Saturday, 5 December 2015

Up to 95 homes could be built at Orchard Lane Industrial Estate

Artist impression of the new homes from western side.
Wates are seeking outline planning permission to redevelop Orchard Lane Industrial Estate in East Molesey into up to 95 homes.

The planning application is listed on Elmbridge Council's website as application 2015/3400 and at the time of writing had attracted four letters of support and 27 objections, plus 196 signatures on a online petition which is calling for alternate plan for the site.

Members of the North Area Planning Sub Committee will meet on Monday 14th December to debate the application in the main council chamber at Esher and vote to grant or refuse. It appears from the correspondence that principle of homes at this brownfield site is generally accepted (for some it is an improvement on HGV lorries previously using Orchard Lane) but residents have concerns about the numbers of new homes and impact on local infrastructure, ie roads, doctors and schools.

The density of the proposed scheme is 32 dwellings per hectare, which is well within the Elmbridge Council's parameters of 40 dwellings per hectare. This would make it difficult for your councillors to argue the scheme is over-development, though of course at this stage the North Area committee will be discussing outline permission with the specific application to be submitted at a later date.

Molesey East Conservative councillors Steve Bax and Peter Szanto met with Wates to discuss the proposals earlier in the summer. Our principle concerns related to traffic increase and the types of homes to be built. Molesey currently has need for smaller affordable units rather than more of the 4-5 mansion types that are out of the price range for many. Peter has since had follow up meetings with them and knocked on doors in Orchard Lane to get residents views. We are pleased that the developer appears to have taken on board our suggestion of a mix of homes sizes. The details will be set out in a future application but Wates have indicated that they are looking to create 1 and 2 bed flats, and 2, 3, 4 and 5 bed homes, and 38 will be 'affordable homes'. There will be parking for 164 cars.

Wates carried out a traffic assessment in Esher Road, Ember Lane and Orchard Road in July 2015 and claim there would only be circa one additional vehicle movement every two minutes in the morning peak hour; and three additional vehicles every four minutes in the evening peak hour resulting from the homes. Surrey County Council, which is the highways authority, has raised no objections to the request for outline planning permission.

Steve and Peter welcome your views ahead of the meeting on December 14th.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Shell in West Molesey is granted alcohol licence extension

A number of residents contacted our councillors in September to raise concerns about Shell garage in Hurst Road which had applied to Elmbridge Council for permission to sell alcohol 24-7.

Cllr Steve Bax, who is a member of the Licensing Committee, raised concerns with council officers that such a generous licence was unnecessary and could result in anti-social behaviour locally. On the other hand we felt it would be only fair if the garage were afforded equal hours with the neighbouring Tesco superstore. Increasingly these days garages rely on in-shop sales to supplement fuel sales and remain viable, particularly in the South East where there is the temptation to close garages and sell the land for housing. We recognise that the garage is a valued amenity to many Molesey drivers.

Motor Fuels Ltd, who were applying on the Shell garage’s behalf curbed their request to 10pm in line with the Tesco store and were granted a licence extension by the council. It is however subject to 11 conditions ranging from CCTV to age checks, training and storage restrictions and could lose its licence if it fails to adhere to the rules.

Cllr Bax commented in the Autumn Molesey News: “It was clearly inappropriate for the garage
to be selling alcohol so late into the night. I am glad that common sense prevailed. We want the garage to be viable but also to do the right thing by the community.”