South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee

 

27 March 2019

 

7:30 pm 10:00 pm

 

Chessington North & Hook Ward

  Councillor Stephanie Archer

  Councillor Margaret Thompson

  Councillor Sharon Young

 

Chessington South Ward

* Councillor Patricia Bamford

  Councillor Andreas Kirsch (Vice-Chair)

* Councillor Christine Stuart

 

Tolworth & Hook Rise Ward

  Councillor Lorraine Dunstone (Chair)

  Councillor Dennis Goodship

  Councillor Thay Thayalan

 

Community Advisers 2018/19:  Andrew Ellis*  and Robert Steventon

 

* Absent

 

56.         Question Time

 

 

The Committee dealt with questions and other matters raised by residents.  A summary of the questions and answers is attached as an Annex but does not form part of the Minutes of the meeting.

 

 

57.         Petitions

 

 

No petitions were submitted.

 

58.         Apologies for Absence

 

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Christine Stuart and from community adviser, Andrew Ellis.

 

Apologies for lateness on the grounds of Council business, were received from Councillor Patricia Bamford (in attendance from Minute item 63 onwards)

 

 

59.         Declarations of Interest

 

 

The Chair, Councillor Lorraine Dunstone, declared a personal interest in relation to Minute Item 62.1 below - the planning application 18/10144/FUL relating to 46 (Rescue House) Oakcroft Road, Chessington, KT9 1RH.  Councillor Dunstone withdrew from the room during the consideration of this item.  (The Vice Chair, Councillor Andreas Kirsch, took the Chair for this item.)

 

Reason: Councillor Dunstone lives near to the application site and has expressed firm views on the application.

60.         Minutes

 

 

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 January 2019 are agreed as a correct record.

 

 

61.         Community Manager's Report

 

 

James Geach, the Neighbourhood Manager for Surbiton Neighbourhood, attended in the place of Ellie Walker-Todd (who was on honeymoon) and gave a presentation on various issues of interest in the Neighbourhood. The presentation included updates on:

·         the recent Community resilience event which had been very successful

·         New community forums will be held in the new municipal year; the first will focus on the community plan

·         Local events: King George’s Park playground development feedback

·         Great British spring clean including on Tolworth Broadway

·         Better Bones exercise classes

·         New community rangers – Dale Gossington will be working in the neighbourhood

The Committee put on record their thanks to the outgoing Neighbourhood Manager, Richard Dean, who had organised both the resilience event and the successful youth event at Chessington School.

 

 

62.         Planning Applications

 

Appendix A

A summary of the reasons for granting permission and of any relevant development plan policies and proposals is included in the report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration on each application where permission is recommended.  Permitted applications are subject to the conditions, informatives and other requirements set out in the report, together with any other details on late responses to consultations or comments received since the agenda was printed, revised drawings circulated at the meeting and amended recommendations, additional conditions and informatives set out below.

 

Under the arrangements for speaking on planning applications, objectors and a supporter spoke on the applications as follows:

·         18/10144/FUL: 46 (Rescue House) Oakcroft Road, Chessington, KT9 1RH

Mr James Berry spoke as an objector to the application.

·         18/10299/FUL: Land at Maypole Motors, Vale Road South, Surbiton, KT6 5AQ

Ms Norma McLelland spoke as an objector to the application.

Mr James Finn (applicant’s agent) spoke in support of the application.

 

RESOLVED that the following applications for planning permission are permitted as indicated:


 

62.1    18/10144/FUL: 46 (Rescue House) Oakcroft Road, Chessington, KT9 1RH

For the temporary period of one year, variation of Condition 17 (Permitted Hours for Traffic Movements) of Planning Permission 96/2114/FUL (Erection of 5 industrial/warehouse units, car parking and servicing) to allow occasional movement of vehicles on land adjoining the premises and erection of a 3.2m high timber acoustic fence along part of the boundary.

