Welcome to the Hinchley Wood website


ELMBRIDGE LOCAL PLAN: STRATEGIC OPTIONS CONSULTATION

Just under 3800 people or organisations responded to the consultation. These responses contained a total of 50,000 separate comments on different aspects of the consultation document. This clearly demonstrates the level of interest and concern generated by this exercise, particularly in relation to possible encroachment on the Green Belt in the Hinchley Wood and Long Ditton area, and elsewhere in the borough.

The council has issued the following statement on how it now plans to proceed:
“The Government [has] announced that it will be consulting on a standardised approach to assessing housing need but, unfortunately, this consultation will now not take place until after the elections on June 8. As such the Council can no longer rely on the housing need it
assessed through its Strategic Market Housing Assessment (SHMA). The Council is also uncertain as to the impact of all the consultation responses received by the Government to the HWP consultation. For both these reasons, the Council considers it to be premature to progress work on the
Local Plan until such a time as the Government makes all the necessary information available to resume work on the Local Plan.
The Council will, however, publish a report on the issues raised in response to the Strategic Options consultation as soon as it is able to do so. Given that the consultation was extended by two weeks, the large volume of comments, and to ensure that all comments and issues raised by all the respondents are fully considered, it has not been possible to adhere to the timetable for the Local Plan. As mentioned above, the general election and delays to Government policy have further delayed work on the Local Plan. Once there is some indication of the standardised methodology for assessing housing need the Council will issue a revised timetable.
We fully understand residents’ concerns over the amount of housing that the Government requires the Council to provide and the impact this might have on the Borough. Indeed, the Council shares those concerns. None of the Members of the Council want to give up any areas of the Borough’s Green Belt to development and will consider all options in order to protect it. However, in order to produce any Local Plan, the Council needs to follow due process, without which it lays itself open to challenges. It is with that in mind that all three leaders of the political parties at Elmbridge Council wrote to the Right Honourable Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to seek clarification on a
number of matters relating to the Local Plan. That letter, together with the response received, are on the Council website at
www.elmbridge.gov.uk/planning/local-plan.”
 
The response submitted by HWRA to the Local Plan consulation can be downloaded here.

In summary:
HWRA contests the requirement to find space for 9,500 new dwellings in Elmbridge over the next 20 years.  The infrastructure in Elmbridge and surrounding areas is already near breaking point.  Massive investment would be needed to cope with development on the scale envisaged, and there is no evidence that this would be forthcoming.
We cannot actively support any of the three options offered in the consultation document, but if large-scale development is seen as unavoidable, development within existing settlements and on brownfield sites (i.e. broadly Option 1) would be far preferable  to the use of any part of the Green Belt (i.e. Options 2 &3), and would be more consistent with national planning  policies.
We do not agree that the Long Ditton Green Belt (‘Local Area 58’) should be redesignated, as it plays an invaluable role both in differentiating and separating Elmbridge from the Greater London conurbation, and as a much-used resource for the local community.




The Council's consultation exercise (http://consult.elmbridge.gov.uk/consult.ti/lpsoc/consultationHomesought the answers to 32 questions ranging from feedback on the Council’s preferred option (2 below) to the sort of essential infrastructure necessary to support communities or address the negative impacts arising from new development.  The options considered were:
1. Meet needs by concentrating development within the urban areas in order to maintain existing Green Belt boundaries
2. Meet needs as far as possible by increasing the density of housing in existing settlements and releasing the weakest performing areas of Green Belt – considered by reference to the purposes of Green Belt.
3. .Meet needs in full by amending Green Belt boundaries with only limited development in existing settlements.

 Of particular interest to local residents is the proposed re-designation of the land on either side of Woodstock Lane North, Long Ditton - an area of some 60+ hectares (150 acres).  This is referred to as 'Local Area 58' in the consultation document.


