Latest Monthly Minutes

MINUTES

Of the meeting held on the 7th May 2019

MEMBERS PRESENT

Chairman- Colin Punch, Vice Chairman -Mike Hoare, Treasurer – Diane Brannan, Francis Brannan,  Brian Eakins, Graham Hedley,  Rob Robb, Colin Suckling,  Sue Towner,  Dick Ware, Sheila Watkins.

VISITORS PRESENT

Freddie, Green, Geoff Rising, Kieran McCambridge.

                                                         APOLOGIES                                                                

Councillor Christine Stuart, Councillor Margaret Thompson, Rene Pierce,  Colin Dance, Peter Shakeshaft.

1.CHESSINGTON DISTRICT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION NOTICES

Diane reminded the meeting that our AGM will be held on Thursday 27th of June at Chessington Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm.  Guest Speaker will be Borough Commander Jim Morford of London Fire Brigade, based at Surbiton Fire Station.  We are looking forward to this event.

2.MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

The minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true and accurate record of that meeting.

3. MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES

( a ) Over Development in Kingston –  We received an email from Caroline Shah who is fighting the Council over this very contentious issue..  We previously mentioned that we had been concerned that she belonged to a political organisation as she was a member of the Kingston Independent Residents Group and stood as a candidate in Canbury Ward during the last local elections. This conflicts with the residents’ association strictly non-political status.  However, Caroline has advised us that she has now  resigned from this group and is now totally independent.  We were pleased to hear this.

4.VISITING MEMBERS QUESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Two of our visitors attended our meeting as they are concerned about the possible development at 11 – 25 Leatherhead Road.  We discussed the matter under planning issues.

5. SUMMARY OF MAJOR ISSUES

There were none.

6.MINOR NEW ISSUES

( b  )  Councillor Patricia Bamford/ Chairwoman of the Development Control Committee (DCC)  –  We discussed how Councillor Bamford  being Chairwoman of the DCC will affect us in Chessington South when and if we receive  contentious planning applications. When one of our members tried to engage with her regarding the possible development on the Leatherhead Road she told him that she is not allowed to discuss any planning applications as she will prejudice herself when they are heard at DCC.  We wondered if when there is a planning application in the South of the Borough (SOTB)  it would be possible to hand the Chairmanship to her deputy.  However, it seems that the Deputy Chairwoman on the DCC is Councillor Lorraine Dunstone who is also a Councillor in  the South of the Borough.  This caused some consternation.  In our opinion a more satisfactory solution would be for the chairperson of the Development Control committee to be a Councillor from either the north or south of the Borough.  The deputy chairperson should then be chosen from a ward at the alternative end of the Borough.  Such an arrangement would ensure that residents would always be able to have contact with a senior local Councillor on important planning applications in their neighbourhood. In the meantime, we know there are other Councillors in the SOTB who are not on the DCC and who are happy to work with us.

( c ) Pollution Monitoring –  As we all know the pollution levels in certain parts of Kingston are very high.  In our part of the Borough the A243, A3 and Tolworth roundabout in particular.  Some of these roads have schools alongside them, for many years we have been asking RBK Council to carry out more detailed monitoring of the pollution levels along these transport corridors particularly at the school sites. The diffusion tubes that they use are old technology and not very efficient.

Rob Robb saw a BBC programme which talked about a new air quality monitoring system called Zephyr.  He was very impressed with this and wrote to them to get a price in the hope that we may be able to get the Mayor of London or RBK to spend some money.  If you are interested this is the link to the programme:-

https://www.earthsense.co.uk/single-post/2018/02/22/Zephyr%C2%AE-air-quality-sensor-popularity-soars

He received this reply:-

‘The sensor with standard cartridge measures NO2, NO, O3, PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 typically costs £4,000 ex VAT. This includes all support and maintenance, 12 month warranty, all data costs, web-licencing, peripherals along with a solar panel (if needed) and data calibration.  Continuation of service beyond 12 months costs £2,000 per year which continues the provision of the service above, plus the monitoring of sensor degradation and replacement cartridges.  There are no additional costs to these outlined, and the sensor provides near reference accuracy’.

Thank you, Rob, for this initiative.  We hope that some good can come of it.

7. HEALTH ISSUES

( d  ) Merritt Health Centre Patients Participation Group(PPG)  meeting 10th April – Diane is a member of this group  and attended the meeting.  The PPG are currently making plans for the health talks which will be carried out in week commencing  10th of June.  They will be widely publicised.  We hope that people will attend as last year’s event was very informative and people can only benefit from attending.