 

PERMIT, subject to amendment of Condition 17 as shown in italics below:

17. (i) The buildings shall not be used for the purposes hereby permitted after the hours of 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and shall not reopen until 7:00am on any day. The buildings shall not be used at any time on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

(ii) Apart from in the exceptional circumstances listed below, vehicle movements on the site shall not take place after the hours of 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and shall not occur again until 7:00am on any day. Vehicle movements shall not take place at any time on Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

An exceptional circumstance is where a vehicle must enter the land in order to be removed from the public highway for road traffic and safety reasons, and such exceptional circumstances are not to exceed seven times a month.  In order that the exceptional occurrences can be monitored, the applicant will provide on the request of the local authority access to the records which the applicant maintains to record these exceptional occurrences per month.

 

Reason: To safeguard the amenities of the occupiers of nearby dwellings.

 

[The Committee requested to receive a report back on any application to renew this variation after 12 months]

 

Voting:

For: 4 Members (Councillors Dennis Goodship, Andreas Kirsch, Thay Thayalan and Margaret Thompson)

Abstaining: 2 Members (Councillors Stephanie Archer and Sharon Young)

 

[The Chair, Councillor Lorraine Dunstone, declared a personal interest on this item and withdrew from the room during its consideration, as Councillor Dunstone lives near to the application site and has expressed firm views on the application.  The Vice Chair, Councillor Andreas Kirsch, took the Chair for this item.]

 

 


 

62.2    18/10299/FUL: Land at Maypole Motors, Vale Road South, Surbiton, KT6 5AQ

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 9 x 3 bed houses with associated parking, landscape and amenity space.

With reference to Late Material which had been circulated prior to the meeting referring to the Environment Agency's comments on flood risk, the Planning Officer provided a verbal update that an additional condition would be added (this is set out below as Condition 23).

PERMIT subject to the inclusion of additional Conditions as follows:

 

23. Prior to commencement of any development on site, and notwithstanding the details submitted, a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall only be implemented in accordance with the details and measures approved as part of the FRA. This submission shall address the objections raised by the Environment Agency by:

 

(a) Demonstrating that the development will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere and where possible reduce flood risk overall;

(b) Demonstrate how acceptable flood compensation can be achieved; and

(c) Suitably raise the finished floor levels above the required design level

 

Reason: To mitigate against potential flood risk in accordance with Policy DM4 (Water Management and Flood Risk) of the LDF Core Strategy Adopted April 2012.

 

24. Prior to beneficial occupation of the development hereby permitted, a Fire Risk Strategy shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

Reason: To ensure that the functioning of the development is satisfactory in accordance with Policy DM10 (Design Requirements for New Developments including House Extensions) of the LDF Core Strategy Adopted April 2012.

 

Voting - unanimous

 

 

63.         Neighbourhood Working Arrangements

 

Appendix B

Within the Constitutional arrangements set by the Council, each Neighbourhood Committee has the power to determine its own working arrangements.  The South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee had previously received a report and agreed its working arrangements for 2018/19 at its meeting on 7 June 2018.  Over the course of the summer and autumn of 2018, a review of the Neighbourhood Committee arrangements was undertaken with a view to ensuring that the Neighbourhood Committees have the powers and resources to help achieve the Council’s aspirations.  The Council is committed to improving engagement with local communities and ensuring that decision making better reflects local priorities, issues, challenges and need. 

The outcome of this review had been reported to full Council on 11 December 2018, at which point a number of changes to the roles and functions of the Neighbourhood Committees were agreed as part of a wider package of governance improvements.

The Committee considered a report (which had been submitted to all the Neighbourhood Committees) which invited Members to consider ways in which to utilise some of the new powers and flexibilities available to it in its working arrangements.  The new arrangements could be put in place for the first meeting of the new municipal year – namely, in the case of South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee, from its meeting on 4 June 2019.

In particular, the Committee was asked to consider whether it wished to:

·         establish a separate Sub-Committee specifically to determine Planning applications and planning enforcement matters;

·         set a cut-off point (a ‘guillotine’) by which time formal meetings of the Committee should be concluded.

