General update 3/1/12

Actions taken on your neighbourhood priorities

Anti-social driving
Over the past month Surrey Police has continued to tackle ongoing issues around the anti-social use of motor vehicles in the area.
The focus of this includes car parks to where large groups of youths appear to congregate late at night in order to socialise. This has proven to be an issue for those residents who live nearby to the car parks and as a result Surrey Police has received a large number of complaints about the level of noise that attributes these gatherings.

Of note, the following car parks have received a significant number of complaints from residents in the Knaphill, Brookwood area:
– The Vyne/Alexandra Gardens off Redding Way, Knaphill
– Sainsburys car park off Redding Way, Brookwood
– Brookwood Train Station car park

In recent weeks the local team has handed out warning letters to those suspected of causing a persistent level of alarm distress and annoyance to residents. This has notably made some impact to the number of calls that we have been receiving and also with the number of youths seen to gather in the car parks also decreasing in number.
Brookwood Train station off Connaught Road has recently become an issue with the same type of offence. British Transport Police has also been informed of this as the car park for the station comes under their authority.

Residents are again advised to report any form of anti-social driving including speeding, revving engines or playing loud music to Surrey Police, making sure to note as much information as is safe to do so such as vehicle index, make and model.

With the help of the council, car parks are being looked at for their lighting and use of cameras in order to assist in deterring people from gathering in them late at night and causing noise disturbances.

Operation Smart
On 23 November, 2011 the local team carried out an Operation Drive Smart day, whereby road users in the locality of Knaphill and Brookwood were educated at the roadside for any traffic offence witnessed. The operation was a complete success with up to 20 road users given a warning for offences of excess speed. Two road users incurred fixed penalty notices for offences including using a mobile phone whilst driving and excess speed which includes a fine and points.

Surrey Police 101 system

The new non-emergency telephone number – 101 – is proving a success in Surrey since its official launch on 1st September 2011.

More than 50 percent of the non-emergency calls coming into the Surrey Police contact centre are made by members of the public using 101 rather than the previous 0845 number.

The memorable 101 number has now been rolled out to all police forces across England and Wales and is expected to continue to aid the police in dealing with calls for help from the public.

101 costs 15p per call from both mobile phones and landlines, no matter how long the call lasts or what time of day it’s made. Calls to 101 from telephone boxes are free.

As an alternative to 101 – a geographical number – 01483 571212 – is also available for those unable to use the 101 service (for example, if calling from abroad).

Chief Inspector Alison Barlow, from Surrey Police’s Contact Centre, said: “On average Surrey Police receives around 350 emergency 999 calls a day but less than 20 percent of those require an emergency response from the police. You should only call 999 in a real emergency, for example when someone’s life is in danger, a serious offence is in progress or someone is at risk of violence. For all other issues such as contacting police with a general enquiry or reporting minor crime or disorder the public should contact Surrey Police on the 101 number.”

Minor crime can also be reported online, at a police station or at Surrey Police’s mobile police office. For more details visit http://www.surrey.police.uk

Vehicle crime initiative

Surrey Police has launched an initiative this week to tackle vehicle crime across the county. Activity will include neighbourhood officers and extra patrol teams focussing on the hot spot areas within Surrey and offenders known to be linked to vehicle crime. The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) team will also be stopping vehicles which are known to have been stolen or have links to offenders. The overall aim is to reduce the offences of theft from and theft of motor vehicles.

In addition to these operational activites, innovative ‘Fixed Police Notices’ containing crime prevention advice will also be put on cars in vulnerable areas or where vehicle crime has recently taken place.

Inspector Richard Mallet of Surrey Police Roads Policing Unit advises the following steps to reduce vehicle crime;

Always lock your car when you leave it, even if it’s just for a few moments. Make sure windows and sunroofs are shut and locked too.

Never leave any personal possessions in your car. Thieves love to steal sat navs, laptops and mobile phones. But less obvious items such as clothes and loose change are also appealing.

Don’t leave valuables hidden in your boot or under car seats. Thieves know where to look.

Don’t store driving or vehicle documents in your glove box. Keep them stored safely at home.

If your car doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted or use a steering lock to deter thieves.

Look after your car keys. Keep them on you when out and about. When at home keep them hidden and not in view of a window, door or letterbox.

Secure your number plate with clutch head screws to avoid becoming a victim of ‘car cloning’.

Keep your eye out for potential car criminals. If you see someone looking inside cars or trying door handles call Surrey Police on 101. In an emergency always call 999.

For more details on how to protect your vehicle visit www.surrey.police.uk/vehiclecrime

Sainsbury’s Store extension APPROVED

Courtesy, of Mr Philip Stubbs, KRA Secretary:

Yes Redding Way is in Knaphill although Sainsbury’s have reverted to calling their store Sainsbury’s Brookwood.

