This is a Press release from Elmbidge Borough Council:-
Elmbridge Borough Council has been granted a protective injunction banning the setting up of unauthorised encampments and fly-tipping on all identified public land.
The three-month injunction, granted at the High Court this week (Thursday 16 August), covers more than 150 of the borough’s parks, open spaces and car parks.
The Council evidenced large-scale fly-tipping and the cost of clearing it, damage to gates and barriers, lost parking income and the large increase in the number and size of recent encampments as well as the significant impact on communities living adjacent to each encampment and the loss of community facilities during the summer.
This year has seen an unprecedented increase in levels of unauthorised encampments, totalling 27 on public parks and open spaces as well as other recent encampments on private owned land such as Painshill Park. The size of these encampments has also risen dramatically with some encampments being over 60 vehicles in size.
The injunction prevents any individual from occupying land and/or depositing waste as well as stopping anyone from entering, or occupying any part of the land for residential purposes, including caravans, mobile homes and vehicles. It will also prevent the Council from having to obtain court orders for the removal of these encampments, which can take several days to obtain, and will authorise High Court enforcement officers to move people on if they take no notice of the injunction order. Failure to do so can result in imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.
Leader of the Council Tim Oliver said: “I am delighted that the painstaking work undertaken by Officers and Members of the Council to collect evidence has enabled us to make a case for an extensive ban on unauthorised encampments and that the Court has given its backing to the Council. In doing so the injunction will bring huge relief to our residents and local businesses who have experienced unprecedented and wholly unreasonable disruption throughout the summer. We will now carry on with the work we are doing to review the security of all of our open sites so that our communities can enjoy their surroundings, whilst continuing to closely monitor any illegal activity across the Borough.”
Superintendent Andy Rundle said: “We understand the concerns and the impact on local communities in relation to allegations of criminality and anti-social behaviour associated with some of the recent encampments. When there is criminality of any sort, regardless of who is involved, we will respond and take action.
“It is important to understand that Police powers are very specific and prescribed and do not cover civil issues, which we know can sometimes be frustrating and confusing for our communities.
“However, in relation to recent events, we are now hopeful that with this injunction in place we can respond proactively to the concerns of local residents and reduce the negative impact of unauthorised encampments upon the local community.” (Sep 2018)
The CDRA Chaiman has been in touch with David Munro, Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, and with our MP, Dominic Raab, about the disappointing response by the Police to crime and anti-social behaviour by the Travellers who were camped on Cobham Recreation Ground. (Aug 2018)
There are two on-line petitions on the Government website that you may wish to support to help force Government action and Parliamentary debates on issues that are of relevance locally.
The first of these petitions calls upon the Government to reform the Fairer Funding Formula to ensure there is enough money for road repair and up-keep in Surrey. The current method for calculating the grant for such work unfairly penalises Surrey. The petition asks that more weight be given to traffic flow and level of usage. The deadline for signatures is 2nd November. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/217930 .
There is also a petition calling for entering and occupying land without consent to be made a criminal offence. Removing trespassers from public and private land is currently a lengthy process. The deadline for signatures is 1st December. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/220663 . (Aug 2018)
Local Plan & Green Belt
Two key documents are being considered by Elmbridge Planning Officers: An Urban Capacity Study and a Green Belt Sub-division Study. Elmbridge’s Preferred Options document is likely to be published in November. Members of the Cobham Green Belt Group met in June to discuss what we know so far. The CDRA, CCHT, Stoke d’Abernon RA and other interested parties were represented. A follow up has been arranged in July for the Group to meet with local Councillor James Browne, the new planning portfolio holder for Elmbridge. (Jul 2018)
Guildford Local Plan
This was submitted for examination to the Secretary of State in mid-December 2017. Public hearings on the Plan have now been completed and the Planning Inspector will report to Guildford Borough Council on whether the plan is sound and what changes, if any, need to be made before the council can adopt the plan. The Former Wisley Airfield/Three Farms Meadows site remained in the Draft Local Plan that was presented to the Inspector. (Jul 2018)
Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030
In 2017 Epsom and St Helier Hospital Trust consulted on future plans for the hospitals managed by the Trust, including a proposal for a new specialist acute facility for acutely unwell patients. They looked at three potential future scenarios - siting the new facility at Epsom Hospital, at St Helier Hospital, or co-located with The Royal Marsden at Sutton Hospital. Their financial analysis is said to show that all three options would make a large absolute improvement in the Trust's financial position. They recommended that all three are taken forward to the next stage for consideration. Any changes would not happen for a number of years.
