1. APMH Car Park

    As a result of concerns raised by residents regarding the issuing of additional car parking permits In Ashtead  we can report the following :

    Ashtead Independent Councillors Mary Cooper , Patricia Wiltshire  and Peter Stanyard  representing all three Wards met with MVDC Interim Head of Corporate services – Mr Paul Anderson .

    The purpose Of the meeting was to discuss the arrangement by MVDC to grant 60 Ashtead based car parking permits to Premium Credit.  40 permits have been granted for APMH car park usage with 20 in the Grove road car park, following  a reduction of 25 for Ashtead hospital staff.

    The permit period of cover is 13-3-17 to 31-3-18 .

    Premium Credit are sited at the Exxon site and will be bussed to site daily . The request is to accommodate an increased number of temporary contract staff, so is anticipated not to be a permanent arrangement .
    Permission to grant the permits was not discussed with local Ward Members as the permits do not constitute a contractual binding arrangement to Council, as they may be withdrawn at any time . However, it was acknowledged as a matter of courtesy in future local Members would be informed .

    Prior to the meeting Councillor Stanyard audited APMH car park and discovered only 9 parked cars displaying the permit pass – approximately 25% usage rate . However, we will be keeping a close eye on the usage figures over the next few weeks with MVDC staff additionally reviewing the sites at our request .

    As a result of the meeting the following actions have been agreed :

    1. Premium credit have been informed of our concerns and have been asked to preferentially use the long term park area at back of the APMH  to allow residents front end spaces .

    2. We will be requesting a strategy car parking review is undertaken in Ashtead particularly so we can understand the collective impact on car parking in the area prior to the opening of the new M&S store:   we will agree the scope of the review with MVDC .

    3. Discussion will be undertaken with M&S management to understand their expectation of car movement within the car parks .

    4. MVDC will monitor car parks over next few weeks to identify whether the arrangement is causing any major concerns, and should that be the case, we can withdraw permits .

    5. We will be asking Premium Credit to re-examine their on-site parking to see  if they  can make arrangements to  accommodate the extra staff on current site grounds .

    We will keep you informed of our progress .

    Should you find difficulty in locating a space at the car parks, could you please inform MVDC and copy your Ward Councillor – contact details  are located on the MVDC website http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/
    Ashtead Independent website  http://ashteadindependents.org/ 


  2. Mole Valley Spatial Strategy – time for a rethink?

    There’s a new Spatial Strategy in development now that forms a foundation for a new Local Plan, which will be guided by National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and South East Plans. It’s inevitable that more dwellings will be required and 90% of MVDC land is categorized Green Belt or Countryside. The result could be further intensification of construction within Ashtead if the current Spatial Strategy is maintained.

    Many Ashtead residents have accepted this as inevitable and a price worth paying to save the Green Belt. But already these planning applications have caused massive objections for reasons that include loss of gardens and green spaces (such as Parsons Mead) and concerns for local services such as schools, doctors, roads, drainage, water etc. The look, feel and not to mention the bio-diversity of Ashtead have been changing bit by bit.

    What are there alternatives? The Government- not to mention MVDC – is struggling with this. There are some articles written by the Economist for further reading such as ‘Hardly Groundbreaking’ and ‘The Green Belt Delusion’ from Feb 11-17th edition for their comments on the White Paper. But what’s your view?

    Through our own Ashtead Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), we all see that the Green Belt has enormous benefits for us all, such as preventing urban sprawl and protecting wildlife and growing food. But this argument ignores the bio-diversity and wildlife of Ashtead gardens that are grossly under-valued compared to some of the species-poor arable fields in the countryside. And by constant in-fill, Ashtead experiences its own form of urbanisation. Its time for a re-think about the balance, and for Ashtead residents to explore all options and respond to consultation on the Spatial Strategy coming later this year.

    For information, here is a map of the district illustrating there is an area the size of Ashtead, Leatherhead, Bookham and Fetcham combined outside protected areas of Green Belt, areas of natural beauty and landscape value.
    Spatial_1

    Stations like Holmwood and Ockley close to the main A24 artery (down the line from Ashtead beyond Dorking) are part of the infrastructure laid down by far sighted planners decades ago, to spread the development around the district.

    Would a change to the Green Belt boundary within 1 mile of Holmwood Station (Beare Green current population 1,323 versus Ashtead 14,059) provide suitable sustainable development land?

    Spatial_2

    Ockley railway station is right on the southern border of the Green Belt. Land to the South of Coles Lane lies outside the Green Belt. Would appropriate development within 1 mile of this station be sensible?

    Do you think development could be considered for these or other areas – which are more or less equally suitable when compared with Ashtead? Or would you prefer that

    buildings in Ashtead increasingly become three or four floors, or intensify further on the ground?

    Spatial_3

    I’m not saying that these areas are suitable or not. But I want Ashtead residents to be cognisant of the fact that if the Spatial Strategy remains the same or similar as last time, then one result could be intensive construction in Ashtead if other alternatives are not found.

    Join in the process by letting us know your opinion, or come to our monthly (first Saturday) surgery at the Scouts’ Hut on Woodfield, 12 noon to 1pm.  In any case, do look out for the consultation on Spatial Strategy appearing on the MVDC website and be sure to let MVDC know your views.

    Note:

    • Google images used under non-commercial licence and their terms and conditions.
    • These comments are by Councillor David Harper do not represent the views of MVDC nor of Ashtead Independent Group.

