering would be hard to conceive. But more than that, the amended plan does not deal with the fundamental objection as to density. Nor does it engage with the complaint we made that the density level is approximately twice that of the surrounding areas and remains wholly inappropriate for Sunbury.


C PARKING

At the meeting we asked that the amount of parking be increased. In fact we attended with a lady who lives in Stile Path who told the LH representatives that the level of parking around her house is atrocious, and that any increase in on-street parking in the local area would take the situation to breaking-point. The previous plan anticipated parking for 92 vehicles.

The response by Linden Homes to the parking objection

The amendment to the plans reduces that provision from 92 spaces to 82. It would be difficult to imagine a response from Linden Homes better designed to antagonise the local residents.

D ACCESS

We explained to the LH representatives that the access proposed by LH (a single point onto Green Street) was dangerous to traffic, environmentally unsound, and caused vehicles to drive round 'the triangle' if they wanted to travel in the direction of Walton upon Thames. We brought plans to illustrate this problem. We also pointed out that the response previously made by LH, namely that the traffic department at Surrey had indicated that access onto Thames Street would not be permitted, was wrong. In fact, we have discovered that Surrey said no such thing and were perfectly prepared to consider access onto Thames Street.

The response by Linden Homes to the access objection

The amended plans make no attempt to deal with this issue.

E CO-OPERATION

Finally, we asked for a co-operative approach between LH as developer, and ourselves as residents. We suggested issues such as level of density, access, parking, appearance of the buildings, etc should all be discussed and agreed upon before plans were finalized. We understand that a co-operative approach is encouraged by local authorities. And we note that LH is now adopting such an approach in relation to the Environment Agency development.

The response by Linden Homes to an invitation to cooperate with the residents

We were told at the meeting that those representing LH had come to listen, and that they would consider our objections, and respond to them. In fact, we have received no response.

G CONCLUSIONS

We repeat that we are ready and willing to meet LH, at any convenient time, to discuss the elements of a development for the Police College land.

The Police College site is located at an important location. Not only is it on the edge of the Conservation Area, but it marks the boundary of the village. As such it affects all those who live in Sunbury, including those who are interested in the architecture, the river and the history of the village. Accordingly, it is not just residents who live close to the proposed development who are worried about the proposals suggested by LH, but also the people who live throughout the village.

We took the trouble to explain why the present proposals are inadequate, and we were told that LH would listen to our objections. Since the meeting it has become apparent that LH is not interested in listening. It is also clear that LH is only interested in a plan that would result in dense housing, inadequate parking and a dangerous access route. Our offer of co-operation has been rejected and the attitude pursued by LH is that the views and concerns of the residents can be ignored. We find that wholly inadequate, hugely disappointing and likely to cause tremendous anger.

LH should withdraw their current application and start again. With the aid of the PCDAG, they can build a development which enhances, rather than endangers, their reputation. We want to see a development that the whole village can be proud of. Do they?

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RAOGSBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Housing Developer - Linden Homes

Petition community:
Sunbury upon Thames

Tags

community, dense, density, developers, development, environment, housing, property, sunbury

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