Coblands Site

The Coblands site is still bogged down in the planning process and I’m still wary of giving any dates as to when things may change. The site is in the Green Belt. To us in Brookwood it’s brown field, but to the Local Planning Authority (LPA), the land cannot be built on without special circumstances, and the owner of the site, Thameswey (A WBC housing company) has not been able to convince the LPA to let it develop the site. The LPA has doggedly resisted developing here.

In defence of the LPA, their view is that if they were to grant building there then it would potentially open the flood gates to other land owners that are itching to develop in the Green Belt. That means the correct process needs to be followed. The process to start developing this site begun around 2012/2013 with a Green Belt review that recommended it as a potential development site. In the 2015 Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD) it was listed as a development site, and it went to public consultation where there were mainly favourable views on developing the site. Not so other sites around the borough, and the SADPD process is still lumbering along with the most recent consultation by a Government appointed Inspector ending just before Christmas.

The Inspector basically has the final say on the SADPD and I see no reason why he won’t recommend the site comes out of the Green Belt which will mean that Thameswey no longer needs to demonstrate special circumstances. The land is due to come out of the Green Belt in 2022, so I am confident that by attrition, the LPA will get its way and delay any development until then at the earliest.

Personally, having seen my children forced to leave the borough due to a lack of housing, it’s a failure that the young adults in Brookwood that wish to stay in Brookwood have been denied that opportunity over the past decade due to planning rules created in the 1950s that need reform. On the plus side, over half the dwellings will be affordable, and there will be a policy on those dwellings that at least gives people with a clear connection to Brookwood a shot at living there when a dwelling becomes available.

The Traveller site also needs regularising and a planning application was submitted in 2017 to do just that. That application is still pending consideration whilst waiting for the planets to align.

In my opinion, it’s all been held up due to officer time being focussed elsewhere. This has bothered me for ages as it really has been an impossible task to try and get the senior officers of the Council to focus on this site. We had an elected leadership change last October and the new leader Cllr Azad is as keen to see this site developed as I am and, as soon as possible. In November her words to me were ‘Watch this space’. Cllr Azad is also one of the Councillors for Brookwood so there is a good chance something will happen over the course of the next 18 months. She and I visited the site immediately after the first lock down over the summer and I gave her chapter and verse on the situation and history.

This leads me to the rubbish being dumped there. Simply put, there is no point in clearing the fly-tipped waste until development starts as it will just attract new fly-tipped waste and the costs to dispose of it will be racked up again. It’s an eye sore certainly, but Environmental Health do keep an eye on it and if there were concerns they would force Thameswey to clear it.

Basically, we need to be patient, the Traveller site will be regularised, the waste will be disposed of, the housing will be built, and the road and crossroads will be modified to ease network pressure. We might get some progress later this year, we certainly will over the next two.


Anti-Social Behaviour at the Station

Residents are still experiencing anti-social behaviour at the station, as sadly predicted four years ago when the additional level was added.

I’ve been working with Jonathan Lord MP (he has more clout than I do), and we’ve been calling for a joined up approach, as the piece meal approaches taken in the past have been largely a failure.

The Crime & Community Manager at South Western Railway has been proactively engaged with residents, has visited the Railway Station car park and taken the issue up with the British Transport Police. As a result of this, the BTP have had a greater presence in the car park and have responded more proactively when they have been contacted recently. They have taken personal details of the people and have promised to follow up repeat offenders. He is also contacting the company who operate the car park to ask them to monitor the car park more regularly.

The BTP are keen to take statements from any residents who want to lodge a complaint. If you are able to provide additional evidence, please come via me in the first instance and we’ll go from there.

As usual with anti-social behaviour, action only occurs when residents consistently complain. There has been some good progress in recent weeks, but momentum must be maintained. If you are disturbed by anti-social behaviour at the station, please call it in.

Evidence collected by the BTP shows only a small number of complaints have been made which is why little action has been taken previously. The simplest way to complain to the BTP about the anti-social behaviour at the car park is via text to 61016. There is also an online form:

Kind regards,



I’ve been asking the Council to do something about the potholes down Sheets Heath Lane for a while. It’s a difficult road to deal with as it is actually in private ownership, however I do believe the Council has a responsibility to keep good access to the recreational ground.

