Chessington District Residents’ Association
Of the meeting held on the 5th February 2019
Chairman- Colin Punch, -Vice Chairman-Mike Hoare, Treasurer – Diane Brannan, Francis Brannan, Colin Dance, Graham Hedley, Henry Jelley, Rob Robb, Peter Shakeshaft, Colin Suckling, Sue Towner, Dick Ware.
1.CHESSINGTON DISTRICT RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION NOTICES
( a ) Diane announced the good news that our new website had been visited by a good number of people. A reminder of our new website http://www.chessingtondra.org.uk
We also discussed who we would like as Guest Speaker at our AGM in June.
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
There were none
4. VISITING MEMBERS QUESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
There were none.
5. SUMMARY OF MAJOR ISSUES
( b ) Heathrow Consultation–We were recently advised that a consultation for an additional runway at Heathrow Airport is currently underway.The objective of the proposal is to increase the number of aircraft movements utilising only the two current runways. However, as this will be exceptionally difficult to achieve the airport is asking for permission to build a third runway. The consultation documents that we have seen do not in any way give finite statistics as to the number of aircraft movements, currently or in the future. However, we are told that the construction of a third runway would allow the airport to increase aircraft movements by at least 50%.
A committee member said that as a lot more people now fly abroad for their holidays increased aircraft flights must be expected. In response another member said that holiday flights are best originated from the airports surrounding London or from provincial airports. Heathrow is a poor location as a centre for holiday flights. There are currently a number of airports in the south east which service the holiday travel industry. They are Luton, Stansted, Southend and Gatwick. All of these airports are conveniently accessible by transport links to London. Both Southend and Gatwick are developing plans to increase their runways.
Noise pollution is a major cause of stress, mental problems and sleep deprivation leading to ill health for the London residents who are unfortunate enough to live under the Heathrow flight paths. A committee member described watching the numerous aircraft on their approach to Heathrow from the viewpoint of Westhill in Wandsworth. The aircrafts were held in various ‘stacks’ surrounding London. They are released one at a time to join the queue. At approximately 5pm on a Sunday afternoon this is one aircraft every three to four minutes. At this point the aircraft are on their final approach, are lowering their wheels and travelling at reduced speed. Life for the millions of west London residents living between Heathrow and Wandsworth must be very unpleasant.
Two of the large documents provided at the consultation jointly had 80 pages. In these documents there were only two sentences referring to air pollution. The first read ‘air quality – expansion must not affect the UK’s ability to comply with its legal air quality obligations’. The second is ‘carbon – expansion must not have a material impact on the ability of the UK to meet its carbon reduction targets’. That was it! Local residents do not have to be reminded that we suffer enormous amounts of air pollution in the South of the Borough. The primary cause is obviously road traffic. The secondary cause is probably a tossup between gas central heating systems and air craft pollution.
Outline permission was given by Parliament for the consideration of the expansion of the airport. The vote was carried by parliamentarians from other parts of the country, the London MP’s voted against it.
Our Member of the Greater London Assembly, Tony Arbour has written on the air pollution, noise, and health impact on Londoners. “Together with the Mayor of London we shall seek to overturn this calamitous decision, which can only increase the environmental harm that the airport creates”. When this issue was debated by the Greater London Assembly they unanimously voted, with the Mayor of London, against the expansion.
Our executive members were divided on whether or not they support another runway at Heathrow. One particular member is of the belief that we should have one as he believes that with the current high numbers of flights flying in and out of the airport it is an accident waiting to happen.
We wait to hear the result of the consultation. However, it was pointed out by one of our readers “this is not an objective or neutral “ consultation”. It is funded by and on the initiative of the promoters of the expansion of London Heathrow airport”.
6. MINOR NEW ISSUES
( c ) New South of the Borough Neighbourhood Manager – We have been advised that the current Council Administration will again employ one dedicated Neighbourhood Manager(NM) per neighbourhood. Under the last administration they were reduced to one NM for two neighbourhoods. Consequently Richard Dean who was the NM for South of the Borough will be moving to Kingston Town Centre. Ellie Walker-Todd will be our new South of the Borough Neighbourhood Manager. We will be meeting up with her in the near future.
7. HEALTH ISSUES
( d ) Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG) – Rob Robb attended a KCCG meeting on the 5th of February.
You can find the full minutes of this meeting on our website, complete with further relevant downloads from KCCG’s website :-
Here are some snippets from the minutes:-
Primary Care Extended Access Service (Weekend Hubs)
The overall hub utilisation for December 2019 was 88% a further 2% increase from October 2018.The hubs achieved 100% utilisation for a total of 8 non-consecutive days in December.This was achieved over a mixture of weekdays.
Surbiton Health Centre continues to be the most utilised hub out of the three. It was pointed out that Surbiton opens from 8am until 8pm whereas Chessington is only from 8am until 2pm. It was asked if the statistics could be adjusted so it is like for like i.e. usage of Surbiton between 8am and 2pm compared with Chessington between 8am and 2pm. This would also be useful in showing the requirement for the service between 2pm and 8pm.
