Chairman’s Summer Update
from the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum (HVNF)
July 2021

To all supporters of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum (HVNF)

Greetings to all,
I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a positive summer of good weather. It would appear that the end of the pandemic is now in sight, however we must not get complacent. I would urge you all to continue to follow the government guidelines of maintaining 2m apart and wearing face coverings when outside your bubble. It will not take much to create another spike and put us all back in lockdown.
I have a wonderful committee, all of whom are working extremely hard to complete our local plan.
Why a local plan you may ask.
We need this because once agreed by the council they have to comply with it when considering planning applications. This will mean we should never have the fiasco of the football club site proposed development to fight again.

Whilst my committee are all wonderful we do need more help.

There are only 5 of us and we all have full time jobs. If you feel you could help and would like to join the committee I would be delighted to hear from you. One task we need help on is a secretary to record minutes and maintain our membership list.

What has been happening since my last newsletter ………………… a lot.  

Firstly we have had the appeal against the football club site development. I spoke on your behalf, as chair of The Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum, at the inquiry stressing the fact that the proposed development breached council planning policies on several ways and that council policies are akin to local laws and must be strictly adhered to, or a precedent would be set for developments of all kind anywhere a developer wanted.

I also stated that there must be consistency in planning and that several home owners in the immediate local area, (Westfield Ave), had previously applied to raise the height of their bungalow to form a 2 storey house and had had the planning refused on the grounds of inappropriate height. The matter of parking was mentioned as was a serious alteration to the skyline and loss of daylight and sunlight.

I am grateful for the co-operation of SWAG who worked very closely with us and raised several very good issues in their address. 

We are now in the hands of the Planning Inspector and Secretary of State for Communities, Housing and Local Government. As soon as I hear anything I will let you all know.

I have been working on a traffic survey during the morning and evening rush hour. This is to determine how heavy, (or otherwise) the traffic is on our main roads. So far it is showing there to be a continuous flow of traffic causing problems for drivers trying to exit roads such as Shackleford Rd, but nowhere else.

I have also looked at the problem of traffic outside the 6th Form College at the junctions of Rydens Way, Shackleford Rd and Sundridge Rd. It would appear not to be excessive speed that is the problem but the ridiculous road layout and inconsiderate driving with drivers not willing to give way. I have some thoughts on the solution however I would appreciate your thoughts, if you wish to contribute please do so via the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum website.

I have contacted Surrey County Council highways requesting a site meeting with a highways engineer to discuss any possible remedial actions. Hopefully I will have some good news to publish in my next newsletter.

You may recall that I have been trying for about 18 months to get SCC to re-designate the 3 local recreation grounds as Local Village Greens.

This would give extra protection from developments on these sites. I am pleased to report that the Elmbridge Rec. (between Elmbridge Lane and Queen Elizabeth Way) has been accepted subject to a statutory notice for 6 weeks, now expired, whereby any objections can be submitted. Notices were placed on the fence around the site and to the best of my knowledge no objections have been submitted. Woking council have now called for an extension to the statutory objection period. I will now be pressing SCC to re-designate the area as a Local Village Green. It could be possible to get some money, (amount not known) from the council for infrastructure improvements on the site. Again I would be interested in your thoughts as to what you would like to see done.

The St Peters Rd Recreation ground is being more difficult because SCC are sighting 2 planning applications as “trigger events”. One of these planning applications was submitted in 1981, the other in 2012. Both were granted planning consent, however if they have not been done then they are timed out and should not be classed as trigger events. I shall follow this up with SCC. I have contacted Cllr Liz Bowes, the Surrey Cllr for Old Woking asking for her help in this matter.

The Loop Rd Recreation ground has several “trigger events”. I am checking with WBC for the results of all these planning applications and when I get a response I will take appropriate action. Once I have the result of  my investigations I will be contacting Cllr Will Forster our Surrey Cllr for Kingfield/Westfield

I will NOT give up fighting on your behalf.

Do please consider joining our committee and helping us to get our local plan completed.

My best wishes to you all.

Bob Shatwell, Chair
Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum