Station Car Park Letter and Victoria Square

As South West Trains had permitted development rights for the station car park , involvement from WBC was minimal and strictly speaking there was nothing I could do.

The project did fall within the realms of our MP Jonathan Lord and he and I worked very closely regarding the station car park. My local knowledge together with his reach enabled us to convey resident’s concerns about the station car park to South West Trains.

Today I delivered a letter to the residents whose back gardens border the station car park. This letter was made up of a response from SWT in answer to a letter Jonathan and I had drafted and he had sent to SWT. Jonathan wrote directly to those residents that had written to him.

Overall the response from SWT  was a disappointment, which really wasn’t a surprise. I don’t intend on publishing the letters here as they are quite long, however if you wish to see a copy, please let me know and I’ll forward one on to you.

Tonight at full Council, we will be either approving or rejecting the regeneration of Victoria Square. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t cover this on this blog, however there are a number of people from around the borough that are concerned about it, and I know the Brookwood & Bridley Neighbourhood Forum have been contacted by residents outside of the Neighbourhood Area.

I’m not going to go in to detail here, as I’d fail miserably to crunch down all aspects of the project into a single blog post. What I do want to convey in this post is that over the previous three years, I have been sufficiently involved in the project. I sat on the Planning Committee that granted permission and attended the briefings then. In the past couple of months, there have been a couple of briefings covering the development, logistical arrangements and viability, and a full session on the financials, which included input from independent consultants. These two briefings were two hours each.

As chair of the Finance Task Group, I’ve had unrivalled access to the Chief Finance Officer to ask as many questions I want around the finances of the project.

It’s also been helpful where residents have sent emails that have challenged my thinking.

You can watch the meeting live on the web cast tonight via the Council web site.

Finally, I claimed no expenses in November but did receive my usual allowances.



New Sign Complete!

The new Post saga continues and now descends into a complete farce.

The sign that has been installed reflects the old entrance and exit layout and not the new. The corresponding sign coming the other way is also incorrect.

I have notified Highways and hope they will at the very least remove the signs before an accident occurs.

Thanks to the residents and Sean the baker for notifying me.



M3 Closure 18, 19, 20 & 21 November

Highways England have decided the road bridge on Woodlands Lane in Windlesham across the M3 is unsound and as such will be removed over the weekend of 18, 19, 20 & 21 November.

From 21:00 on the Friday, the M3 will fully close from the Lightwater junction through to the M25 until 05:30 on the Monday.

I believe official diversions will be for vehicles traveling towards London and North to go via Bracknell and pick up the M4, and for London bound vehicles traveling South to use the A331, then the Hogs Back and A3. Vehicles traveling from the London direction will use the M25 and then the M4 or A3 depending on their final destination.

Inevitably, some will end up going via Brookwood Crossroads, especially if they are relying on sat navs. Plan accordingly.



Red House & Training

On the Window on Woking site, my final blog post was about PLAN/2016/1030 which was to convert offices situated in Brookwood Cemetery into 29 flats. Having done a spot of canvassing, I found sufficient opposition to it to warrant me objecting, which I duly did. Today I received notification from the Development Manager that they have refused this application. We’ll see if the developer chooses to appeal.

At the start of October I went on a one day training course in Birmingham, the subject was Chairing the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The train tickets were paid directly by WBC and were about £60 return. Being self employed, I also took a day off of work which was unpaid. I’m entitled to claim the Loss Allowance which means I will get a £100 payment which goes a little way to covering my losses. Beyond that, I haven’t claimed any other expenses, but I have been paid my usual Cllr allowance, the O&S Chair allowance and the IT / Comms allowance.



Post and Five Acres

I’ve found a use for the post in the village that is causing such grief.Post

WBC will be submitting a formal objection to the application for a Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence at Five Acres. This I strongly support as this is a residential area, not an industrial area. As I know more I shall write about it here.



Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence Update

I know people are wary of submitting any responses to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner and because of that I sought a view last week from WBC as to whether they would officially respond.

The minor update I have tonight is that officers are establishing under what grounds an objection could be raised. As is usual, objections can only be raised on relatively narrow lines, and WBC wish to ensure they don’t fall foul of objections that are easily knocked back by the Traffic Commissioner. I should expect a thorough answer towards the end of the week and I will post it here.



Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence at Five Acres

I am aware that in this week’s News & Mail a notice has been published calling for representations for or against a goods vehicle operator’s licence to enable the applicant to station two heavy goods vehicles plus trailers at Five Acres.

Prior to writing anything here I wanted to seek a view of WBC as the land is currently subject to enforcement proceedings, and is also subject to the emerging Site Allocations which allocates the land as a Gypsy site and housing.

I hope WBC will make a clear representation against and I will publish the outcome on this blog.



Surrey Says

Surrey Says is a website run by SCC which seeks the views of residents on a large variety of subjects. At the moment, a key consultation is on the admission arrangements to schools.

Surrey County Council would like your views on:

  • proposed changes to admission arrangements for some community and voluntary controlled schools for September 2018
  • the admission arrangements for all remaining community and voluntary controlled schools for September 2018
  • Surrey’s relevant area – this is the area within which schools must consult on their admission arrangements.

The consultation on these proposals will run from Friday 14 October 2016 to Thursday 24 November 2016.

The consultation can be found here:

Always have your say.



Blog Archive and Hoe Valley School

Today, I’ve spent three hours getting all my previous blog entries from the defunct Window on Woking site archived on this blog. You can find a link next to Contact Me above.

I visited the Hoe Valley School building site today along with several other councillors. This is the first free school to be built in the area, and the only secondary school to be built in Heathlands ward. I expect many children of Heathlands to pass through this.

Hoe Valley School Building Site

What you see above is the base almost ready for the school buildings with the athletics track off to the left, and beyond the trees, the football pitches and multi-use games areas.

It’s due to open in September 2018.



Parking Review

Annually, a highways parking review takes place across Woking with decisions being made in the SCC/WBC Joint Committee in March.

Investigations and planning into that is about to begin, so if you have a proposal of an area on the highway that you think could be improved, please get in touch.

I will be asking for a review of the parking and yellow lines around Brookwood station and on the opposite side of the road to junctions.