Fortunately, this past week, some of the worst areas have been filled in with what looks like good quality repairs. I’m hopeful that they last and that the better surface doesn’t encourage people to drive too fast.

Kind regards,


Electronic Speed Sign

Thank you to all those that have emailed or phoned me regarding the electronic speed sign that was mentioned in this months’ Brookwood News.

A number of points have been raised and locations suggested and what I will do is take them away and discuss it with Cllr Azad (our Surrey County Councillor) and the Surrey Highways Team.

That won’t happen in the immediate short term, so please continue to raise suggestions. With a fair wind, I may be able to bring a case that another sign is allocated to Brookwood out of Cllr Azad’s budget next year.


Abandoned Crashed Car

I’m sure you would have noticed the crashed car down Brookwood Lye Road which has been there for many weeks now.

I’ve spoken a couple of times with the neighbourhood officer and the problem right now is that the vehicle is currently taxed and thus the Council has no right to remove it.

The officer has written to the last registered keeper asking them to remove it but that has yet to yield.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the tax situation and as soon as it runs out or is cancelled it will get dealt with, until then, frustratingly, there is nothing the Council can do.


Facebook Surgery

This coming Saturday at 11 o’clock, I along with my Heathlands Councillor colleagues will be running an online surgery.

I appreciate not everyone has access to Facebook, but it’s the easiest way right now for us to get some information out there and answer any questions about the ward et cetera.

Feel free to ask any questions up front or on the day via the message function.

Kind regards,


Bins down Connaught Road

Frustratingly, after months of excellent service by our bin crews, things have taken a turn for the worse this week.

Yesterday a number of roads in Horsell were not collected, and today a chunk of Connaught Road in Brookwood has been missed. The Horsell roads were collected today, and I’ve been assured the Brookwood bins will be emptied tomorrow.

The Ops Manager will run through Brookwood to check in the morning, and I obviously will be on the case quickly if this isn’t done by lunchtime.

I can only apologise and try to get next week back to good normal.



I’ve been in contact with various people regarding the ponies, including our County Councillor.

Essentially, I’m not particularly bothered by the ponies being on the land at the crossroads, however I do draw the line at the fence being electrified, as that is dangerous.

The issue has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive but officers do not hold much hope that anything will be done by the HSE.

Surrey are unlikely to do anything as land owners and in any case the land is currently in the process of being sold to Woking Borough Council to enable the improvements to the crossroads and the housing development I’ve discussed in the past.

What is currently being proposed, and is something I support, is that a field within the Brookwood Farm area be licenced to enable Travellers to safely keep their ponies temporarily. This makes a lot of sense, as the land has traditionally had ponies grazing there, which is good for the environment, and it provides the borough with an area that illegally grazing horses elsewhere can be easily moved to.

Still leaves me frustrated that the law is not on the side of the law abiding resident, but unfortunately, we are where we are.


Ponies at the Crossroads

As many of you know, and some have written to me about, Travellers have left two ponies grazing on the square piece of land at the crossroads. This land is owned by Surrey County Council

I have informed our Neighbourhood Officer and our County Councillor who has notified the Estates team.

I doubt anything will be done as it’s likely this is a short term deal.

I try to take the positives from it and hope that SCC will not now need to do their annual dose of maintenance and the cost savings are more than the cost of any repairs to the fencing that may possibly have been caused.

Kind regards,


Woking News & Mail

You’ll remember that WBC sent a letter about a month ago saying that everyone in the borough would receive a copy of the Woking News & Mail for a few weeks as a method of getting information and news out to all residents, especially vulnerable residents that may not have access to social media et cetera.

Brookwood residents will have wondered since then, why they haven’t received a copy. The rest of the borough has received the WN&M now for three weeks.

After the second edition never made it to Brookwood, I enquired with both the marketing team at WBC and the MD of WN&M and at the time, no one knew why, but would make enquiries.

Two weeks later, and we still haven’t received a copy, and I still have no idea why, but I am continuing to try and find out what’s gone wrong.


EDIT @ 11:00. Amazing how the world works, a copy of the WN&M was posted through my door this morning.