They have now shared their findings in a report which you can see at Improving Healthcare Together 2020-30. This document covers a programme which will see organisations across local health and care services work with communities and patients in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton to address a series of long-standing challenges and improve healthcare sustainably for the future. A series of discussion events have been arranged and they would like as many people as possible to attend. Details are at https://improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk/ (Jul 2018)
Wisley Planning Appeal
The Secretary of State has dismissed the appeal by the developers who want to build over 2000 houses on Green Belt land at the former Wisley Airfeld site also known as Three Farms Meadows. The Wisley Action Group has led the fight against this development. Cobham Heritage Group participated in the Inquiry and we thank them, and especially David Bellchamber, who spoke on behalf of Cobham objectors. Go to www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.uk for more details. (Jun 2018)
Elmbridge Borough Council has agreed to install a pedestrian refuge in Between Streets to make this very busy road safer to cross. Residents in the immediate vicinity are being consulted about their preferred location for this crossing. (Jun 2018)
Here are a few older items that may still be of interest
Avenue of Remembrance
The cherry trees in the Avenue of Remembrance on the Tilt have now been replaced, ensuring the future of this much loved memorial to local soldiers who lost their lives in WWII. The official re-dedication, arranged by Elmbridge Borough Council in collaboration with local community organisations, took place on Sunday 8th April 2018. The Avenue was originally created by the Cobham Village Women's Institute and was first dedicated on Sunday 24th February 1946. Local school children have since planted a carpet of poppies under the trees. (May 2018)
Police & Crime Plan
The Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey is refreshing the Police and Crime Plan for the county. This sets the strategic direction for the Force and provides the basis for how he holds the Chief Constable to account. The new draft plan features six revised priorities. He completed a consultation on his proposals in April. (Apr 2018)
M25/A3 Junction Improvements
The Highways England consultation about the latest version of the proposals for the M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange finished on 26 March 2018. The scheme includes changes to the Painshill roundabout area . There is considerable concern about the affect on Painshill Park if the proposals put forward go ahead unchanged however discussions have since taken place andmay be of help. (Mar 2018)
CIL Grant Applications
A Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is collected by Elmbridge Borough Council from Developers. Local organisations and community groups can apply for awards from this fund. A Spending Board covering Cobham, Oxshott, Stoke d’Abernon and Downside, and consisting of local Councillors, decides which projects in our area receive funding. Applications succeeding this year included:
The Heritage Trust applied for CIL funds in respect of three footpaths – one in Leigh Hill Road, one at Knowle Park and one at Downside.
The Patient Participation Group at Cobham Health Centre applied for CIL funds for two projects: For an Ambulatory ECG monitor plus three Ambulatory Blood Pressure monitors and also for a part-time person for a period of time to provide an enhanced registration process for new patients and to produce and distribute an up-to-date information pack about the available services. (Mar 2018)
Local Plan & Green Belt Review - What Happenned in 2017
There were approximately 3,800 responses to the Elmbridge Borough Council Strategic Options consultation on the Local Plan, which closed at the end of February. We hope you had your say regarding the proposal to remove two large areas of land in the Cobham, Stoke D'Abernon and Oxshott areas from the Green Belt and about other aspects of the draft Local Plan.
The Council published a position paper in July, which is available here, and a summary of the consultation responses which you can read here. Further documents on the background and progress on this topic are available on Elmbridge’s Strategic Options consultation page.
The Council has stated that: “The Government’s proposals to change national planning policy in areas could affect the approach taken by the Council in preparing its new Local Plan. In particular, the proposed changes to assessing housing needs and the introduction of tests as to when there are exceptional circumstances to amend Green Belt will require the Council to prepare additional studies. Therefore, the Council must await the details of the proposed consultations as featured in the Housing White Paper before moving forward.”
Consultation on a more detailed Preferred Approach Local Plan is thus unlikely until early 2018.
The CDRA and other local groups will continue to work together on this topic and hope to contribute further to the formulation of the Plan. Our combined endeavours are being channelled via the Cobham Green Belt Group. Organisations that are represented on this Group include, as well as the CDRA, the CCHT, Stoke D’Abernon RA, Fedora for Oxshott and Save Cobham Green Belt. You can register at www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.ukto receive newsletters about issues and developments which may affect the Green Belt in and around Cobham and for background and latest news on the Green Belt Review. (Dec 2017)
Stoke Road Speed Limit
The trial period for the 30 miles per hour limit in Stoke Road has been extended. Elmbridge Local Committee agreed to set aside £5,000 to investigate measures to reduce traffic speeds on the road. If viable measures are identified then the next steps will be to identify appropriate funding, implement the measures and monitor the effects on vehicle speeds. (Dec 2017)
On 17th January 2017 Elmbridge Planning Committee approved an application to re-develop Holly Parade in Cobham High Street. The plans are for a row of four shops and a restaurant/cafe at ground level plus retirement flats on 3 floors above. Temporary changes have been made in the road layout in Cobham High Street to accommodate the development. Demolition is nearing completion and McCarthy & Stone had scheduled work to start on the foundations around the end of September 2017. This was delayed following the collapse of the scaffolding in high winds together with the neeed to complete a party wall agreement with the neighbouring property before demolition could be completed. The latest dates we have are that they aim to have the existing buildings removed early in 2018 and to be selling the properties in spring 2019. (Dec 2017)
CDRA October 2017 Residents’ Meeting
Our guest speaker on 12th October 2017 was Claire Yarborough, Business Manager for Cobham Health Centre. She explained what goes on behind the scenes at the surgery to support the work of the medical staff and to deal with the management and admin of the centre. If you missed the meeting then click here to see her slides to give you a flavour of the talk. (Oct 2017)