Kathryn McDermott said that funding for the weekend hubs had been extended until 2020.
A GP asked that they consider a Hub geographically placed in the East of the Borough as the existing sites are all on the west side. This would be more useful for patients in New Malden.
A member of the audience said she prefers to go to Surbiton as the Pharmacist at The Merritt Centre was not open at the weekend.
Terry Silverstone CEO of the Kingston & Richmond Local Pharmacy Committee said that Chessington has three Pharmacies open on Saturday Boots at Hook, Boots North Parade and The Ace Pharmacy at the Ace of Spades. The Ace Pharmacy is also open on Sunday mornings. At this present time he says the owners of the Cohens Pharmacy at the Merritt have no plans to open at weekends
Last year it was decided by NHS England that all referrals by GP’s should be carried out electronically rather than paper and Fax. The deadline set by the NHS England was October but Kingston CCG GP’s had migrated by June 2018.
Now when your GP thinks you should be referred to either a Consultant or other Specialist Service he will use the e-Referral system. This system also gives information and guidance to the GP letting them know the specialists available in the area.
The Kingston GP’s should also be able to refer you to Secondary Services offered by Kingston and the St Georges & Epsom Group of Hospital Trust.
With NHS England encouraging Patient Choice NHS England Patient Choice you have some say in the decision where your GP refers you.
The Paper System has now been switched off and Hospital Trusts will not accept referrals by the old system.
8. EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
There were none.
9. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
( e ) 18/10383/FUL – 2, Coutts Avenue Chessington – Erection of two storey end of terrace house. Whilst we did not object we made the following comments:-
1] The add-on of this one bed to a terrace of 3 beds is out of keeping.
2] No on- site parking provision in an area where on-street parking is a severe problem.
3] Overlooking from the rear bedroom window to rear garden of No 4 Sanger Avenue. The distance is less than 7.5m and will be more invasive as the new house will be overlooking from a higher level.
( f ) 18/10383/FUL – Orchard Cottage, 2, Sherborne Road, Chessington – Erection of a new two storey, bedroomed dwelling house. Whilst we did not object we made the following comments:-
1] We feel the squeeze in of this detatched 3 bedroom house on a corner site will be out of keeping with the general streetscape of the road
2] The new house is set back from the general road building line and will add to the comment made in item 1.
3] On the proposed elevation drawing there is conflict as to whether there is to be a new chimney stack or not.
( g ) Reply from Research & Policy Officer, Liberal Democrat Group – Dick Ware our member responsible for planning matters wrote to Council Leader Liz Green regarding the Council’s agreement with the Mayor of London that Kingston should become an ‘Area of Opportunity’ which means that we are obliged to build even more new homes in our Borough. He received the following reply:-
‘I am responding on behalf of Liz Green to your query on 22nd January.
Unfortunately, we believe that both you and Ms Shah-Scott have misidentified the problems facing Kingston when it comes to over-development. Once the London Plan has been passed, Kingston will have a target of building 1,364 houses per year. If we fail in this target, we will go into tilted balance, whereby our local planning policies will be disregarded in favour of national ones, allowing any and all development which does not contravene a national policy (e.g. building on the green belt). Incidentally, we are already in tilted balance from last year, despite having a far lower housing target. This means we must let basically any development take place (otherwise we will simply lose on appeal) until we have caught up with our target. Clearly, this is an uphill battle.
The adoption of an Opportunity Area means that we will be obligated to build 9,000 houses over 22 years in the designated area. However, given the areas included, this would be a necessity anyway if we are to build anything close to 1,364 homes per year. The Opportunity Area allows us to access funding and support from the GLA for infrastructure to help these areas deal with an influx of new residents. Therefore, it is not the Opportunity Area (which helps us cope with large amounts of development) which is the problem, it is the Mayor’s housing target.
We are challenging the housing target both politically and legally (on the basis that the target is only so high as it is predicated on the existence of Crossrail 2), but, realistically, we see little chance of success – if Kingston were outside London, our target (which would be set according to a national formula, rather than the Mayor) would be an even higher 1,564 houses per year.
I doubt this response will provide you with much comfort, but I hope it does at least explain the thought process of adopting an Opportunity Area. Whether or not we like our housing target, a responsible Council must plan to deal with these issues.
All the best,
Iain Clarke-Coas, Research & Policy Officer, Liberal Democrat Group Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Our members were very depressed to read this letter. It basically means that there is no point in objecting to any large planning application, no matter how unsuitable it might be, as it is likely to be approved by RBK anyway.
There was none.
12.ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Elmcroft Drive Local Areas of Special Character (LASC)- Mike Hoare told our meeting that RBK have employed a consultant to undertake the commission of assessing the suitability of Elmcroft Drive, for designation as a Local Area of Special Character (LASC). The employment of this consultant follows on from the redundancy of Elizabetta Tonazzi the Architect whom Mike was previously working with on this project. Mike had to start over again with the consultant but was pleased to do so in order to obtain the LASC.
They hope to bring the application for LASC to the next South of the Borough Neighbourhood Meeting for a decision to be made by the Councillors.