Local area 58 map

Councillor Stuart Sellick Leader of the Council has said, “We are offering these options for consultation to the Elmbridge community in December and across the New Year but it is important to note that no decisions have yet been made. The Government has placed this demand on all Councils and it is clear that if we do not seek to meet our housing needs, the Government will step in and make decisions for us. No one wants that to happen”.

At a very-well attended open meeting of HWRA on 2nd February, residents expressed considerable concern not only about the specifics of possible development on Local area 58 , but about the whole basis on which the exercise was being conducted against the background of a central government directive. 

A document setting out some of the issues and questions prompted by the consultation was distributed at the meeting.

Councillors Nigel Haig-Brown and Janet Turner stressed that encroachment on the green belt was something they and other councillors had fought long and hard against, and that they remained committed to protecting it.  But if the use of Local area 58 was to be avoided, we needed to come up with reasoned arguments against it and consider what the alternatives might be.

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DRAFT COLLABORATION AGREEMENT WITH THAMES DITTON AND WESTON GREEN RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (TG&WGRA)

Following the Local Government Boundary Review which resulted in the formation of Hinchley Wood and Weston Green Ward, and the successful cooperation with TG&WGRA in the 2016 Council elections (which saw all three seats in the new ward retained by residents association councillors), we have been working with our counterparts in TD&WGRA to draft a collaboration agreement to ensure that we continue to work together to secure residents' representation on the Council in the next borough elections (in 2018) and beyond.  A copy of the draft agreement can be downloaded here.

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DANGEROUS TURNING AT HEATHSIDE/ A309 JUNCTION

Residents may be interested to see a presentation (with pictures and video) supporting a petition organised by Peter Almond about the problems caused by u-turns off the by-pass in the entrance to Heathside, and urging Surrey County Council to re-configure this junction to stop this dangerous practice.


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ESHER, CLAYGATE, AND HINCHLEY WOOD PARKING REVIEW

The expected Surrey County Council consultation on parking with residents and businesses in Esher, Claygate and Hinchley Wood has begun.
It is important for as many residents as possible to make their views known if we are to see any improvement in the current situation.

You can find out more, and take part using the online form, at https://www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-highways-and-transport-parking-project-team/parking-consultation-esher-claygate-and-hinchley-w

The closing date was Friday 14 October.

Surrey County Council will review the comments and suggestions received, and this will help determine which sites will be considered in further detail.  Recommendations are currently expected to be presented to the local committee for initial approval in February 2017.

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HEATHROW EXPANSION SURVEY


Elmbridge Borough Council are surveying local opinion on the impact of the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport.  If you would like to take part, please visit:
https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=147221079361

There is an action  group, RAGE in Elmbridge (Residents Action Group Elmbridge), which has been formed  to oppose Heathrow flightpath changes and expansion plans. They can be contacted by emailing RAGEinElmbridge@gmail.com or found  on Twitter: @RAGEinElmbridge.

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HINCHLEY WOOD CARE - CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

Hinchley Wood Care helps older people living in the Hinchley Wood area get to vital medical appointments.  They are desperately short of people to help them to take calls from people looking for transport and to book the volunteer driver.  It's a really flexible volunteer role and can be done fortnightly or monthly.  The phone needs to be staffed between 9:30am - 12pm.   If you would like to help please call Voluntary Action Elmbridge on 01372 463587.

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COMMUNITY HOSPITALS REVIEW - FUTURE OF MOLESEY HOSPITAL: 

Earlier in the year, Surrey Downs CCG ran a public consultation (http://www.surreydownsccg.nhs.uk/media/126375/improving-community-hospital-care-consultation-document.pdf) looking at how services could be delivered in the future in the five community hospitals in the Surrey Downs area. This was based on a review (http://www.surreydownsccg.nhs.uk/media/126378/150918-community-hospital-review-outcome-report-updated-following-feedback-final.pdf) which took place in 2015, looking at inpatient (overnight) rehabilitation care, as well as day clinics and other specialist appointments (known as outpatient services).