 

Turning to the application from Sainsbury’s that is before the Planning Committee, an application to build an extension to the store including the building of a mezzanine level. We have already reported on events at the November meeting of the Planning Committee when the Members deferred making a decision even though the Planning Officer recommended acceptance. The Councillors at that meeting were unhappy with some detail of the proposal and sent it back to the Planning Office with ten specific questions.

 

Before going into events at the December Planning meeting we thought it would be helpful to give some background information on events between the two meetings. Following the November meeting a representative of Sainsbury’s contacted Cllr. Whitehand seeking a meeting to try and resolve some of the issues raised during the November Planning meeting. Sainsbury’s agreed that one of KRA expert representative could be in attendance. The meeting was a positive move in trying to meet all the KRA points on noise, air pollution, tress and landscaping, use of retail space and road issues connected with the Bagshot Road. The meeting generated a great deal of work but we were up against the deadline of 13 December, date of the next scheduled Planning Committee.

 

On 9 December Sainsbury’s wrote to Woking Borough Council outlining the changes they were prepared to make to the application before the Committee. This included their offer to fully enclose the service yard plus a comprehensive range of supplementary conditions controlling deliveries and the operation of the service yard.

 

The KRA submitted their own paper to members of the Planning Committee and WBC Planning Office to clarify where the Association were in agreement with Sainsbury’s revised proposals but also to stress where we believed as a Residents Association the plans fell short of meeting residents reasonable demands. Our local ward Cllr. R. Sharp circulated a number of additional and amended conditions.

 

Finally let’s turn to the Planning meeting itself. At the start of the discussion on Sainsbury’s application the chairman made it clear that he would not accept a further deferral to January. He stated that at the end of the debate the Committee would have to make a decision, either accept the plans in line with the Planning Officers recommendation or reject them. The Planning Officer was then invited to make his presentation but one of the Councillors asked for 5 minutes to read the new paper handed to members as they entered the Council Chamber. The Planning Officer explained that he had written a briefing note to bring the Committee up to date on the changes that Sainsbury’s had made to the application as a result of the Company’s discussions with the Planning Officer, Cllr M. Whitehand and other third parties. As stated the paper was circulated to Councillors but copies were not made available to members of the public so we cannot comment on the contents or give details of what was agreed by the Committee when they finally accepted the application.

 

Following the presentation by the Planning Officer the chair invited Cllr. R. Sharp to make a statement. The chair made it clear that Ward Councillors who were not members of the Planning Committee would only be permitted to make an opening statement and would not be allowed to contribute to the general debate. Cllr R. Sharp took the Committee through his amendments. A substantial number of Cllr R. Sharps amendments were accepted by the Planning Committee and will be incorporated into the decision paper.

 

The Committee resolved to grant Planning permission, subject to the imposition of many conditions proposed by the KRA and the ward Councillors and reflecting the concessions Sainsbury’s had offered, including the full enclosure of the service yard to address concerns relating to delivery noise; controls regarding vehicle movements; an “enhanced” landscaping scheme providing more trees within the car parking area; restrictions on the type of goods that can be sold; control restricting out of hours access to the car park to prevent anti-social behaviour and traffic calming measures within the car park to address concerns raised by residents living in Percheron Way.

 

However the KRA remain very unhappy about the manner in which this application has been handled by Woking Borough Council and about a number of conditions that, based on the advice of the Planning Officer, Members of the Planning Committee were dissuaded from imposing. We will provide further comments on the detail of the conditions once the formal Decision Notice has been issued.

 

Brookwood Farm

Quick update 14/12/11:

I’ve had an email from the consultation team who have also sent the attached letter. They have said –

“As you might be aware, a significant part of the proposed site is owned by Woking Borough Council and as part of the agreement to deal with CALA Homes, the Council required that the master plan for the site be considered by the Executive prior to submission to the Planning Authority. As you had previously expressed an interest in the process I thought I should make sure you were aware of the meeting which will take place tomorrow evening, further details of which can be found in the letter which I have attached to this document.”

So if you have an interest and are available on ridiculously short notice, the specified meeting is open to the public.

11/6/11

The latest from Cala Homes is that the development is still in the consultation phases and the second Cala Homes newsletter recently went out to households in the area; this outlines the findings so far of responses received from the public.

The first of the consultation events took place over two days on 7th and 9th April where interested parties could quiz Cala Homes and make suggestions. All information received is being examined and formed into a revised proposal to be presented at the next consultation event on Thursday 14th July and Saturday 16th July. This is followed by another round of consultation in September before final application to WBC in the Autumn.

Whereas no firm decisions have yet been made, the representative I spoke to at the first consultation said there would be no apartments, only houses. Time will tell!

