Of the meeting held on the 14th January 2020
Chairman- Colin Punch, Treasurer – Diane Brannan, Francis Brannan, Brian Ekins, Henry Jelley, Rob Robb, Peter Shakeshaft, Colin Suckling, Sue Towner, Sheila Watkins.
Mike Hoare, Colin Dance, Graham Hedley, Rene Piercey, Dick Ware.
1.CHESSINGTON DISTRICT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION NOTICES
( a ) Annual Subscriptions – The Committee had a discussion concerning the annual subscription charge which is currently £3.00 per annum. Despite the increase in inflation it has not been increased for some years. It was therefore decided to increase it to £5.00 per annum from the start of the new financial year which starts on the 1st of May 2020.
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
( b ) Car Park at British Legion in Church Lane – Last month we wrote that The Chairwoman of the Eight O’clock Ladies Circle contacted us in September as the British Legion car park has large pot holes and the street lights did not work. The ladies hold their meetings in the British Legion and she was concerned that it was an accident waiting to happen. An elderly person stumbling into a pothole could easily break an ankle. As the car park is owned by the Council we put her in touch with Councillor Andreas Kirsch who has been talking to officers to try and get the matter resolved.
We were pleased to hear that there are now lights in the car park. We hope that the pot holes will soon be filled.
( c ) Missing White Line on the Leatherhead Road – Last month we wrote:- A visitor raised the issue of the lack of a white centre line on the newly surfaced length of the A243 Leatherhead Road going south just beyond the zebra crossing ; south of the Bridge Road roundabout, outside number 11 Leatherhead Road.
The centre line was a broad hatched area that kept the traffic separated so it kept vehicles as single lanes coming from and going towards the roundabout.
Residents believe that there is a real safety issue as vehicles try and form more than one lane of traffic without the lines; with the possibility of head on collisions.
Rob Robb wrote directly to Transport for London (TfL) to ask them to get the missing line re-painted. In response to our minutes Councillor Patricia Bamford advised that she had also chased up TfL only last week (which would have been the end of November) and they advised that they would be doing an audit/inspection shortly. She also wrote ‘ There has also been concern about the lack of reinstatement of cycle lane markings which I have reported several times’. (At the time of writing these minutes the missing white line has still not been reinstated).
At this meeting Rob advised that a meeting has been set up with TfL in early February to discuss various issues. If the problem has not been resolved by then it will be raised again. However, as there will be a lot of roadwork’s carried out along the Hook Road from the end of January we would hope that this simple job will already be completed by then.
( d ) South of the Borough Neighbourhood Manager –Last month we wrote about the reduction of Neighbourhood Managers that was made some years ago. Councillor Margaret Thompson has advised us that they are now recruiting to replace Ellie Walker-Todd who we shared with another neighbourhood and whom we rarely saw. When the recruitment has been completed and Richard Dean, who was our previous NM, and who was very good, returns from sick leave there will again be four Neighbourhood Managers which is one for each Neighbourhood which will mean that the South of the Borough will again have their own. This is very good news.
4. VISITING MEMBERS QUESTIONS & CONTRIBUTIONS
( e ) The only question was concerning the Leatherhead Road planning application which is shown under planning.
5. SUMMARY OF MAJOR ISSUES
There were none.
6.MINOR NEW ISSUES
( f ) Chessington Hill Park Fire Appliance Access – In March 2019 we contacted the Fire Brigade because we were concerned that the entrance to Chessington Hill Park was too narrow for a fire appliance to get through. We suggested that a possible solution would be to allow some parking on the pavement. James Morford who was the Fire Brigade Commander at the time arranged to carry out a test. He sent the following reply to Councillor Dunstone and Councillor Bamford and copied CDRA in:-
‘A fire appliance access check was carried out by the White Watch from Surbiton Fire Station late yesterday afternoon / early evening in relation to Chessington Hill Park, Angus and Pear Tree Close.
I can confirm that access at the beginning of Chessington Hill Park was achievable but extremely difficult. The Watch Manager reports that the fire appliance had about an inch clearance on both sides in order to get through the gap left by two vans parked opposite each other. Obviously on this occasion the Crew had plenty of time to guide the driver through; if they had been responding to an emergency call it is quite possible that vehicle damage could have been sustained.
There were no problems in Angus Close or Pear Tree Close.
I believe a possible solution offered by Chessington District Residents Association is to include on pavement parking; certainly this would alleviate the problem for us even if it was only on one side’.
Councillor Dunstone asked our Highways Engineer to have a look at the suggestion and come back to the Ward Councillors. We heard nothing more. However, shortly afterwards we noticed that the lamp posts on the pavement at the entrance of Chessington Hill Park had been moved back. We presumed that the Council had acted quickly to put CDRA’s suggestion of on pavement parking in place. However, the white lines and signs indicating that pavement parking was allowed never appeared. We asked Councillor Bamford when this would happen. In December she forwarded the very disappointing reply from RBK’s road engineering department which said that the lamp posts had been replaced because they were old. The officer said that they have no plans for on pavement parking and in any case the new footway construction will not withstand regular loading of vehicles. The email finished with the following paragraph
‘Moving forward, we will raise the investigation of suggested options on the above section of Chessington Hill Park at the next neighbourhood business meeting, for consideration of adding it to the programme of small local projects agreed with the chair/vice chair. This will also need to include a discussion on how the suggested options can fit within the key objectives of reducing vehicle emissions and promoting sustainable transport, as set out in the corporate plan. If approved, we will also suggest a timescale for completing our investigations and agree the scope of public engagement’.
This does not give us much hope. We can only hope that if a fire appliance does need to urgently access Chessington Hill Park it will be during the day before the vans get parked up for the night. The Council Officers should have picked up this problem. This oversight puts people’s lives at risk!
7. HEALTH ISSUES
There were none.
8. EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
There were none.
9. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
( g ) 11 – 25, Leatherhead Road 19/02966/FUL – The application is for demolition of eight existing residential dwellings and erection of 45 residential units with 33 car parking spaces and 89 cycle racks!
A visitor attended our meeting to discuss this development. He wanted to know the procedure of the Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting when this planning application will be decided. We were able to tell him what to expect at the DCC meeting. We suggested that interested parties who want to speak should meet before the DCC meeting to decide how the 5 minute time allowed for objections to be heard can be best utilised. At the time of writing these minutes we do not know the date of the DCC meeting. We will keep you informed as we would like as many residents as possible to attend to show their support for the residents opposing it.
( h ) Ex Toilet Block on Hook Road – The ex toilet block on the Hook Road, opposite the Fircroft Trust building was given permission to build as an office block (class B3). However, for reasons unknown they have now applied for permission to convert and sell as residential (Class C3). However, the application for change of use has been refused by the Council. We asked Councillor Dunstone if the builder could be forced to remove the unsightly building waste that has been left outside the building. She replied that as the waste is on the site rather than the highway (although very close to it!) the enforcement team cannot insist on it being removed. However, she will ask them to ask the owner/developer again to tidy up. We will not hold our breath.
There was none.
12.ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was none
Dates for your Diary –
The next Chessington District Residents Association Meeting will be the 4th of February followed by the 3rd of March. The meetings are held at 8pm at St Pauls Church Centre. 280, Hook Road, Chessington, KT9 1PF. All are welcome
Police Ward Panel Meeting – Wednesday 5th of March 2020 at 6pm. Venue – The Safari Hotel, Chessington World of Adventures
South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee meeting The next meeting will take place on the 10th March at 7.30pm. The Proposed venue: Chessington Methodist Church, Church Lane/ Moor Lane, Chessington KT9 2DJ.