During the 14 week consultation, they met individuals and local groups to discuss the options and how people feel about them. They also attended over 40 events across Surrey Downs, answered many questions and emails, taking note of everyone's feedback. Everything is being fed into a report which is being compiled by an independent research company.

The report will be published online and a decision on next steps will be made at the Governing Body meeting, to be held in public on Friday 29 July http://www.surreydownsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/events/2016/july/governing-body-29-july-2016/ at Leatherhead Leisure Centre, Guildford Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BL.


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REFURBISHMENT OF HINCHLEY WOOD STATION


We are pleased to see the completion of the refurbishment at the railway station, and particularly the installation of bicycle racks on the Station Approach side, which are already being well used.  Hopefully this welcome new facility will take some of the pressure off local commuter parking.


HWRA Councillors Nigel Haig-Brown and Janet Turner checking out the new bike racks.

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2016 Council election and new administration in Elmbridge
 
In the 2016 council elections, the Conservatives lost overall control of Elmbridge Borough Council, the Residents' parties have formed an administration with the Liberal Democrats. 

Councillor Janet Turner was appointed to the Cabinet as Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, responsible for Arts & Culture; Sport & Leisure; Parks & Recreation; Promoting Healthy Lifestyles; Youth; Children's Issues (including Member Champion for Child Protection); Museums; Public Halls; Cemeteries; Tourism; and Public Conveniences.

Councillor Nigel Haig-Brown is vice-chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Commitee and is a member of several other commitees, including Audit and Standards, Planning and Licensing.

Separately from the change of administration, Councillor Tannia Shipley, having been Deputy Mayor in 2015/16 was elected to serve as Mayor for 2016/17.

The election was contested under new ward boundaries determined by the Local Government Boundary Commission, following a decision to reduce the total number of councillors from 60 to 48.  Hinchley Wood became part of a new Hinchley Wood and Weston Green ward with three councillors.

In the light of this, Residents' Associations in Hinchley Wood Residents' Associations in Hinchley and Weston Green  joined forces to sponsor three candidates:  Tannia Shipley, Nigel Haig-Brown and Janet Turner.



They are all existing councillors with many years of experience between them in looking after the interests of our local community in Council affairs.  They look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the local community in the new ward.


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NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

CRIME IS CHANGING AND SO IS NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Neighbourhood Watch isn’t just about looking out for burglars any more.  Cybercrime is on the increase, and it tends to strike the most vulnerable people.  To combat this, we need to get information on all crimes, and the latest cyber cons, from the police to individuals quickly.
Neighbourhood Watch is ready to be this link, but needS more members to get involved.  To achieve this, Elmbridge Neighbourhood Watch is launched a publicity campaign on March 1.  The “Eyes Wanted” campaign will have flyers, and advertisements, in all areas of Elmbridge.

To accompany the publicity campaign, Elmbridge NHW is also launching its new website,
elmbridgenhw.ourwatch.org.uk.

 By going to the website, and entering your postcode, you can click into crimes in your area, and you can join Neighbourhood Watch.  If you aren’t sure you have a street co-ordinator or you think you might be a member but aren’t active, they want to hear from you.

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PLANNING APPLICATION AT SHELL FILLING STATION

Residents may wish to be aware of another planning application for the Shell filling station.  This follows five full planning applications in the past 26 years, all of which have been turned down at appeal. This application doubles the retail floor space and includes a click and collect service. There would be seven extra car spaces.  All the services for air conditioning (which can be very noisy) would be at the back of the sales unit, which it is proposed will back square onto the houses in Hillcrest Gardens.  In respect of a previous application, the appeal judge commented on the adverse effect that a large expansion of the retail facilities may have on local shops.
 
Full details can be found by visiting the Elmbridge Borough Council planning website (http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/planning/) and entering application number 2015/4443.

