Spelthorne Local Plan - Issues & Options

Spelthorne Local Plan Issues & Options consultation paper

Need for other uses

Retail

 

The key issues to address with regard to our centres is to ensure that they remain vibrant in the face of changing shopping habits. Our current policy seeks to ensure that town centres and local centres remain the focus for retailing in the Borough. It supports the development of Staines-upon-Thames, as the main town centre, to safeguard its role as a principal centre in Surrey. Current policy also seeks to maintain the role of Ashford, Shepperton and Sunbury Cross as local centres.

There are limited development opportunities within which to deliver additional retail floor space within the local centres, therefore it will be a challenge to meet the levels of development required to ensure Staines-Upon-Thames remains competitive so as to continue to safeguard its role in Surrey.

The 2015 Retail Study identified a lack of stores selling food products, known as convenience goods, in Staines and this has only been exacerbated by the loss of Waitrose store. The Retail Study Update 2018 confirms that the closure of the Waitrose means that there is now a greater need for convenience goods stores. This represents a need to enhance the provision within Staines-Upon-Thames.

There is also the requirement to ensure the continued viability of the local centres within the Borough. This is required to maintain their role as important contributors to their local communities. In order to ensure viability, enhancements of shopping fronts and the local environment will be required in addition to extensions where appropriate.

Tourism

There are a number of attractions in Spelthorne that draw a range of visitors. Tourism remains an important part of the economy, which we need to continue to support and a key part of this will be supporting our main tourist attractions.

 

Tourism in the Borough is based largely around Kempton Park racecourse, the recreational use of the River Thames and the many green spaces across the Borough. The proximity of Heathrow Airport also allows the Borough to capture a proportion of travellers passing through.

Kempton Park racecourse is a significant contributor to tourism, holding regular race meetings, concerts and other events which attract a large number of visitors. As the site is set wholly within the Green Belt, careful consideration needs to be given to any improvements that balances the long term future of this key asset, its impact on infrastructure and the desire to preserve the character of the area. Therefore, in order to ensure Kempton Park remains one of the region's key race and conference venues, we will need to give consideration as to how best to support the venue through the Local Plan.

 

The River Thames is a key feature of the Borough and plays an important recreation role as part of the Borough's tourism provision. The current Core Strategy seeks to safeguard the loss of facilities associated with the recreational use of the River and seeks to support the provision of visitor facilities with access to the water where appropriate.

Open space and leisure

 

The Borough has a range of open spaces which are a key feature of the local environment. These range from pocket parks within residential areas to vast open spaces including the Borough's reservoirs. National policy gives open spaces a significant level of protection and are protected from inappropriate development unless they can be re-provided in an appropriate location to the same or better standard, they are surplus or it is for an alternative leisure and recreation use.

Open space also includes burial grounds, such as cemeteries and churchyards, and allotments.

The Council has two cemeteries and two burial grounds located at the following sites comprising a total of 11 hectares:

  • Staines Cemetery, London Road, Staines
  • Ashford Burial Ground, Long Lane, Stanwell
  • Stanwell Burial Ground, Town Lane, Stanwell
  • Sunbury Cemetery, Green Way, Sunbury

There are a number of closed churchyards located across the Borough that are maintained by the Council. These churchyards are closed for any further new burials. There is therefore a requirement for the Council to assess the provision and to identify any needs that may arise.

Allotments are an important feature in the landscape of the Borough and are recognised as valuable assets. Allotments perform an important role in providing for recreation and also in breaking up the continuity of built up areas and contribute to the character of communities in the Borough. They provide a wide range of benefits to allotment holders, the community and the environment. There are 16 allotment sites in the Borough, of which 12 are under the ownership of Spelthorne Borough Council.

 

Leisure facilities in the Borough comprise both public and private facilities. Public facilities are provided and funded by the local authority. This allows for anyone to access the facilities. Private facilities often require membership and payment for the use of those facilities. There are two leisure centres which provide for a number of indoor sports and activities to ensure access to provision for the north and south of the Borough.

The current Core Strategy seeks to ensure that there is sufficient open space which is well sited and suitable to meet a wide range of outdoor sport, recreation and open space needs. The preparation of the Local Plan will identify the sufficiency of the current provision and will consider, where appropriate, improvements to facilities.

The NPPF sets out that the Council can establish Local Green Space for areas that are considered to be demonstrably special to the local community. These Local Green Spaces would then have the same level of protection as Green Belt. However, these can only be established through the preparation of a Local Plan and we will look to designate such spaces where appropriate.