In considering the report, the Committee agreed that a Planning Sub-Committee could be established for 2019/20 to consider planning and related issues within its remit, with a rota for 5 members at each meeting (and a quorum of 3 members) to include at least one Member from each Ward.  Dates scheduled for Planning Sub-Committee meetings had been provided for within the Council’s municipal calendar as follows:

·         Thursday 18 July 2019

·         Wednesday 25 September 2019

·         Thursday 5 December 2019

·         Tuesday 25 February 2020

·         Tuesday 28 April 2020.

Recognising that the Committee had not tended to receive an excessive number of planning applications in the past at each meeting, the Committee were of the view that it would only be necessary to hold a Planning Sub-Committee meeting on each of the five dates which had been scheduled if there was known to be a specific planning application to consider at that meeting which could not  wait until the Neighbourhood Committee meeting or which would cause there to be too much business on the Neighbourhood Committee agenda.  If not, the Planning Sub-Committee meeting would not be convened on the scheduled date - Members would be notified 4 weeks beforehand and the venue cancelled.  The headteacher at Chessington School had offered to make a venue available on this flexible basis.

Resolved that -

1.            a Planning Sub-Committee should be established to consider planning and related issues within its remit and

(a)  the membership of the Sub-Committee be decided on the basis of at least one Member from each Ward on a rotational basis and

(b) the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee for the 2019/20 Municipal Year to be appointed at the Neighbourhood Committee meeting on 4 June; and

2.            a ‘guillotine’ should not be applied to meetings of the Committee but generally the aim will be to complete meetings by 10.30pm

 

Voting – unanimous

 

64.         Community Grants Programme

 

Appendix C

The Neighbourhood Committee considered a report which provided information about grant funding streams available for 2019/20 and the allocation of the Committee’s Councillor Ward Funding.  The purpose of grant funding is to encourage local voluntary and community sector organisations, faith groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations to access funding and expand their capacity.

There are four different funding sources under the new Community Grants Programme available for Neighbourhood Committees and Ward Members to support and encourage local voluntary and community activity in their neighbourhoods, as follows:

·         Neighbourhood Community Grants (previously known as Your Kingston Grants and New Initiatives Grants), of up to £3,000 per application, are available to fund projects/ activities/ services to benefit communities in each of the four neighbourhood areas.  Each Neighbourhood is awarded £20,000 per annum, which is reduced as Neighbourhood Community Grants are awarded throughout the financial year.  Guidelines for Neighbourhood Community Grants were appended at Annex 1 to the report

·         Borough-wide Community Grants of up to £3,000, per application, are available to fund projects/ activities/ services to benefit of communities across the Borough.  There is a £20,000 allocation per annum, which is reduced as the Borough-wide grants are awarded throughout the year. Guidelines for Borough-wide Community Grants were appended as Annex 2 to the report

·         Councillor Ward Funding, at £2,000 per Councillor per financial year, which would remain at the discretion of individual Ward Councillors unless the Neighbourhood Committee decided to pool all or part of the Councillor Ward Funding budget.  Guidelines for Councillor Ward Funding were appended at Annex 2 to the report.

·         Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) must be spent on infrastructure needed to support development in the Borough. The upper limit of funding to apply for will be the amount allocated to each Neighbourhood Area - allocation will vary by Neighbourhood and is not time limited. Guidelines for ‘the Neighbourhood portion’ of the CIL were appended at Annex 3 to the report.

 

Resolved that -

1.    the Neighbourhood Community Grants budget, as set out in Key Point B is noted, and that the Committee will be asked to review applications and agree allocations for these grants throughout the year until the fund has been exhausted;

2.    the Borough-wide Community Grants budget as set out in Key Point C is noted;

3.    the budget for Councillor Ward Funding will be allocated at £2,000 per Councillor and the current system of Councillor Ward Funding is retained for the time being;

4.    the opportunities available for further grant funding and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts, as set out in paragraphs 10-21 of the report are noted, and that the Committee will be asked to consider any future bids that are made for these funds; and

 

5.    with reference to paragraph 14 of the report, a cap will not be applied to the amount of CIL funding that can be allocated to individual projects each year.

