Spelthorne Local Plan - Preferred Options Consultation: Policies and Site Allocations

Comment ID pol/493
Document Section Spelthorne Local Plan Preferred Options: policies Infrastructure and Delivery Policy ID2: Sustainable Transport for New Developments View all on this section
Respondent Clive Morris View all by this respondent
Response Date 21 Jan 2020
Comment

 am writing in connection with the proposed “local plan for Spelthorne”.

I have lived in Ashford for 37 years and in the nearby vicinity, Shepperton, for the previous 28 years and I have seen the area gradually fall apart on many levels, as new housing developments are put in place without the commensurate consideration for the need to improve the roads and facilities, to accommodate this growth. Where there has been some attempt to consider the impact of a build, we have all seen, and had to deal with, some outstanding failures.

Some examples:- Tescos – great to have a new large supermarket nearby but the resultant traffic control system to get in and out is woeful. The traffic lights on the A30 have contributed, in my opinion, to so many accidents and near misses, which may have been avoidable. Despite many surveys, it is still not right. Where you have a right filter on a main road, with motorists waiting at the red lights, whatever is put in place, if the car next to you moves, occasionally you will too, and there, disaster lies. Often, when wanting to turn right into the Stanwell Road from the A30, the queue to turn right is held up because that slip road is not long enough (despite their being sufficient width in the central reservation to accommodate more vehicles) so we are left parked in the outside lane, while two lines of cars try to squeeze past, sometimes at speed. Very dangerous and totally avoidable.

McDonalds – Why oh why was this ever allowed? A housing development there would at least have caused a manageable level of extra vehicle activity but the in/out entrance in Stanwell Road continuously produces delays and aggravation for all.

Travelling from Ashford town, towards the Hospital, you can queue from the Ashford Crescent (or even before sometimes) to the lights, adding to the aggravation, cost, noise and pollution,

Have you ever tried to go straight on, or right out of Gordon Road, at the mini roundabout. I challenge anyone to actually go round the roundabout and I would say that 50% of drivers still do not slow down or stop, despite it being a roundabout. And, so close to a school. Ask anyone who uses that roundabout, it is almost a  joke but sadly it is an extremely dangerous one.

It is not just motorists who have to contend with lack of foresight and upkeep of the roads. We are all aware of the dangers of potholes but, again, I challenge you to use the cycle lane along Fordbridge Road, from the Kings Manor into Ashford. Because of the lack of servicing and any ongoing check, it has (ironically) become a 'no go' lane and cyclists have to ride outside the lane to avoid one of the worst road surfaces in the area, which then gets worse as they move out into the vehicle part of the road. Go on, try it!

These are but a few of the existing problems that have been caused by lack of proper planning and a total lack of any aftercare and I believe that they are relevant when we are looking at future developments and more building plans.

I am totally opposed to any building on Green Belt land. Surely the original purpose of Green Belt, was to protect those areas from being developed and built upon and adding to the pollution.

We are told that there must be built a certain number of houses but it turns out that this figure is based not on the lower, latest calculation but the former higher one. So why are we not using current figures? This was highlighted by the MP Mr Kwasi Kwarteng at his recent meeting.

Why is the brunt of expansion always falling on the already overdeveloped South East and not shared equally around other parts of the country that could actually do with the investment and have available space and resources to cope?

Please use the brown field sites, which have availability, before looking at chopping up the Green Belt even more.

The proposed Traveller Site along Edward Way, is adjacent to a school field, residential area and a busy major road, the A30, where congestion (especially on Fridays) has become the norm. Adding to it, with the potential for the extra Travellers’ and Showpeoples’ lorries, vans etc will make matters worse.

The development in Ashford Town Centre looks huge and although it is expected (and hoed) that people will use public transport, there are already concerns about the additional traffic and parking in and around an already congested town. So, then to suggest that the existing car park be removed, is just laughable.

Please recognise the fact, as many do, that the current infrastructure cannot cope with the existing situation, so unless that infrastructure is sorted out and improved, adding more will just increase the problems.

Residents in the area have been canvassed on a “Residential Permit Scheme” which is unwelcome and will cost the residents, whose lives have been made more miserable by the total lack of planning.

The upshot of the scheme will be that people will just park further away from their houses and shops, which will just increase parking in a wider area around the town. The town that is demonstrably slipping away into a haven for charity shops, nail bars and vape suppliers.

I am aware that this has been a longer than anticipated missive and that I still need to cover a lot more points but it is an important time in our lives and in the lives of those in the area and decisions now will have long lasting effects on the whole future of the place we like to call, home.

So, please note that I am:-

  • unequivocally opposed to the release of ALL (19) Green Belt sites in Spelthorne whether for housing or commercial purposes (including cargo areas)
  • not convinced that the Council has presented evidence that there are “exceptional circumstances” (under the National Planning Policy Framework) that would allow it to legally deprive Green Belt areas in Spelthorne of their Green Belt status. 

The Council should present and fight for a proactive and positive local plan that is based on local community priorities such as preserving all of the existing Green Belt (and the contribution this makes to preserving human health, wellbeing and wildlife, and addressing the urgent challenges around climate change including flood risk mitigation, carbon storage and being a buffer for noise and air pollution) as well as other local needs (including affordable housing needs, a healthy environment and the provision of services that meet local needs etc).

Also, the Council should work with other Councils in Surrey and beyond to develop joint strategies to fight for the preservation of existing Green Belt areas including advocating a calculation of local housing need figures that protects Green Belt

Let us also bear in mind that the Heathrow Expansion scheme, which will take many years, will have a huge additional impact on the whole area.

Proposed Change