Some updates from Cala are available on this website http://www.brookwoodfarmwoking.com, where you can also submit commentary via online forms or email (feedback@consultation-online.co.uk); they have also set up the freephone line 0800 2987040.

It should be noted that the level of public consultation on this project is exceptionally high and we, the residents, are being invited into the process so make your feelings known! The development will be going ahead sooner or later so now is the time to say what you want for it.

 Next consultation events:

Thursday 22nd September, St Saviours Church, Connaught Road, Brookwood

Saturday 24th Septembe, The Vyne, Broadway, Knaphill

These should be confirmed on the development website and a newsletter delivered in the week commencing 12th September

Sainsburys Redding Way update

Woking Borough Council’s Planning Committee met on the 15th November to determine Sainsbury’s latest proposals for the expansion of their Redding Way store.

Prior to the meeting, the KRA had written to Members setting out its concerns that the Officers Report upon which they were being asked to determine the application was wholly inadequate. The KRA considered that there was a fundamental lack of evidence to support the Officer’s recommendation (for approval) set out in that report and that the Council’s Officers had mis-directed Members on a number of matters. The KRA also considered that concerns raised in residents’ objections to the scheme had not been adequately recorded or assessed.

Following the Planning Officer’s presentation of the application, the Committee was addressed on our behalf by Mr Paul Gray (a local resident and qualified noise expert) who eloquently amplified on a number of the KRA’s concerns. The meeting was also addressed by Mr David Lazenby of Sainsburys, who extolled the “virtues” an expanded store would bring to our Village, alleging there would be no unacceptable impacts.

Following these presentations, there was significant, and at times heated, debate between Members, many of whom expressed their concern that the impacts of the store had not been tested robustly.

Our Ward Councillors spoke against the scheme – Cllr Sharp highlighting his concerns with the retail impact assessment being relied on by Officers, and Cllr Whitehand expressing her concerns about the impact of additional traffic on the A322.

Cllr Preshaw expressed her extreme displeasure that air quality impacts had not been addressed – noting that this was contrary to the clear direction recorded in the minutes of the Planning Meeting at which earlier expansion plans were rejected.

Cllr McCrum professed to being “genuinely confused”, but that the evidence given to him by the KRA certainly appeared to demonstrate there had been a lack of scrutiny by Officers.

Following a suggestion by Cllr Sharp, a motion for the application to be “deferred” was proposed by Cllr Preshaw and seconded by Cllr McCrum. The grounds for the deferral included the KRA’s assertions that:

  1. Background information for this application is not available on the Council’s Website?

 

  1. There has been inadequate community consultation.

 

  1. The Procedural Probity of this application and associated Public Inquiry needs to be questioned.

 

  1. Residents concerns regarding the loss of trees have not been addressed?

 

  1. Residents concerns regarding air quality have not been addressed?

 

  1. Residents concerns regarding the inappropriate use of the access road to the store had not been taken into account?

 

  1. The amended plans do not adequately deal with congestion within the service yard?

 

  1. The retail impact of the store has not been adequately considered.

 

  1. The traffic impact of the store has not been adequately considered.

 

  1. The noise impact of the store has not been adequately considered.

 

So, for the time being, we have no decision on whether this development will proceed or not.

Today, the KRA will be making a Freedom of Information request seeking a number of background documents in relation to this application and will also be seeking a meeting with the Borough Planning Officer to ensure that when this application comes back before Committee, all matters we have raised will have been thoroughly tested.

New shoe shop opens

Update

Grand opening event!

The Mayor will be performing the grand opening ceremony to Knaphill’s newest store on  Saturday 19th November from 11am, there will be free face painting, free gifts and balloons for all children visiting.

 

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Nov 2, 2011

Knaphill is today welcoming the opening of Shu Zu! Proprietors Chris and Nadia kindly sent through the following in preparation for their venture –

“ShuZu is a specialist shoe shop with a reputation for offering a wide range of styles from various brands. From shoes to boots to trainers and wellies they cater for sizes from a toddler UK2 to an adult UK8 and up to a UK10 for boys school shoes and with different width fittings too. ShuZu are stockists for well-known brands such as Start-rite, Timberland, Ricosta, Superfit and Skechers plus many others, so there is something for all shapes and sizes of feet.

ShuZu are committed to ensuring that they give great service when it comes to measuring and fitting, even those with difficult feet to fit or those with orthotics that need the extra support and help to get a really good fit. All staff are trained to a very high standard and committed to the mission and ethos of the society of shoe fitters, of which they are members.”

The grand opening is scheduled for a couple of weeks time so get ready to show your support!

Scout’s fireworks display!

UPDATE: Tell us what you thought of the event on Saturday – I certainly had a great time!
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1st Knaphill Scouts are pleased to invite you all to another fantastic fireworks display this year!