     

     


  3. Green Lane Crossing – Petition

    Surrey County Council says:

    Your petition has been approved, and is now available on the website at the following address:

    http://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/GreenLane/

    Your petition reads:

    We the undersigned petition Surrey County Council to support the retention and improvement of the railway line crossing between Green Lane and Links Road, Ashtead.

    The Green Lane footpath crossing over the railway line has been in use consistently and openly as a public path since the advent of the railway in 1856 and Network Rail’s own website describes this crossing as a ‘Public Footpath Crossing’.

    Surrey County Council’s own Definitive Map shows this crossing as a Public Footpath. This crossing is used by an average of over 230 people a day, in excess of 1600 per week, amounting to over 80,000 crossings every year, figures which indicate the importance of this crossing to local residents.  There has not been a serious accident here since 1967, a remarkable fact given the frequency of trains and that in the intervening 50 years, millions of pedestrians have responsibly and safely traversed the track. Given the extraordinarily high level of pedestrian usage and the unusual geographical predicament of the ‘landlocked’ residents to the north of the crossing who are isolated by the railway tracks, this public footpath crossing is a vital link for cyclists and pedestrians to local shops, schools, and bus routes, while many residents south of the crossing use it to access the common for recreation.

    Please sign it folks (I’ll be checking!) and spread the word.

    I should point out that the rules say one signature per email address.

    Paula


  4. Woodfield Lane Consultation

    Last Friday Surrey Highways had a consultation at Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall for all Ashtead residents concerning 3 options suggested for the tree-lined avenue of Woodfield Lane down to the level crossing at Ashtead Station.
    We would like to sincerely thank all the residents, over 600, that visited that day in very poor weather, and gave their views and comments on the options put forward. Consultation letters were sent to all residents and the closing date for receipt of those is the end of October – although any views received slightly later will of course be considered.
    Surrey Highways will then take on board all views/comments and prepare a detailed report for our Local Committee. Once a decision is taken, we will then look to implement that decision during 2013.

    Again, thanks to all residents for their support on this important issue.


  5. Help Surrey get Superfast Broadband

    Surrey County Council and the Surrey Strategic Partnership have committed to ensuring that all homes and businesses in Surrey have access to Superfast Broadband. The UK currently has some of the slowest broadband speeds in Europe and improving this is crucial. The internet now affects nearly every aspect of modern life and superfast broadband will bring new opportunities and ensure that those living and working in Surrey do not get left behind. Surrey County Council has invited bids from private sector companies to deliver the necessary infrastructure for Surrey.

    If you think broadband access is important for Surrey, we need you to support this project by completing our online survey – and by encouraging other homes and businesses in your area to do the same. Let us know what your current internet access is like, the problems it causes and what you need for the future.

    In order to secure superfast broadband for Surrey, the County Council needs to be able to evidence the demand for it. This information will be used to support conversations with infrastructure providers and to build the commercial case for laying the infrastructure in each area. We welcome surveys from everyone but the project has identified seven areas of focus within Mole Valley, namely Abinger, Forrest Green, Oakwood, Newdigate, Norwood Hill, Dawes Green, and Betchworth.

    Over 1300 of you have taken part so far – 99% of respondents have said that it is important for Surrey to have access to good broadband speeds and 98% would like faster internet speeds than they are currently able to access.

    To take part in the survey or to get further details of the project please go to www.superfastsurrey.org.uk, or contact superfastbbsurrey@surreycc.gov.uk/ 03456 009 009 to be sent a hard copy. 


  6. Review of local bus services

    Surrey County Council are currently undertaking a review of bus services in the County. Their objective, perhaps needless to say, is to save money, and so the more support that is shown by respondents the better if services are to be preserved.  Services 408 and 479 which serve Ashtead are not formally part of the review, but comments are nevertheless welcomed.  Service 623 (shopping service to Epsom) is also likely to remain unchanged. Full details of the review can be found on the SCC website, www.surreycc.gov.uk/buses, and comments can be e-mailed to busreview@surreycc.gov or posted to Bus Review Feedback, Surrey County Council, Room R365, County Hall, Renrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2DY.

     


  7. Refreshment stall proposal for the Recreation Ground

    As a result of this consultation and in the light of the comments received, Councillor Chris Reynolds, the Portfolio Holder for the Environment, has agreed that this application will not proceed.  Thank you to all who responded to our request for views.

    Comments are invited urgently on a proposal currently being considered.

     The Council has received an approach from a catering company who wish to have a licence to operate a refreshment stall and/or an ice cream van on the recreation ground.  The Council often receives requests for such a facility on the site and there is no doubt it would be a popular amenity for users of the Recreation ground. 

    The proposed terms are for a daily service, between the hours of 8.00 am and 6.00 pm, the vehicles to be removed overnight. They would be located adjacent to the tennis courts in the corner of that section of the ground nearest the football pitches, which is currently unused.

     The advantages apart from the extra amenity are a small additional income to the council, and that litter picking would be paid for by the licensee.  Also it would provide a presence in the park encouraging use and providing a degree of natural surveillance. 

     The disadvantages to neighbours may be some extra noise, smells and litter, but the Council will exercise some control over the type of catering offered.

     If you wish to make any comment on the proposal, please contact Cllr Simon Ling, who represents Village Ward in which the Recreation Ground lies, or any other Ashtead Independent Councillor.