The following information is summarised from the Weybridge Society’s Planning Panel’s records and actions taken at our regular meetings. Developments are listed in order from the longest running concerns to the most recent applications to Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC). We endeavour to make this update a true representation of the panel’s opinion and our actions and plans concerning local developments. This list is up to date at the time of writing, but for the latest and most accurate changes to planning, please consult EBC or our website at weybridgesociety.org.uk
2016/4126 – Clive House, Queens Road.
The applicant is now considering a redesign of the development, having seen his appeal dismissed on the following grounds:
1. The proposed scale and height would have a harmful impact on the street scene, an argument put forward by the Weybridge Society and the local residents’ association the Triangle Residents Group (TRG).
2. The proposal would “swallow up” the views and “enjoyment” of Salisbury House a locally listed building. This important ruling by the Planning Inspector was a step for maintaining the
environment of the Queens Road Village and a clear distinction between this village centre and the rest of Weybridge. The new redesign that is in consideration now makes some concessions – juliette balconies instead of whole balconies, a different angle of pitched roof and a reduction of flats. However, at this stage, the number of flats has gone down only from 30 to 29, and it is questionable whether enough alterations in design have been made to address the Inspector’s concerns about the mass and scale of this development.
2017/1176 – Salisbury House, 20 Queens Road, Weybridge.
The application to extend this locally listed office building (right next door to Clive House) over most of the current parking area was refused by Elmbridge Council on the grounds that the loss of onsite parking spaces would create unacceptable parking stress in the local area and would therefore be detrimental to local residents’ amenity. An appeal seems unlikely but the developer has contacted the TRG to discuss a redesign which would maintain the current number of parking places. The Society has been made aware that the proposed redesign still maintains the same footprint but makes changes to the look of the building at the back and sides which face onto York Road.
2017/0953 – Arbrook Farm, Walton
Lane Gates to the road and 2017/0196 Area used during construction of the new bridge. These applications, reported Weybridge Society Newsletter – Summer 2018 – as an ongoing saga in several previous newsletters, cover the retention of a sliding entrance gate, brickwork flanking walls and rising bollards as well as the area (originally agricultural land) used by Costains during the construction of the new Walton Bridge. These applications were refused by Elmbridge Council and taken to appeal in October. The outcome of the appeal was that only the flanking walls and the fences need to be removed.
2017/1681 – Locke King House, 2 Balfour Road
The applicant has revised the application, and the Weybridge Society makes this initial comment: This revised application includes the demolition of Locke King House, located at a busy central junction in Weybridge, and a plan to replace it with a building of four floors comprising ten flats, basement parking and landscaping. More than a dozen objections, including that of the Society, were received with respect to this proposed development. The objections highlight that the proposed design – due to its scale, bulk and mass – is inconsistent with the local street scene, detrimental to the Conservation Area and would not enhance the character of the area. The tenor of these objections is in-line with the view of the Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) Planning Conservation officer, who advises that no substantial public benefits have been identified which outweigh theharm to the Conservation area. The Society supports these views, and details of further Society action on this revised application will be reported in the next newsletter (autumn issue).
2017/2086 and 2018/1557 – 17 High Pine Close.
A new application was put in to supersede the previous application of 2017 for a detached two-storey house with rooms in the roof space and detached garage in the rear garden. The original application was for a detached house at the rear of 17 High Pine Close, with access for cars, pedestrians and service vehicles from York Road using an existing footpath. Sixty objections were lodged based on numerous factors: poor access (it is not clear who owns the access path from York Road which is used by local residents); effect on neighbours’ amenity in terms of separation of buildings and reduction in natural light; and the site being too small for the proposed building. The proposed development was also seen as contrary to the established character of the road and footpath (currently large houses spaced with substantial gaps.)
The Society supported residents’ views and that application was refused in early September, with an appeal lodged in late November using the Written representations procedure. A large number of residents wrote letters to the Inspector, who then determined that the main reason to reject the appeal was that waste vehicles could not access the bins or complete a reverse manoeuvre on the site. The developer’s response has been to move the bins forward to the front of the property, and hence the new application. The Society will now consider its response to the new application.
2017/2710 – 2017/2873 Warehouse, 47 Thames Street.
In this ongoing case, the important matter now is to ensure that asbestos is removed safely. The Weybridge Society continues to support residents who are concerned about the dangers from asbestos dust, as the method statements for its removal seem to be problematic. However, Elmbridge Borough Council has taken a hands-off view, most recently writing to residents to say that despite the fact that a statement of methodology was not submitted by the developer before works began, subsequent inspections by independent contractors found nothing wrong. The matter now lies with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the EBC said, because the HSE is the enforcing authority for construction works. Any further complaints by residents should be referred to the Ombsudsman, the EBC added. The Society is considering what further action it
can take to improve the situation.
2017/3870 – Weybridge Hall, Church Street.