Chessington Park Surgery Practice Manager advised us of the following: –

  • Caretaker Paul retires in May.  A replacement will be recruited.
  • Kingston is now part of SW London CCG and Jane the Practice Manager reports that the new Director seems very positive.
  • Dr Link is now set up. It is a triage system similar to dialling 111. This question led service will flag up any adverse results immediately.  If necessary, an appointment will be made with a practice Doctor.
  • Patient POD is now set up for Chessington Park patients. This will enable patients to carry out self-checks such as blood pressure and all results will link to patient records thereby easing pressure on practice nurses for tasks such as new patient checks. All results will be recorded on the system and patient alerts will be picked up by the medical team. We are advised that Hook Surgery will also be acquiring a POD in the near future.
  • All Kingston GP practices are to have a finger touch test for Atrial fibrilation available at reception areas. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common abnormal heart rhythm that happens when electrical impulses fire off from different places in the atria (the top chambers of the heart) in a disorganised way. This causes the atria to twitch, and is felt as an irregular heartbeat or pulse. Atrial fibrillation is a major cause of stroke. By having this test readily available AF can be quickly diagnosed and treated.  
  • By July2019  25% of appointments must be booked online by Patient access or Dr Link. Three forward appointments will also be bookable per day.

8. EDUCATIONAL ISSUES

There were none

9. PLANNING APPLICATIONS

There were no new ones of any significance.

10.PLANNNG NEWS

(  e )  Local Plan –  Dick Ware our planning guru spoke of the new Local Plan consultation.  The Local Plan will supersede the Core Strategy and will be the rule book for future developments in our Borough.  Consequently, it is very important that we all participate in  this consultation. 

Please visit: www.kingston.gov.uk/newlocalplan for more details.

(  f )  Infill Planning Applications/Councils Policy –  A member spoke about the frequent number of planning applications we are seeing for ‘infilling’ in Chessington.  This is where a resident has a bit of space on the side of their house and thinks it would be good to have another house, albeit a very small house, built on the side of their own house.  In the past the local Councillors were against this.  However, recently we have seen a number of them given planning permission. We will discuss this further as they are often inappropriate and damaging to the residents of existing properties.

( g )  Lidl HQ Section 106 money –  A member of our RA observed that the Lidl HQ on the corner of Jubilee Way and Kingston Road has applied for an amendment of the Section 106 money that they were paying to our Council in exchange for being given planning permission.  The original plan was that Lidl would pay £2.5m to RBK as would Meyer Homes who will be building the 905 homes on the old Government site.  The money was then going to be given to Transport for London (TfL) to enhance the Tolworth roundabout which is likely to be grid locked with so many new residents and workers using it.

The amendment read as follows:-

‘Amendment to Section 106 money.  Removal of A3 roundabout works clause which relates to an obligation to enter into a S278 on TfL network and replacement with a new clause relating to payment of a financial contribution to fund amended highway works’.

We believe that the Lidl amendment to Section 106 was probably done at the request of our Council and wonder what it is about.  Presumably the intention is to allow TfL to spend the money on highways other than the Tolworth roundabout.  We contacted our Councillors and the Planning Department to ask the question.  However, we did not receive a reply which we consider to be ominous.

(  h )  Proposed Development 11 – 25 Leatherhead Road –  Some local residents received a letter from  Savills to advise that they are currently preparing a planning application to be submitted to RBK.  This is to demolish four large pairs of semi-detached houses with long gardens to build 49 residential units.  The developer is arranging a consultation at the North Star on the 21st of May between 4.30pm and 7.30pm where we will be able to see the drawings and ask questions. Our Residents Association would have preferred a finite meeting in a hall at a specific time rather than this ‘drop in’ event.  We wrote to the investor/developer requesting this but the reply was that they considered the ‘drop in’ session would be preferable to residents so that they could attend for just a short time, ask any questions and then leave.  They would not have to sit through a long meeting.

In connection with this possible development we wrote to Councillor Bamford about the existence of the Council’s Design Review Panel whose existence we had previously been unaware of and received the following reply: –

‘Thank you for your recent messages, the contents of which I note. As a resident of Chessington I am of course aware of the level of interest in this site.

 I referred your messages to RBK Officers and received the following response from Toby Feltham.

As Toby indicates in his message, part of the Raison D’être of the Design Review Panel is to provide an expert , independent opinion on possible major  developments. I have attended a meeting of the Panel, along with other members of DCC, as an observer only and seen for myself that their deliberations are comprehensive and completely independent.

As the Council is currently working on production of a new Local Plan, Toby has helpfully set out the position with regard to the framework for determination of Planning Applications in these circumstances.

