Community Improvement

The latest Surrey Matter magazine has just flopped through the letterbox and I’m immediately drawn to a new initiative announced by Council LEader, David Hodge. He says

“This scheme is aimed to make a real difference to people’s lives by improving community facilities. Whatever the idea, they will now have the opportunity to realise their aspirations.”

£750,000 is open for bidding for funds of between £10,000 and £50,000 to use on improving their local area; applications are now open and the funds will be distributed from April.

The question for all the residents of Knaphill is what would you like to improve and how would you go about it? The funds are available so make yourself known!

 

Community Improvements Fund 03456 009 009 www.surreycc.gov.uk/communityimprovementsfund

 

Police: Distraction thefts

Investigation launched following distraction thefts in Woking and Surrey Heath

Surrey Police has launched an investigation following a number of distraction thefts in Woking and Surrey Heath over the last two weeks.

The most recent incident took place at Lynch Estate Agents in Woking High Street between 11-15 am and midday on Friday (January 20), when two women speaking broken English asked sales staff for details of properties which were on the market. During the conversation the women waved a piece of paper in the agent’s face to distract him, giving them the opportunity to take a computerised personal organiser from his desk. The younger woman has then taken a phone call before they both left the office.

The first suspect is of Asian appearance, in her mid 40s to 50s, 5 ft 4 tall, with dark-coloured hair and wearing a black and white checked head covering and dark clothing. The second suspect is also of Asian appearance, in her 20s, 5ft 4 to 5 ft 6 tall, with dark hair which was in a bun. She was wearing a black fitted bomber jacket and was carrying a phone with a pink cover.

A similar incident took place at Alan Greenwood and Sons Funeral Director in The Parade, Frimley, at 1-45pm on January 18. A man came in asking about arranging a funeral before picking up a £500 i Phone from the desk and running out of the shop. He is described as being of Asian appearance, in his early 20s, 5 ft 7 tall, with short dark hair and was wearing a black top or coat, brown trousers and black plimsolls.

Police are also investigating an incident at Accessorize in The Peacocks Centre in Woking around 5pm on January 13 when one man distracted a member of staff at the till while another man made off with her £400 i Phone.

Officers are also investigating an incident at Leaders Estate Agent in Chertsey Road, Woking, just before 1pm on January 10. A man and a woman went to the office and distracted staff using leaflets and begging for money before making off with a £700 i Phone. The man was described as around 20 years with short dark hair and wearing blue jeans and a tracksuit top, while the woman was described as 20-30 years, of Indian or Eastern European appearance with long dark hair in a ponytail and was wearing a silk scarf and silk skirt with trousers underneath.

Police are also investigating links with a burglary at a house in Princess Gardens in Maybury on Sunday (January 22), when a woman knocked on the back door and asked to use the toilet. After she left, the elderly occupant realised that £40 cash had been taken from the pocket of a pair of trousers he had left in the bathroom. The woman is described as white, 20-30 years old, of a slim build and was wearing a woolly hat.

West Surrey Detective Inspector Andy Haslam said: “We are carrying out a number of enquiries to try and establish the offenders responsible for these thefts. In the meantime, we would ask staff and shop owners to remain vigilant and not to leave their personal possessions on display.”

If you have any information regarding any of these incidents, please contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting crime reference number WK/12/404. Alternatively, if you prefer to remains anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Knaphill village show planning is underway!

The show committee had their first preparation meeting for this years village show on January 17th and I’m glad to say it’s all off to a flying start!

There will be a few minor changes in logistics but all in all we’re aiming to be even bigger and better this year. Keep checking back for any updates and please get in touch if there is anything you’d like addressed or want to see this year – it’s YOUR show afterall.

The artist Miss A P Allen

 

I’ve had a  special request asking for any news of a local artist a Miss A P Allen. The request is from Mr Alan Watkins:

 

Hello residents, I have come in to the possession of a water colour painting by a Miss E P Allen, subject The Surry Farm. The addres on the back is Drovers Mead Knaphill,also there is a news papper snipet which reads:
WOKING ARTISTS RAISE £24 FOR RED CROSS
More than 500 people visited the the woking society of arts at the Woking Gas Companys showrooms and raised £24 4s.7d
The best picture in the exhibition by public vote went to the societs president Miss E. P. Allen “SURRY FARM”

Question is she living in the area and still painting?

If anyone has any information on the elusive artist could they please get in contact with alan via email alanw1948@talktalk.net.

 

Surrey Farm, A P Allen

High Street resurfacing

The long expected resurfacing of the High Street in Knaphill village is still awaiting a firm date to be undertaken. After repeated delays an annonymous local officer has said:

 

 

The programme of major maintenance across the County is contracted out to Tarmac, rather than May Gurney, and is managed centrally rather than by the local offices. There have been problems in getting all the details settled with what is a new contractor for us, and regrettably that has resulted in significant slippages to the declared programme. Works are in progress, and I am assured will be done within the financial year (ie by end of March). There was an intention to complette before Christmas, and the last advice I have was for Jan / Feb.

 

[With thanks to Cllr Diana Smith and Anthony Polak for the update]

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