Morrisons Again

Proposed view of Morrisons SmallMorrisons has applied to Elmbridge to extend its delivery times.  The current limits are Monday to Saturday – 7:00 to 23:00 and Sunday and Bank Holidays 9:00 to 15:00. All commercial vehicles must vacate the site by 23:00 Monday to Saturday and 15:00 Sunday and Bank Holidays.  Between 21:00 and 23:00 the Quiet Delivery System must be used.

Morrisons’ proposal is that the limits be set to the hours of 5:00 to 23:00, every day. From 5:00 to 7:00 in the morning and from 21:00 to 23:00 in the evening the Quiet Delivery System will be used.

Further details can be found here and you can give your comments here.  You will notice that there appears to be no plans in the new hours on Sunday, Public and Bank Holidays to use the Quiet Delivery System in a way that makes them different from normal workdays.

Now Planned Difference
Monday to Saturday 7:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 7:00
Sunday, Public and Bank holidays 9:00 to 15:00 5:00 to 23:00 5:00 to 9:00 and
15:00 to 23:00

Grotto Pub Site

Monument Hill GrottoFurther planning permission for this site, which already has planning permission for nine flats, was sought for two extra flats.  I asked that planning consent be denied on the grounds of parking stress and the bulk and height of the proposal – it now being four floors high instead of three.

The majority of the other councillors felt the proposal was not out of keeping with the other buildings in the locality as Manor Court was higher as were the office blocks.  However, neither of those buildings were hard up against the highway and Manor Court is quite set back.

I was outvoted last time over the parking stress and this time the other councillors felt that as we had not refused the applicant before for parking stress we could not revisit this aspect even though the extra two flats would increase the problem.  Surrey planning staff consider that parking is not required for flats which are “near the station and the town centre”.  There will be at least eleven cars in this site and no-where to park.

I also raised concerns over the light in Albany Court.  The planning officer showed me that the proposed building would not conflict with the 25% rule.  This rule is to protect light in established dwelling in the locality.  Taking a line at 25% degree from horizontal from the ground level windows in Albany Court would not meet the proposed building.  And in any case that rule applies for only the first 15m and the proposed building was 17m away.

I was outvoted by the majority (I am the only Lib Dem on the committee and all the other were Conservatives) and outline planning permission was given.

I number of people has raised the issues of pedestrian safety on this corner.  I totally agree that the junction of Baker Street and Monument Hill needs to be redesigned but without Surrey’s active engagement this planning permission itself would not be affected. Previous planning comments here.

Thames Street Warehouse

Warehouse Thames Street websitePlanning consent was not given for new windows and skylights in the warehouse in the recent planning committee – I think that – so once the voting was unanimous but it is not over.  There are two more applications coming in: one on ventilation – details here and comment here; and, another for an under-croft, six-car garage in the basement – details here and comments here.  Related post here.

Holstein Avenue

Holstein 22-26 viewFurther to the building of two flats in a back garden site behind 10 High Street – 2011/7955 another development for three flats next door was given permission this week – 2015/2796.  I argued the case regarding overlooking and, most especially, the parking stress aspects of the proposal but the majority of the committee voted in favour of the development.

There is a bigger development coming along in Holstein Avenue – this time for three houses – 2016/0638.  Give your views here.  Comments must be in by 15 April.

Honda/Tesla Planning Application

Honda Queens RoadAt the well attended West Area Planning Meeting yesterday the planning application for the redevelopment of the Honda/Tesla site from car show rooms to around 50 flats was turned down by the committee.  There was a request for a recorded vote – which is rare – Cllr Andrew Davis, Cllr Glenn Dearlove and Cllr Richard Knight voted to reject the application on the grounds of bulk and size and Cllr Ramon Grey abstained.  The developer still has an appeal outstanding from the previous larger application and might well appeal against this decision too.

A Vision for Weybridge

Town Square-01Many Weybridge residents have told me that they would like the town centre to have a focal point – what better than to pedestrianise the very centre of the town?  Give your comments.  it is just a very short strip between Baker Street and Churchfields Road but it would make a great difference to the look and feel of Baker Street, Church Street and the High Street. This would bring a whole series of benefits.

  • There would be a small piazza for people to relax in the quiet centre of town
  • Shopping throughout the town centre would be a more pleasant experience
  • Air pollution, which is current at or above legal limits, would be greatly reduced
  • More short-term parking would be available
  • Baker Street would no longer be a rat-run
  • Access to the town centre would be quicker as the through traffic would not be in the way
  • Buses would travel through the town centre unimpeded by cars.
  • The noise level would be so low that we could hear bird song rather than car engines.

It is likely that far more people could be sat across the new pavement between Cafe One and the Elmbridge Arms.  What a pleasant way to have a cup of tea or coffee in the sun.

This project would cost very little.   Many projects like this can takes years to put in place in England because of the way our governments are organised.  Responsibilities are spread between so many bodies that no-one takes the lead.

