A scheme to revitalise and transform the centre of Leatherhead is starting to gather momentum under the direction of MVDC Leader, Chris Townsend. Residents will know that Leatherhead town centre has for many years failed to fulfil its potential and the reasons given are many and various. It is a fairly well-accepted fact that the one-way system has not served the town well, as it tends to guide traffic away from the town centre rather than helping people reach it. Attempts from time to time to brighten things up cosmetically with water features, band stands and street art have all failed to make an impact.
This time, with the help of EU funding through our Local Coast to Capital Enterprise Partnership, a radical master plan is to be drawn up. After a rigorous tendering and selection process town planners Broadway Malyan have been appointed. They have a good track record and reputation, and their submission was impressive and professional. Over the next year or so they will be listening to all sections of society and recording opinions, not just in Leatherhead but also throughout the Northern part of Mole Valley, including Ashtead. Your local District Councillors all sit on a Member Reference Group, and representatives of your Residents’ Association on a parallel Community Reference Group. Look out also for public meetings, surveys and “vox pop” booths in Leatherhead High Street in which you can record your opinion in private.
The final plan, when it emerges, will take account of all these opinions. It probably won’t please everybody but it will need to be attractive to investors and be seen to solve the major problems that the town has. Make sure your view is included. If it doesn’t encourage you to use Leatherhead shops and other facilities, then it may not have succeeded.
Simon J. Ling