Elmbridge New Local Plan Exhibition & Consultation

There are four further dates for the public exhibition outlining Elmbridge’s proposals for providing more affordable and social housing.  This is in response to the government’s call for local authorities to produce proposals for meeting housing needs in their areas.

Exhibition Dates
Thursday 18 January, 7-9 pm, at Hinchley Wood School, Claygate Lane, Ditton
Monday 23 January, 7-9 pm, at The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton
Thursday 26 January, 7-9 pm at Civic Centre, Esher
Saturday 4 February, 10 am – 2 pm at Civic Centre, Esher

Key documents will be available in hard copy and councillors and staff and will be there to talk with you about the proposals.  Key features for residents to consider are around what happens to existing Green Belt boundaries.

The public consultation on these proposals closes on 10th February.  Post  your views here…

With regard to developing in the Green Belt, he Council’s three options are:

British Government orders Green Belt Review

Green Belt CountrysideAs many of you will know, the British Government has told the English boroughs to review their Green Belts with a view to opening land for development.  If a borough refuses to do so then the British government has said it will take direct control.

This has left the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration little option but to revise our own local plan.  We wish to built a broad local approach and the Conservative opposition has been very much involved in every stage of the development.

Before we can agree a new local plan we have to pass though a number of stages and we need you to help in that process so we have published a strategic options consultation.   The document asks many questions and raises a number of issues.

We want to consult as widely as possible and will use every available means to engage with the public.  Part of this process is to have a number of consultations at various stages in the drafting of the plan.  The first drop in sessions will be at:

7pm – 9pm, Monday, 23 January at the Playhouse, Walton
7pm – 9pm, Thursday, 26 January at the Civic Centre, Esher
10am – 2pm, Saturday, 4 February at the Civic Centre, Esher

The events will consist of exhibition boards where the headlines of the consultation document will be displayed.  The evidence base documents supporting the consultation will also be available to review and representatives from Elmbridge’s planning policy team will be on-hand to answer any of your questions.

Your can attend any of the events.  The exhibition will be borough-wide, that is not specific to any particular town.

This process is subject to the agreement to the borough’s council  on Wednesday, 7 December

Successful conviction for removal of protected trees

woodland_english_autumn_sunlitOn Monday, 20 June 2016, James Scott, formerly of Pennyfield, Cobham, was convicted at Guildford Crown Court of breaching a Woodland Tree Preservation Order, contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Tree Preservation Order Regulations 2012.

Mr Scott had felled and burned thousands of trees at Corbie Wood on the Seven Hills Road on the Weybridge/Hersham border.  The borough originally agreed to the clearance of shallow-rooted trees from large areas of overgrown concrete at the ten-acre site, a relic of its wartime past, after many had been made dangerous following severe storms in October 2013. However, he continued to fell trees on other parts of the woodland, despite the fact he had no permission. Following four days of evidence Mr Scott changed his plea to guilty and, after explaining his financial situation, was sentenced to a £500 fine and ordered to pay a contribution of £1,000 towards the borough’s costs.  This successful prosecution also carried a criminal conviction. The borough plans to serve a tree replanting notice on the landowner to restore some of the lost trees and woodland at Corbie Wood.


Toddler Time

Fungi walkThe next Toddler Time in the Wild is a free monthly event for the under-fives and their parents/carers to enjoy the outdoors with natural themed activities. It is running on a trial basis until July 2016 on the 3rd Friday in the month. The next event will be held on Friday 19 February from 10 am to 11am in the Oxshott Woods. This month’s theme is ‘minibeasts’. Activities will include making giant and little spiders’ webs, clay spiders and a bug hunt. Meet in Oxshott sandpit car park, off Warren Lane (nearest postcode KT22 0SZ). Car parking is limited on site. Alternatively, you can park further along at the commons car park near the station. Follow the Toddler Time signs from there.

For more information on the February countryside events, please contact the Countryside Team on 01372 474575, email countryside@elmbridge.gov.uk or visit the Elmbridge website.

Junior Rangers

Junior rangerJunior Rangers are back during the February half term school holiday on Wednesday, 17 February from 10 am to 11 am in the council chamber at the civic centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD. Children will be making their own bird boxes to take home. Spaces are limited so booking is essential. To book, call the countryside team on 01372 474575, email countryside@elmbridge.gov.uk. Parking is available in the public car park next to the civic centre.


Broadwater Path

Boroadwater East End with Paths-01I have contacted Surrey countryside access team.  They tell me that they have met up with the health club which is the main landowner, and a plan has been agreed.  Surrey intend to clear the path alongside Broadwater, which will then help the health club establish which route they are agreeing to dedicate. Once all the legal dedication agreements have been put in place we can start with the surfacing. It is likely to take about six to twelve months.

I have asked for a plan of the route at the eastern end to ensure all path route are protected (black to Oatlands Drive – red to Thames Path and Green to Cowey Sale).  If you want to be part of a team to register all the bridleways and footpath in the town then please contact me.

Free Countryside Events for the whole family

Fungi walkAs days get shorter and the weather colder, there are still lots going on in the countryside.

Fungi Walk
November is a great month for mushrooms, make the most of it by joining the free Fungi Walk on Sunday, 8 November, 10am to 12noon.

Hibernating Hedgehogs
This family event will be held on Sunday 15 November from10.30am to 12noon. You will be able to make your own clay hedgehogs, go for a walk into the woods to forage for food to fatten them up and build somewhere for them to hibernate.

Toddler Time in the Wild
Toddlers will be especially spoilt with the launch of this new series of free events on Friday, 20 November from 10am to 11am. November’s theme will be based on the squirrel. Activities will include a squirrel scavenger hunt and making a squirrel drey.  These events will run on a trial basis until July 2016 on the third Friday in the month between 10am and 11am and are completely free. Activities will be based on a different aspect of wildlife every month. Locations will vary so check the here for up to date information.

For all these events meet at Horseshoe Clump car park, Portsmouth Road (opposite Blackhills), Esher KT10 9JQ.

For more information on the autumn countryside events, please contact the countryside team on 01372 474575, email countryside@elmbridge.gov.uk or visit www.elmbridge.gov.uk/countryside

Fly-tipper in town

Fly tippingPlease be aware of fly-tipping in Weybridge.  A Claygate resident posing as a Landscape Contractor has been operating as an illegal waste carrier and dumping the waste he collected on quiet country lanes and beauty spots across Surrey. The borough has had to cover the cost of clearing these tips which often obstruct the roadway.

By handing your waste over to illegal waste carriers you can be held liable so please do check the credentials of anyone offering to away your rubbish and report anything suspicious you may see here.