Posts made in January, 2016


The proposed Surrey routes forming part of Crossrail 2

The proposed Surrey routes forming part of Crossrail 2

The case for bringing the Crossrail 2 scheme to Sunbury and Shepperton is “weak”, according to a report from Spelthorne Borough Council.

The new rail route will serve stations throughout the south-east of England, linking south-west and north-east London with stops in Surrey and Hertfordshire.

However, the borough council suggests the business case for bringing it to Spelthorne has not yet been made.

Writing in response to the scheme’s consultation, Spelthorne’s head of planning and housing strategy John Brooks said there may be other areas in the county that could benefit more.

Outlining a number of key issues, Mr Brooks said the possible effects of Crossrail 2 on patterns of commuting and journey times, both on the Crossrail route and existing routes, should be explored, and urged further work be carried out.

Mr Brooks’s report to the borough’s cabinet committee said the area around Sunbury and Shepperton stations would need to “demonstrate appropriate levels of additional development can be delivered along the routes”.

But it adds development potential in the area is “very constrained by the green belt”, as well as having a risk of flooding.

The report added: “Existing passenger numbers on the Surrey section of the Shepperton branch line are modest compared to other stations in north Surrey. Accordingly, the business case in either development or passenger number terms is very weak.

“It is understood Surrey County Council has done further work on this issue as part of its Surrey Rail Strategy and sees the business case as ‘borderline’.

“[It] suggests alternative destinations in Surrey where user levels would be much higher and greater benefits would be secured, e.g. Dorking and Woking.”

Consultation

Mr Brooks said the council “supports the principle” of Crossrail 2 due to “its likely impact to alleviate overcrowding and congestion on train services in peak hours and release capacity at London Waterloo for more frequent SWML [South West Main Line] services”.

However, Mr Brooks warned Spelthorne Borough Council would have to consider proposals as further details emerge.

Transport for London (TfL), in partnership with Network Rail, launched its public consultation on the new rail route in October.

The scheme would also linking up with other rail services along the Surrey border, including Epsom, Ewell, Chessington and Thames Ditton.

An increase in services from Shepperton during peak times from four trains per hour to six trains per hour is proposed.

Four of the trains would be used for Crossrail 2 and would go through Clapham Junction via the new tunnel and on to Victoria and Euston.

The two additional services would remain direct to London Waterloo.

Currently, all four trains go to London Waterloo, possibly forcing more passengers to change at Clapham Junction.

The proposals also state Shepperton might need an extra platform if the scheme goes ahead.

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The end of Staines High Street that would be redeveloped

The end of Staines High Street that would be redeveloped

A new “impressive gateway” to Staines town centre featuring shops and a 150-bedroom hotel at one end of the High Street has been put forward by developers.

Plans for the complex at 90-106 High Street, most of which is currently boarded up, include space for retail units on the ground floor.

A hotel/restaurant would be put over the shops at the front of the building, with bedrooms above.

According to developers Property Partners (Two Rivers) Limited, the four and five-storey building would “increase retail provision and activity” at that end of the High Street.

A car park with space for 45 vehicles for the hotel and shops would be provided, with 25 spaces for the existing Courtyard further along the High Street.

If the application, which has been submitted to Spelthorne Borough Council, gets planning permission in March, work could start as soon at June with the development ready by autumn 2017.

Two Rivers centre manager Joanna Hall said: “What we are trying to do is improve that end of the High Street and bring some vibrancy back to that area.

“We want to regenerate what has become quite rundown.

“We took on the area last April as a regeneration project. It will improve the entrance to the High Street and the town.

“Because of the proximity to places like Heathrow, London, Thorpe Park and Legoland, a number of hotel operators have requirements for hotel rooms in the area.

“The retail unit will not be big enough for another department store but big enough to be a good-sized retailer.”

Impact of traffic

Anne Damerell, secretary of the Staines Town Society, said: “I think it’s a little bit too big for the High Street but everything seems to be getting bigger so that’s fair enough.

“The design isn’t terribly exciting and is a bit dull and blocky but that’s a small thing. We need something there and I hope they can fill all the units.”

Jamie Jamieson, speaker of the Staines Village Residents’ and Traders’ Association, added he had some concerns about the impact of traffic.

He said: “Where are you going to put those cars, especially with the new Bridge Street development too?

“If everyone using the development is driving there it will be gridlock.”

The application design and access statement said: “The proposed mixed-use development will provide a new gateway to the town centre from the east and act as a bookend mirroring the increased scale of the existing Debenhams store to the west end of the High Street.

“The proposed development will result in significant quantitative and qualitative improvements to the town centre offer of Staines.

“The provision of a new hotel will have a positive impact on the local businesses and the development will increase the retail provision and activity at the east end of the High Street.

“While reopening positively to its context in terms of scale and the use of local materials, the building is designed in a contemporary style which will provide Staines with an impressive gateway to its town centre.”

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Income generation

Short Lane

The brief here is to renovate and clean up Short Lane open space in order to provide facilities for community and maybe commercial use.

A Draft Planning Statement for site has been produced, along with cost estimates for site clearing.

The site has been marketed and an advertisement in Estates Gazette has resulted in tenders being submitted. Some were asked for clarification, and now a short list of tenders is being scrutinised.

Airport Parking – Spout Lane

The project will aim to provide an annual revenue income by leasing the Spout Lane Allotment site to a commercial business in order to provide either passenger or staff parking for BA at Heathrow Airport.

Research has shown there is a market for airport parking on this site.

The current plotholders would be moved from Spout Lane to Stanwell Moor Recreation Ground.