The incredibly popular event will be held on 5th November at the Vyne field in Redding Way with gates opening from 6pm.

Stalls this year include all the favourites for a winters evening in front of the fire – burgers, hot dogs and a funfair for the kids so get in early to take advantage and a front row place for the display.

 

Bonfire from 7pm

Fireworks 7.30pm

Admission Adults £3.50, children £2.50

Please note that children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Sainsbury’s plans for the Clifton’s Site

UDPATE: APPROVED!

The planning committee debated last night and have agreed to a temporary variation of opening times as per Sainsbury’s request.

Sainsburys will be able to open from 07.00am to 10.00pm Monaday to Saturday and 08.00am to 8.00pm on Sundays for 18 months starting today, even though the store is yet to be built! The Council’s legal officer felt that this was the only way the agreement could be worded, whereas the committee itself wanted a trial for 12 months from the date the store opens.

During the next 18 months, the council has said it will gain evidence of noise and traffic concerns. What this will mean in practice is unknown as once the store is built and operating it would be exceptionally hard to close down.

A few points worth mentioning

  1. There were no Knaphill Councillors at the meeting [although Melanie Whitehand did submit a letter prior to the debate (link to letter)]
  2. No Councillor suggested rejecting the request from Sainbury’s
  3. The Council blame Surrey Highways for lack of assistance with the original request [caution: buck passing…]

 

14/10/11

The application is due to be debated on the 18th October according to Melanie Whitehand.

Please see Phil Stubbs’ comment below for the KRA’s observations and commentary, as sent to all local councillors and the planning committee.

You may also like to browse through the Knaphillian forum topic on the subject here

25/9/11

The planning officers have recommended the application for a change of trading and delivery hours to be APPROVED despite a mass of objections and commentary from Melanie Whitehand.

The application is on the agenda for the forthcoming planning committee meeting on the 27th September at 7pm in the council chambers. This meeting is open to the public and anyone who registered their objection should have received a letter offering the opportunity to speak at the meeting. Anyone wishing to speak should register their intent with the council prior to the meeting.

 

History

Early in February local people became aware of Sainsbury’s plans to lease the premises to be re-developed on the site of Clifton’s, 15 High Street, Knaphill: PLAN/2011/0062 (See KRA’s earlier article and comments). There seems to be a growing momentum of opposition to this Planning Application.

Last year The Clifton family submitted a Planning Application PLAN/2010/0085 (which received planning approval) to re-develop the Clifton’s site: For the Erection of a three storey building containing A1 (retail) use at ground floor and 7 x 1 bedroom and 5 x 2 bedroom flats at first and second floors following the demolition of the existing shop and workshops at 15 High Street and 6 Fosters Lane.

Also, on the 2010 Application, on the section for the retail premises there was ‘Condition 7’ that: “The premises hereby approved shall not be open to customers and have no deliveries between the hours of 8.00 pm and 8.00 am Monday to Saturday inclusive, comply with Sunday Trading Restrictions and have no deliveries on Sundays unless agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.”

This latest 2011 Appliction proposes changes to Condition 7. Before taking up the Lease, Sainsbury’s want: “The premises shall be open to customers between the hours of 7.00 am to 11.00 pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10.00 am to 4.00 pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays”.Residents can see the detail of both Applications on the Woking Borough Council (WBC) website http://caps.woking.gov.uk/online-applications/ then key in the relevant Planning Application Number (as listed above).

People from all sections of the community are registering their Comments on the WBC site in relation to the lastest Plan/2011/0062 and most of them seem to be expressing opposition. There seems to be growing concern and calls for a Public Meeting to discuss the impact this kind of development could have on the centre of the village.

The original Application was opposed by some residents, especially those who live close to Cliftons, but many people may not have been aware of the project and for whatever reasons did not get involved in the discussion at that time. This latest Application has raised wider questions and made more people aware of the issues…….Many people are saying this strikes at the heart of the viability of many of the small businesses in Knaphill, who are already fighting for survival because of the Big Sainsbury’s Store down the road, and of the life of the Village Centre.

Objection forms are circluating in the village and are available in many local shops. They raise concerns regarding:
* Increased Traffic within the village
* Parking Problems on the High Street adjacent to the new development & surrounding streets
* Increased anti-social behaviour
* Increased noise and light pollution
* Reduced competition, as there is already a Sainsbury’s within close distance to the village
* Damage to the sustainability of existing local shops

Whatever your views, please don’t just sit back and ignore this. Check the Planning Applications, think about the implications and register your comments. Since the Application was submitted over 300 comments have been added to the WBC site and most are strong statements of OBJECTION. (KRA is checking the Comments each day…..as at 26th Feb. over 300)
Have your say!!

Children’s Centre Nearly New Sale