 

Voting –

For: 7 Members of the Committee (Councillors Stephanie Archer, Patricia Bamford, Lorraine Dunstone, Dennis Goodship, Andreas Kirsch, Thay Thayalan and Sharon Young)

Abstaining: 1 Member (Councillor Margaret Thompson)

 

 

65.         Gilders Road / Billockby Close, Junction - Traffic Management Order Objections

 

Appendix D

Following a report considered by the Committee at its meeting on 7 June 2018, a Pedestrian Environment Review System (PERS) audit had been undertaken in the Copt Gilders area which had identified several issues that needed to be addressed.  As part of these works to address these issues, the Committee had agreed further “At Any Time” waiting restrictions at the junction of Gilders Road with Billockby Close to improve access, visibility and sightlines. 

A Traffic Management Order (TMO) for Double Yellow Line “At Any Time” waiting restrictions at the junction of Gilders Road with Billockby Close had been advertised on 29 November 2018 and two objections had been received within the consultation period, which had expired on 20 December 2018.  The Committee considered a report which set out the detail of the two objections and which sought the Committee’s decision on how to deal with those objections.  

The points made by both objectors related to a perceived loss of parking where there is potentially a high level of demand.  However, the report advised that the Highway Code specifically precludes parking in the area covered by the advertised restrictions.  Furthermore, the Committee noted the importance of the restrictions in ensuring access and safety at the junction.  It was considered that the primary focus at this location should be ensuring that pedestrians, especially those with buggies or those with mobility issues, have clear and safe passage across the side road junction.  The removal of the parking in the areas covered by the yellow lines would ensure this can happen, and improves sightlines and forward visibility with other traffic.  Whilst the detail of the objections was noted by the Committee, it was not considered that the objections justified any change to the proposed restrictions, and, the Committee concurred with the officer advice in the report to confirm the waiting restrictions as advertised, without modification.

Resolved that -

 

1.    the objections received in response to the publication of the TMO, described in paragraph 10 of the report, and the officer’s response in paragraphs 11 and 12 of the report are noted: and

2.     the objections are rejected for the reasons set out in paragraphs 11 and 12 (as set out above), and the TMO imposing double yellow lines (as detailed by Annex 1 of the report) be confirmed without modification.

Voting – unanimous

 

66.         Urgent Items authorised by the Chair

 

 

There was no urgent business authorised by the Chair.

 

 

67.         Information Items

 

Appendix E

Resolved that the following items be noted:

 

·         TfL and RBK Traffic Schemes updates  (Mr Robert Varney of TfL attended to present the TfL Traffic Scheme Update which was considered earlier in the meeting, after the Public Question Time item)

·         Potential Forthcoming Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed…………………………………………………….Date…………………

Chair

 

 



 

Annex 1

Public Questions

 

1.         Signage for St George’s Church

 

The following question was raised by Ms Dorinda Hooper, representing St George's Parochial Church Council as follows:

 

"In May 2017 St George's Church, Tolworth, approached the Council requesting consideration be given to the provision of street signage from the main traffic and pedestrian routes of Tolworth Broadway, Red Lion Road, and Ewell Road to the Church, in Hamilton Avenue, which is tucked away in the residential area behind The Broadway, and set well back from the pavement edge.  The church has no landmark spire or tower, and is only visible to the public when they are almost upon it.

A site meeting was held with an engineer at the end of May 2017, and a draft plan received a month later.  Our last communication with this engineer was at the beginning of July 2017. Despite numerous phone calls and messages, no response was ever received from the Council. In March 2018 we resorted to contacting our local Councillors for help.  Councillor Dunstone has been working tirelessly on our behalf, and secured another site meeting in August 2018.  We do appreciate that there have been staffing issues within the department, but despite continual requests, no plans or proposals have been forthcoming since that date, and the matter has now been ongoing for 22 months.

