South Western Railway has opened a consultation process regarding changes to its operating timetable from December 2018. The company is inviting comments on its proposals, to be received by Friday 22nd December 2017. There is a fairly comprehensive information pack on its website: www.southwesternrailway.com. Any issues should be addressed via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Essentially the news is good. The main changes (apart from detailed timings) are: an additional “fast” Guildford via Cobham service in both the a.m. and p.m. peaks on Mondays-Fridays; later last trains from both Waterloo and Guildford on Mondays-Saturdays.
The company is not providing details at this stage about train formations; 10-car trains will be introduced progressively so that by December 2020 all suburban services will be operated as such. (Nov 2017)
Cobham Community Garden
Click here for the November newsletter from Cobham Community Garden. Following the damage the garden sustained during the Traveller's visit to the Leg O'Mutton field the CDRA donated £50 to help with the recovery. We invited the group to have a stall at the CDRA Autumn Meeting at which they sold produce and ran a raffle. (Nov 2017)
On 17th January Elmbridge Planning Committee approved an application to re-develop Holly Parade in Cobham High Street. The plans are for a row of four shops and a restaurant/cafe at ground level plus retirement flats on 3 floors above. Temporary changes have been made in the road layout in Cobham High Street to accommodate the development. Demolition is nearing completion and McCarthy & Stone had scheduled work to start on the foundations around the end of September. This has been delayed which we understand is because of concerns about the affect of the demolition on the side wall of the neighbouring property. The work was scheduled to be completed in autumn 2018. (Oct 2017)
The Boundary Commission for England has published its revised proposals for new parliamentary constituency boundaries. See https://www.bce2018.org.uk/. The public consultation period runs until 11 December 2017. Part of the Esher & Walton constituency has to be moved into a neighbouring constituency to equalize sizes. The proposal now being consulted on is to move Hersham. An alternative suggestion had been to move Stoke d’Abernon and Oxshott. The proposals do not change Surrey County Council or Elmbridge Borough Council constituency boundaries. (Nov 2017)
The Trust that runs Epsom, St Helier and Sutton Hospitals is putting together a case to try and secure £300 to £400 million pounds of investment. This would fund improvements including building a specialist facility for acutely unwell patients on one of the existing sites, location to be decided. This is at an early stage and any changes would not happen for a number of years. They’re currently gathering initial thoughts from local people, looking for comments and support by the end of September. More information, including a video, is at www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk and you can pick up a leaflet with a feedback form at the Welcome Desk in the Cedar Centre. (Sept 2017)
A final decision on whether to keep a 30mph speed limit in Stoke Road or revert to 40mph is expected on 4th December. (Nov 2017)
Re-Cycling Centre Changes
Following a public consultation Surrey County Council is planning to make some changes to the service at the Recycling Centres including closing some sites for part of the week. Also there will no longer be a free daily allowance of chargeable waste from the construction, alteration or repair of homes and gardens such as rubble, plasterboard and soil. See recycling consultation for information about the other planned changes and the timetable for implementation. (Nov 2017)
Avenue of Remembrance
The avenue of cherry trees on The Tilt was created in 1946 in memory of those from Cobham who lost their lives in World War II. The CCHT has an excellent article at www.cobhamheritage.co.uk about the history of this Avenue of Remembrance, with the names of all those commemorated.The Avenue has declined in the last few years as the trees reach the end of their natural lifespan. Replacements haven't thrived and there are gaps in the Avenue.
Elmbridge Borough Council carried out a consultation with local residents about options. 96% of the respondents were in favour of replanting the entire Avenue with new semi-mature cherry trees. Subject to formal approval on 1st November, the rough plan is to select a contractor during November, remove the existing trees in Dec/Jan and then replant in March. (Oct 2017)
Wisley Planning Appeal
The Public Inquiry into the application to build 2068 dwellings plus various support facilities on the site of the former airfield at Wisley finished on 20th October. The Wisley Action Group, which has led the fight against this development, has said that they do not anticipate any news from the Secretary of State with a decision before the New Year at the earliest. Cobham Heritage Group participated in the Inquiry and we thank them, and especially David Bellchamber, who spoke on behalf of Cobham objectors. Go to www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.uk for more details. (Oct 2017)
Elmbridge Local Plan & Green Belt Review
There were approximately 3,800 responses to the Elmbridge Borough Council Strategic Options consultation on the Local Plan, which closed at the end of February. We hope you had your say regarding the proposal to remove two large areas of land in the Cobham, Stoke D'Abernon and Oxshott areas from the Green Belt and about other aspects of the draft Local Plan.
The Council published a position paper in July, which is available here, and a summary of the consultation responses which you can read here. Further documents on the background and progress on this topic are available on Elmbridge’s Strategic Options consultation page.
The Council has stated that: “The Government’s proposals to change national planning policy in areas could affect the approach taken by the Council in preparing its new Local Plan. In particular, the proposed changes to assessing housing needs and the introduction of tests as to when there are exceptional circumstances to amend Green Belt will require the Council to prepare additional studies. Therefore, the Council must await the details of the proposed consultations as featured in the Housing White Paper before moving forward.”
Consultation on a more detailed Preferred Approach Local Plan is thus unlikely until early 2018.
The CDRA and other local groups will continue to work together on this topic and hope to contribute further to the formulation of the Plan. Our combined endeavours are being channelled via the Cobham Green Belt Group. Organisations that are represented on this Group include, as well as the CDRA, the CCHT, Stoke D’Abernon RA, Fedora for Oxshott and Save Cobham Green Belt. You can register at www.cobhamgreenbelt.org.ukto receive newsletters about issues and developments which may affect the Green Belt in and around Cobham and for background and latest news on the Green Belt Review. (Sept 2017)