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SCAMS

The incidence of scams of various kinds continues unabated. You could be approached to reinvest your pension fund or take out medical insurance, but it could equally be anything else: double glazing, solar panels, security alarms, a damages claim for PPI mis-selling, road accident or medical negligence, or many more, including people falsely claiming to be from your bank or credit card issuer.
Regardless, however you are contacted (by email, phone, letter, or doorstep caller),and no matter how convincing the approach might seem to be, the safest and most sensible response is to ignore it or just say ‘no thanks, I’m not interested’ and refuse to participate in any further discussion.
For more tips on how to avoid getting caught out, see the Spring/Summer 2015 Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter, and please pass the message on to elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends or relatives who are so often preyed on by these unscrupulous criminals.
 
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PRUDENTIAL RIDE LONDON AND SURREY CLASSIC 2017

These major cycling events will once more take place on 28th to 30th July 2017, with resulting road closures around Hinchley Wood on Sunday the 30th.

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PLANNING UPDATES

Updates on major planning issues can be found in newsletters from the 'Save Hinchley Wood' group, copies of which (number 35 onwards) can be viewed here.
 
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HINCHLEY WOOD POLICE PANEL & COMMUNITY SAFETY

Meet the Beat:  Our local officers hold regular informal sessions where residents have the opportunity to meet up with them and have a chat about any local issues which may be of concern.
Please see the police team's web page for more details at:http://www.surrey.police.uk/my-neighbourhood/elmbridge/eldh/meet-the-neighbourhood-team

Neighbourhood Watch:  read recent Molesey, Dittons and Hinchley Wood Neighbourhood Watch newsletters here.

Incidents of anti-social behaviour can be reported online at http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/Council/safety/, or by
telephoning the community safety team on 01372 474399.

Immobilise database: this initiative gives residents the opportunity to register their moveable property at www.immobilise.com for free. This database of serial numbers entered by owners into a personal account is accessible by police on the beat countrywide. Using hand-held devices they can check, on the spot, whether an item e.g. a bicycle or any of “four satnavs in a rucksack” have been reported stolen.
In addition, cash convertors are required to check the database before concluding a transaction, and to inform the police at the time, if a hit indicates that an attempt has been made to sell stolen goods.
Obviously, to work effectively and to stand any chance of being reunited with your property, you need to register any property with a serial number or other identifying marks, and to report items that are lost or stolen.

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ELMBRIDGE RESIDENTS PANEL
 
The Residents' Panel is made up of local residents and who are asked for their views on the Council's services two or three times a year. This could be about anything the Council is working on e.g. council priorities, budget, recycling, crime.  It is part of the Council's drive to make it easier for residents to 'Have Your Say'.

In particular the Council are trying to promote an online panel as this means they can consult residents in an extremely cost effective and environmentally friendly way. The link to join the online panel is www.elmbridge.gov.uk/consult.  However, if any residents would like to join but do not have computer access they can still join the postal panel by ringing Stephanie Barker on 01372 474394 (sbarker@elmbridge.gov.uk).


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More volunteers are still needed to help with Hinchley Wood Care.  For more information please see clubs, societies and voluntary organisations.

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The site is regularly updated with local news, information and features, and we welcome comments on the site and suggestions for improvements and new features. Please send us your feedback here.

Local traders, services, clubs and groups are listed free of charge on the website. If your organisation has not been listed please let us know the details and we will add it to the site. Local organisations can use the site free of charge to advertise forthcoming events, such as jumble sales, fetes etc.

Please contact us here to arrange for your organisation or event to be listed on the site.

Our Residents Association Councillors hold regular surgeries at which you can discuss problems directly with them. Please check the News & Events page for details.

Keep informed about local issues, including community safety alerts, significant planning applications and forthcoming events, by registering for our free e-mail bulletin service.  See contact page for further details.

Site last updated 26th 2017

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Did you know that the LWT series 'The Charmer' (1986), set in the 1930s and starring Nigel Havers, Rosemary Leach and Bernard Hepton, was partly filmed in Hinchley Wood? You can see some pictures of the filming here. It is also available on DVD from Amazon, but note that you will need a multi-region player.
 

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