St George's Church, as well as being an important community focal point, also hosts one of the Borough's Food Banks.   It is often the case that recipients of the services of the Food Bank are embarrassed by the situation they find themselves in, and therefore do not use the one closest to them.  Instead they travel to one in an area they do not know, to avoid recognition.  We have experienced such instances, and witnessed the distress of clients, and volunteer helpers from other Food Banks in the Borough, when they have had great difficulty in finding us due to lack of adequate street signage.

As we understand that a new engineer is now in post, we are asking that the necessary street signage is agreed, and installed, without further delay.”

 

Tom Sharland, Senior Professional Engineer, in the Highways & Transport team replied as follows:

 

“The Highways and Transport team firstly apologises for the delay in resolving this matter. It is recognised that the issue was raised nearly two years ago, and a resolution is long over-due.  Unfortunately the engineer who attend the initial site visit in 2017 left the council due to ill health and there has been a lack of continuity within the team to take this matter forward at the required level.  Unfortunately the plan put together in 2017 was not in line with Department for Transport regulations on signing on the highway.

 

Current highway design guidance from the DfT and TfL is very much in line with reducing sign clutter, rather than installing new signs on the highway where not essential.  Current guidance advises against signing to schools, churches and GP surgeries for example.  While it is appreciated that there is existing signing in place for the church at junction of Ewell Road / Princes Avenue and signing for the nearby St Matthew's Church, this has likely been installed for some time.  Any proposal to add new signing should therefore ideally include consolidation of existing signing to reduce clutter and new signing to a number of destinations in the local area.

Council Officers have therefore been in touch with ShedX, who are delivering a number of community led schemes in the Tolworth area, including improved pedestrian signage.  Plans are currently being developed for a range of pedestrian signage across Tolworth, a trial of which is due to be launched in July.  Council officers have agreed with ShedX for the food bank at St George's Church to be included in this project.  Following the trial and feedback from the local community, permanent signing is due to be installed in the Autumn.  It is hoped this issue can now move forward with some urgency.

 

 

2.         Criteria for Housing Association nominations

 

A local resident, Mr Rob Robb, asked the following question:

“Following on from the recent Police Ward Panel I would like to know what criteria and vetting system RBK Housing department use in choosing residents to become their tenants. During the discussions with PA\Paragon Housing Association who attended the meeting it became apparent they do not have any say as to who goes into their premises.  It was disturbing that tenants with a possible history of drugs are put into the same building as young children, causing major Safeguarding issues.

It has also brought problems to a community that has not experienced problems at the level being experienced previously.

We were also told that all those chosen for housing in the Kingston Borough are existing Kingston Residents and not from outside the Borough, yet people say that they have found out this not to be the case.”

Responses were read to the meeting (and would be provided in writing to Mr Robb) from the following officers:

-       Written Reply from David Hill, Lead Officer, Accommodation Service, Community Housing, Directorate of Adult Social Care:

“Kingston Council and partner Registered Provider (Housing Association) homes are allocated according to the Council's Allocations scheme.  Details of this scheme confirming that criteria used to assess applications are available on the Council's website at https://www.kingston.gov.uk/downloads/file/173/allocations_policy_2017

Exclusion from the Register and therefore the allocation of property to rent as defined within the Policy is applicable where a member of a household has been involved in unacceptable behaviour serious enough to make them an unsuitable tenant of the Council or other housing provider including:

·         Giving false information to obtain or try to obtain a tenancy

·         Making a payment to obtain or try to obtain a social housing tenancy

·         Deliberately damaging or allowing someone else to deliberately damage your home (including unauthorised modifications if you are a council tenant)

·         Violence, crime or anti-social behaviour

·         Subletting any Council or housing association tenancy

·         Being provided with a home in connection with your work for Kingston Council and losing this due to your behaviour or actions

The process of application and verification is undertaken by the Council's Community Housing Service and where items identified within the applicable exclusions above are identified in this process the relevant action to notify applicants of their exclusion will be undertaken.