What about having a pilot first – just for next summer?  A temporary pilot would probably cost less than the consultation exercise required.  People would quickly experience the positive and negative aspects of the scheme.  Changes could be made as necessary through practical experience.  What is your view – take the survey.

Most people would consider that the biggest problem would be what happens to the traffic?  Clearly the through traffic will not be able to travel down the High Street.  Just like water, traffic always finds new ways through.  Surprisingly when changes like this are made a proportion of the traffic simply disappears but we would be wise to anticipate any problems and put in place appropriate mitigation measures.

This is simply a suggestion to set off your creative juices.  Another idea – much more expensive is here.

Cote Planning Application

Cote Brasserie-01Whilst few people would have an objection to a new restaurant run by Cote to be established in Weybridge I listened to the concerns of people living in the vicinity.  As with all planning decisions, the matter has to be determined under the planning guidelines and policies set out by the various levels of government: borough, county and state.

My sense of the debate was that although many burghers would believe that the application would cause an unacceptable impact on local on-street parking in the evening  – contrary to Elmbridge policy DM14; the fact that Surrey – the highway authority – thought otherwise killed such a case.

The argument is that if the committee had refused to permit the development on the grounds of parking stress or such a similar reason then the applicant could have appealed against the decision to the national government and would win because parking is a transport matter dealt with by Surrey.  On this basis Elmbridge may not gainsay Surrey. Elmbridge might even have to pay costs.

However, I discussed Surrey’s transport planning remit with the very Surrey planning staff who deal with such applications.  They told me that some aspects of transport are indeed the concern of Surrey but not all of them.  Surrey’s three concerns are – as guided by the national government’s national planning policy framework: to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure; that safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all people; and, residual cumulative impacts of development are not severe.  They felt that Elmbridge could apply its own judgement especially DM14 – the policy on the evening economy.

I regret to say that I was unable to persuade my fellow councillors of the merits of such a course of action.  The vote to grant permission, as I recall, was as follows:

  • For: Cllr Gray, Cllr Grey, Cllr Knight, Cllr Samuels
  • Against: Cllr Davis
  • Abstained: Cllr Cheyne (chairman), Cllr Foale
  • Absent: Cllr L Brown, Cllr Fairclough, Cllr D Mitchell

There were several conditions placed on the development – here are the significant ones:

Condition four

NOISE AND VIBRATION – The extract system shall be installed and maintained so that noise or vibration cannot be heard or felt at or beyond the boundary of the nearest premises. If there are residential units within the same building then sound insuIation works must be carried out to ensure that noise and vibration cannot be heard or felt within the units.

Condition five

HOURS OF OPENING (RESTAURANTS ETC) – The use hereby permitted shall not be open to customers outside the following times 08:00-23:30 Monday to Saturday and 08:00-23:00 Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Condition six

USE OF FLAT ROOF AND OF EXTERNAL STAIRCASE – The flat roof and the external staircase hereby permitted shall not be used other than as a fire escape. Prior to the commencement of the development details including a “glass bolt” or similar suitable locking system .to the first floor external fire door shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved details shall be implemented and maintained as such in perpetuity.

Condition seven

ODOUR CONTROL – The premises shall be designed, constructed and~ maintained so that no fumes or odours are detectable at or beyond the boundary of the nearest premises.  The duct must be designed, constructed and maintained in such a manner that its interior is capable of being cleaned.

Condition eight

BIN STORAGE – Prior to beginning the development, plans and elevations of bin stores required to accommodate refuse and recycling shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The bin stores shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and permanently maintained for use by the development hereby permitted.

Condition nine

OUTDOOR MUSIC – No music shall be provided outside the structure of the building.

Condition ten

DELIVERIES OF GOODS – Deliveries and collections from the premises shall only be carried out between the hours of 08.00 and 22.00

Condition eleven

HANDLING OF GOODS OR MATERIALS OR COLLECTION OF WASTE – Activities which are audible beyond the site boundary including disposal of refuse and in particular disposal of glass bottles in to the external bins shall only be carried out between the hours of 08.00 and 2200.

Condition twelve

NOISE CONTROL VIA WINDOWS AND DOORS – External windows and doors serving the licensed area shall be kept closed between the hours of 20:00 and 08:00 (inclusive) when regulated entertainment is being provided other than for normal access and egress.

Surrey will be expected to take account of the needs of residents in its Weybridge parking review that it plans to undertake in December.

I will ask for the the improvement, lighting and sign posting of Church Path to be included in the safe routes to school programme.

Cotes and Grotto

Cote Brasserie-01Two controversial planning applications are due for consideration by councillors next week: Cote and the old Grotto pub site.

If you are not aware of them I suggest that you look at them, Grotto and Cote.  Both these applications  have been notified to people living close to the sites but what is your view?  Have a look at the plans and the comments – especially those of the Weybridge Society.

There will be site visits to both places this week by councillors on the local planning committee and the application will be considered at the civic centre, Esher at 7:45 on Monday, 9 November.  Because of the number of objectors, both sites allow for public speaking.