In spite of the rather gloomy weather, there seems to be a buzz returning to the village with more face to face events and people going on holiday. Long may it last.
Garlick’s Arch Development
Development is beginning on the Oldlands site. This adjoins the much bigger Garlick’s Arch site and appears to be a separate development of some 30+ houses with access from Burnt Common Lane. So far, some boundary hoardings and access gates have been erected and some site clearance carried out.
Nothing further has been heard of the main Garlick’s Arch site. Suggestions for enhancements in the village to be funded by s106 money from the main development are still welcome and should be forwarded to Paul Edwards email@example.com.
The Parish Council decided that the examiner’s proposed changes to the Neighbourhood Plan should be accepted. The options of fighting the proposals or withdrawing the Plan were considered but rejected as being potentially too costly and not certain to result in a better outcome for the village. The next step is for GBC to organise the village-wide referendum sometime in the new year. A simple majority of those who vote will be enough to see the Plan legally adopted, meaning that it will be a material consideration in planning applications in the village.
The minister has delayed a decision on the proposed M25 Junction 10 project for a further 6 months to May 2022. This makes it the third time this project has been postponed. The costings of the project must now be in doubt. Is someone getting cold feet? There is still no information about the impacts of traffic from the development or the proposed slip roads to the A247. It is not known whether Taylor Wimpey will go ahead with their planning application in 2021 as promised or how the delay might affect the developer‘s appeal on GBC’s delaying a decision on the proposed internal roundabout and access road until the outcome of the M25 Jn. 10 decision is known.
The Village Hall committee has decided that the prudent option is to replace the existing heating system in its entirety because of the age of the system, its poor reliability and the risk that it could be condemned because it failed to meet safety regulations. The total cost is £14,300 which is in excess of the Hall funds. An application to GBC has secured a contribution of just under £5,600, the Parish Council agreed to contribute £5,500 with the remainder to come from the Hall’s funds. It is planned that the work should be carried out in November as a single project, rather than in stages. Without adequate heating, clients will not want to use the building during winter months. In addition to this work, the Village Hall committee will present a schedule of further works that will be required to keep the Hall in good condition over the next few years. How these can be funded is not yet certain but ways must be found otherwise an essential village asset will fall into disrepair.
The Parish Council will look into whether the removal of the hedge in front of Elm Cottage is in contravention of any planning condition imposed on the redevelopment of the site as two houses. As a consequence of the removal of the hedge, the high blue hoarding on the site frontage will be an eyesore during construction.
As decided at the October meeting, Paul Edwards and Chris Dean surveyed the road and footpaths from the Hall to the A246 traffic lights. Their report was presented to Councillors together with recommended actions. These are mainly for Surrey Highways but there are one or two places where residents will be asked to attend to overhanging vegetation. It is intended that the rest of the Street and Clandon Road will be surveyed in the same way. Residents should still report any concerns they have on such matters directly on the SCC website Report or track faults with street and sign lighting – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk).
The PC has received number of emails from residents expressing concerns about aspects of The Street. In particular, the situation at the exit from the Station causes concern. At a number of times in recent years, the PC has expressed concerns to Surrey Highways and GBC, especially when planning applications seem likely to generate more traffic on The Street and at this junction in particular (for example, the proposed A247 slip roads.) The replies are usually courteous but in sum, the answer is always “can’t be done” or “no money”. It seems that only after serious injury has been caused will action be considered. An illustration of this is the action taken at the A247-A3 slip road junction following a serious accident. We must hope that there never is such an accident at the Station junction but the risk is ever present. The funding available from Surrey Highways for such works appears to be completely inadequate. Nevertheless, through our SCC ward councillor, the PC will keep demanding action. A resume of the concerns raised by the Parish Council will be posted on the village website in the near future.
The PC is still open to any suggestions from residents for ways in which the village might mark this occasion. A recent suggestion is to repeat the “beating of the bounds”, which last happened a few years ago. This involves villagers walking the parish boundary. The PC may have some funds available to support agreed events. Suggestions should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 8th December in the Village Hall.