Permission has been granted for this application, covering the refurbishment of the town’s hall to provide a two-screen cinema (105 seats total) and five flats in the storeys above. The refurbishment will maintain the existing external design though items such as windows will be replaced, with no overall change to the street scene. Despite efforts to get more details and a time-scale for this project, the Society has obtained no new information from the site owner and developer, Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC). The Council has started work, but we only believe with regards to asbestos removal. While the Society supported this change of use to the property, concerns remain that the impact of the car parking requirement generated by cinema patrons has been significantly underestimated. The proposals calculate that five additional car parking spaces would be required, i.e. that around 10% of cinema goers would travel by car, with the rest arriving and leaving by other means. This does not pass “a test of reasonableness,” and the Society has made its views known to EBC. If commercially successful cinema patrons were to generate a significant additional demand on space in Churchfield Car Park (also owned and run by EBC), this could create significant parking stress in central Weybridge.
2018/0038 – 34 Queens Road Development.
This application comprises 59 new retirement apartments with associated parking and landscaping and new accesses from St Georges Avenue and Queens Road following the demolition of the existing buildings on the site. The Society has submitted an objection to this McCarthy & Stone application, which would require the demolition of five existing buildings. The frontage of the site on St George’s Avenue would be 130 meters, by comparison with the Austin Place in Oatlands Drive, which is around 120 meters. To date there are 12 objections based on over development, height and mass, lack of car parking spaces and unacceptable increase in the levels of traffic in an already congested area. The Society objected to a long facade being out of character with the houses opposite, inadequate parking provision on the heavily used B372 road, and to the overlooking of the listed cottage at number 32.
2018/0083 – Wyevale Garden Centre.
This project has enormous implications for Seven Hills Road as well as being a precedent for development in Green Belt. Five objections, including that of the Society, have been received with respect to this outline application, which includes the demolition of the garden centre and the redevelopment of the site to six detached five-bedroom houses. The Society submitted its objection to the application due to its harm to the Green Belt, loss of both general and specialist retail outlets, loss of employment, lack of sustainability, inappropriate scale and massing and loss of amenity. Plans were slightly amended on the 28th February 2018. The significance of this application remains for the future of a number of other sites in Seven Hills Road.
Morrisons Monument Hill (replacement tree)
Some time ago the Elmbridge compliance officer confirmed that a replacement tree was available and would be planted when the conditions were suitable. The Society wrote a reminder letter and recently received the reply that the matter is in hand and will be followed up soon. It should be noted that an entire planting season (November to March) has been missed in replanting this tree, and adding to the delay, the tree has missed an entire growing season. EBC has assured the Society that if the tree is planted out of season it will be given a special watering regime at extra cost.
2018/0905 and 2018/0907 – 18 Springfield Lane.
This was the Weybridge Services & Social Club, occupying a predominantly single storey building with a small area of first floor accommodation and about 12 parking spaces to the front. A previous application (2016/2803) was approved in April 2017 for seven dwellings (a terrace of four two-storey houses, a terrace of three two-storey houses and a detached building for two flats). The general consensus was that this outline application had regard to the predominantly two-storey dwellings in Springfield Lane (Victorian villas and mews cottages) and the two-storey buildings on Monument Green. The proposals also appeared to deal sensitively with the adjacent Monument Green Conservation Area and the various “Listed” buildings and monuments. The current outline applications are for 22 dwellings in a five-storey block of modern design and materials. Only 16 parking spaces are to be provided. The proposed density of 161 dwellings per hectare is several times greater than anything else in the town centre. The Society will be supporting the very many residents and businesses that have already objected to these applications. The principal grounds for objection will include height, mass, impact on existing dwellings in Springfield Lane and Monument Green, inadequate parking causing parking stress elsewhere in and around the town centre, a design wholly out of character with the immediate area, and a negative impact on the adjacent Conservation Area.
2018/1027 – St. Michaels, 31 Oatlands Chase.
The application for eight two-storey houses following the demolition of garages was recently withdrawn. The Society investigated this matter and found that this was due to a great deal of concern locally, which resulted in numerous complaints by neighbours and a site meeting by a case officer. However, it is thought that a revised application is likely to be submitted.
2018/0936 – Netherby Lodge.
The Weybridge Society lodged an objection to this development of two three-storey semidetached houses following the demolition of Netherby Lodge because of the loss of an attractive building. A decision is pending.
2018/0865 – Grosvenor Lodge, 155 Oatlands Drive.
Not normally taking on modest domestic extension cases like this, the Weybridge Society nonetheless decided to help a distressed elderly resident whose prize garden would be changed (major defenestration) and overlooked by a neighbour’s single storey side extension. This case should have been decided by now but is still pending.
2018/0200 – 167 Queens Road and land west of 9 &11 Hall Place Drive.
Few objections have been lodged so far for this development of seven residential units plus garages, even as the commenting time for this application nears its close at the end of June as this newsletter goes to press. Previously the developer had proposed 22 units (planning application 2016/1644), which was met with 40 objections, refused by the Council and also dismissed by the Planning Inspector on appeal in May 2017. The Society notes that the development of homes down a skinny lane, with no access to waste vehicles or capacity for turning or reversing, could be a problem, as cited in the High Pine Close case. The Society will be objecting, as many of the reasons for the original objection remain, such as bulk, height and massing.