Whilst writing, I would also just like to mention that any planning decisions cannot be made based upon the weight of Public Opinion as there are rigid guidelines in place for what is a quasi judicial process.

As Chair of DCC , I have introduced site visits to the process so that those Members less familiar with an area have an opportunity to visit the locality.

I hope this helps, Best wishes,  

Tricia  

Councillor Patricia Bamford’

‘Dear Councillor Bamford

 In response to your email, see below:

 Design Review Panel

 See link below to the information on our website regarding the Design Review Panel:

https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200154/planning_and_building_control/1483/design_review_panel

 You’ll see that being independent is one of its reasons for being.

 Policy

 Regarding the policy position see information on our website regarding our Development Plan:

https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200157/planning_strategies_and_policies/285/development_plan_documents

 The above link  sets out the current position. 

 The National Planning Policy Framework (2019) states:

 2. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission be determined in accordance with the development plan , unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The National Planning Policy Framework must be taken into account in preparing the development plan, and is a material consideration in planning decisions. Planning policies and decisions must also reflect relevant international obligations and statutory requirements.  

 Regarding material considerations the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) states:

 47. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Decisions on applications should be made as quickly as possible, and within statutory timescales unless a longer period has been agreed by the applicant in writing. 

 48. Local planning authorities may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to: a) the stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced its preparation, the greater the weight that may be given); b) the extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies (the less significant the unresolved objections, the greater the weight that may be given); and c) the degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to this Framework (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).  

 If you have any queries regarding this please come back to me.

 Thanks

 Toby’

Our Residents Association will attend the consultation at the North Star.  To date no planning application has been submitted.  We are told by Councillor Bamford that when it has been submitted  it will come to the South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee for consultation prior to going to the  Development Control Committee for a decision.   It is at the Neighbourhood Committee meeting that residents will have more time to be able to give their opinion. At the Development Control Committee meeting the objectors only have five minutes speaking time between them.  Residents will of course be able to make any comment or objection, in writing, directly to the planning department.

We will keep you informed.

(  i  )  Lidl application to build in Norbiton –  At the end of last year we received an email from MACRA – Manorgate Road and Carlisle Close Residents Association in Norbiton advising us that Lidl had submitted a very unsuitable planning application  to build a supermarket on Manorgate Road.  He claimed that it will cause traffic chaos amongst many other issues. They knew that our residents association had fought vigorously against Lidl on the Leatherhead Road being built.  Some of our reasoning was that the site was too small, the site location on the A243 would cause chaos on the road, articulation of the delivery lorries would be difficult, overlooking of residents in Sussex Gardens and much more .  We have since been proved right. We have nothing against Lidl per se.  However, a more suitable location would have been on an industrial estate not in the middle of residential houses on an already very busy road.

We gave MACRA a lot of information regarding the way that Lidl operate and about the special team that they employ purely to deal with planning applications.  As we had previously done the same for a residents’ association in Twickenham who faced a similar problem we had much of the information prepared.

In May we received a further email from MACRA thanking us for the advice and information that was so helpful to them.  The application will be decided by Development Control on the 3rd of June. He went on to tell us that they are preparing a press release exposing Lidl’s strategy of putting inappropriate superstores in residential areas and deliberating under-stating traffic impacts, ignoring planning conditions (e.g on deliveries) etc. They asked if we would also give our direct experience in dealing with Lidl. 

Our committee discussed this proposition and agreed that we would be happy to do so.

11.POLICE REPORT

There was none

12.ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Sue told us about the Chessington Fun Day that is taking place on Thursday the 30th of May.  We wish them luck with that.

 Dates for your Diary – 

The next Chessington District Residents Association Meeting. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday the 4th of June followed by the 2nd of July. The meetings are held at St Pauls Centre in Hook Road which is the small hall attached to the side of the Church.

The Chessington District Residents’ Association AGM –  Thursday 27th of June at 7.30pm.  Chessington Methodist Church Hall, Church Lane, Chessington KT9 2DJ – Guest Speaker – Borough Commander London Fire Brigade.

South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee meeting – 4th of June – Venue Tolworth Girls School – 7.30pm

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOW IN THE NEW FINANCIAL YEAR AND THIS YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW DUE.  IT COSTS ONLY £3.00 PER HOUSEHOLD,   AND ENABLES US  TO PAY RENT FOR OUR MONTHLY MEETING, PRINTING  AND WEBSITE COSTS  ETC.

YOU CAN PAY AT OUR AGM OR USING ONE OF THE BELOW METHODS.

MANY THANKS.