Tasks include surveying the park to ensure ground is suitable at the new location, and there is enough space for the relocation.

The Council will negotiate with plot holders over compensation and re-provision where appropriate.

The new allotment site would be marked out and plotholders moved across.

Then follows an independent valuation of the Spout Lane site for commercial purposes; potential lessees would then be approached.

If the land is leased for airport parking, there would be negotiations with the commercial market to ensure the best income stream for the Council.

Bridge Street

The Council has signed a “Conditional Sale and Development” agreement with Bellway Homes.

Bellway will have to obtain the relevant planning permission before the car park is handed over. We expect the application to come in before the end of the year.

If all runs smoothly, the anticipated handover of the site is currently late spring 2016.

The Council will need to relocate a small number of existing allocated car parking spaces.

Sales figures remain confidential at present, but will be revealed once we have released the site.

Riverside Car park

The project is for a high quality development to encourage leisure activities and to include cafes and restaurants.

The scheme would have to be acceptable in terms of flood risk and something that would provide ongoing income for the Council.

The Asset Task Group has met to discuss this along with all the other projects.

Knowle Green Redevelopment

Tender bids from property consultants to help advise us have been received and opened.

Six are being reviewed and evaluated.

Housing Company

Following recent steers from Cabinet and the Leader, we are continuing to move forward in firming up our housing/development strategy and identifying the best way to proceed.

We have continued to carry out research around best practice and delivery model options, including a number of examples of how other authorities have approached setting up similar schemes. We are also looking at the benefits of the LG Develop scheme, which provides assistance in setting up a suitable mechanism to generate income and boost affordable home ownership (through private rented or private sale programmes).

A meeting with relevant portfolio holders is due to be held shortly to further clarify the strategic steer so ideas can turn into actions.

Careful consideration needs to be given to the financial and legal aspects of the various models as well as a clear understanding of what we are seeking to achieve.

Local Lettings Agency

Due to pressures on the housing service, work on developing a framework for the creation of a local/social lettings agency has temporarily been put on hold.

Housing are currently looking into setting up a rent guarantee scheme to attract private landlords to rent two-bedroom properties to us.

This would enable the Council to place as many suitable families as possible – currently in B&B accommodation – into rented accommodation. If feasible, it is hoped that this scheme will be up and running before too long, as the number of families in B&B is growing.

Relocation and new ways of working (Knowle Green relocation)

Knowle Green Relocation

Tender bids from consultants to advise on relocation have been received and opened – seven are being reviewed and evaluated.

Given the content of the tenders, a Cabinet decision will be made in the autumn as to the direction to be taken.

EDMS

Work is currently progressing with transferring historic information from the current Civica system into idox for Planning, historic Housing Grants and Building Control. Planning is currently due to go live with idox document management on 24 September.

This will be followed up with a staggered “go live” for the other services (Building Control, Licensing, Environmental Health, Land Charges). A series of training courses have been arranged for key staff in the use of idox DMS.

Further work is being carried out by services on sorting paperwork and identifying hard copy documents for scanning . An “archive” area has been created in room 29 (old Housing Options office) for services to free up office space and store paperwork prior to scanning. Please contact Jayne Brownlow if you have any paperwork which required storing away from the office.

Analysis work on the next phase of the project, the expansion of the Civica document management system will start in late September.

Jayne Brownlow is submitting a report on corporate options for resourcing scanning to MAT before the end of September.

Agile Working

The pilot hot desking project is progressing within Environmental Health. A useful meeting has taken place with a furniture and space planning supplier who have been tasked with creating an office design and layout to reflect how we envisage our new working arrangements to look. It is hoped that the new layout will be in place by early 2016 at the latest.

Interviews have taken place for the replacement project manager for Agile Working and the successful candidate is due to start in September. The Agile Working project can then move forward in the IT and HR workstreams.

Structural review

Solace has been appointed consultants to support/assist in the appointment of Group Head posts.

MAT are finalising their proposals for restructure from January 2016 with a formal consultation planned for later this month (September). MAT expects to circulate information on the proposals to all staff by mid-September.

Alternative Models of Delivery

Applied Resilience has been recruiting staff and went “live” on 1 September.

Legal Services and Environmental Health/Licensing are both working with Mutual Ventures to progress the business plans for their proposed ADMs. Work on development of these plans should be completed by the end of this month (September 2015). Part of this work will involve further analysis regarding how their models would impact on support services.

Building Control: Progress with the development of the Surrey Building Control Partnership is due to be discussed at a meeting of Surrey Chief Executives later this month (September). Guildford’s Managing Director is leading on this on behalf of Chief Executives for the west Surrey Councils and proposals for appointing a project manager to oversee development of the partnership have been drawn up.

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Kempton Park has their first thrilling Jump Fixture of 2016 this Saturday at Kempton Park Racecourse being “The William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle Day”. Featuring top quality jump racing, come along and join the fun! www.kempton.co.uk for more information.

Book your tickets in advance to gain nearly 50% OFF! – £10 tickets, quote: “KICKITRADIO” when purchasing (On the day tickets are £18)

U18’s attend for FREE with a paying adult

(Discount ONLY available until Friday)

Or for more information speak to Chloe Stocks on 01372 461213

Follow us on Twitter at @Kemptonparkrace
Epsom Downs / Kempton Park / Sandown Park

Quote: “KICKITRADIO” when purchasing 2016 race day tickets for Kempton Park, Sandown Park or Epsom Downs to gain up to 1/3rd off (certain exclusions apply)

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