Partner Registered Providers (Housing Associations), who have entered into an agreement to let their homes through the Council's Housing Allocations scheme, accept nominations of households from the Kingston Housing Register who have met the requirements of the Allocations scheme.  Households applying to the Register who are excluded under the above provisions are not nominated to Registered Providers.

Within our nomination agreement with Partner Registered Providers the extent of any data sharing regarding applicants to the Housing Register is governed by requirements of General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Within our Allocations scheme the requirement of residence is defined where applicants must have resided in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames for five continuous years immediately preceding the date of the application.  Limited exemptions to this apply for households of protected characteristic or where local residents are temporarily accommodated outside the borough by the Local Authority.  Full Details of these are available in the Allocations scheme.”

The former Neighbourhood Manager, Richard Dean, who was previously responsible in the Safer Kingston team for ASB has commented:

People who are the victims of the ASB or someone on their behalf with their (generally written) permission can complain about the ASB.

If the ASB relates to people in Housing Association housing then the complaint should be sent to the Housing Association as it is their legal duty to deal with it.

If however, the person is affected by ASB outside of the location that is nothing to do with the Housing Association so the complaint then should be sent to the Council or the Police depending on the nature of that complaint.  Both can be done via on line processes if the person prefers that.

If the victim (or the person on behalf of the victim) has complained a number of times to the authorities and they consider that there has been no meaningful response to those complaints, then they can invoke the Community Trigger Process and if the threshold is met, an ASB case review can be undertaken.  In order to qualify for this there has to have been three complaints made in a 6 month period (or more).

The link to that process is as follows: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200234/policing_crime_and_community_safety/436/antisocial_behaviour/3

The Community Trigger process is by far the most effective way of dealing with any complaint of organisational inactivity by the victim, if the threshold is reached, as the response of any authority in dealing with the issue will be assessed.”

 

 

 

3.         Sanger Avenue/ Durbin Avenue/Coutts Avenue redesign

 

The following question was raised by Mr Rob Robb:

 

 “What is the purpose and reasoning behind what appears to be very extensive and costly redesign of the junctions along with major disruption on the estate that includes Sanger Avenue, Durbin Avenue and Coutts Avenue?   I have concerns over the Sanger Avenue and Coutts Avenue junction as the large area of tarmacked pavement will lead to a vehicle being parked on it and it will make the ingress and egress of vehicles from Coutts Avenue dangerous, as they will be unsighted.   It requires bollards.   Also it looks like an afterthought that possibly the kerbs have not been lowered for people in wheel chairs and mobility scooters and the new expensive kerbing has had tarmac unprofessionally thrown at it to provide a ramp.   Hopefully this extensive work will include the refurbishment of the grass verge along with new protective wooden bollards in Durbin Road at the Junction of Gosbury Hill which has been damaged during these works along with the existing tree?”

 

Tom Sharland, Senior Professional Engineer, in the Highways & Transport team replied as follows:

 

“A traffic scheme was developed following petitions presented to this Committee in January and June 2018. The focus of the scheme you mention is to improve safety and visibility at junctions and to reduce traffic speeds.  These proposals were consulted upon and approved for construction at the September 2018 meeting of the Committee.  Double yellow lines will be installed at the junction you mention at Coutts Avenue/ Sanger Avenue to allow enforcement of any parking at the junction. We can see how effective that is – we can enforce the double yellow lines and we can enforce the footway parking. If it persists as a problem, we can consider bollards but that is something we resist as far as possible because of maintenance – but it is something we can consider in the future.  At the junctions you mention where there is the temporary tarmac which has been laid – they are due to be raised, so the work is not complete at those junctions yet – that’s Durbin Road and Coutts Avenue junctions. The carriageway will be raised so that pedestrians can cross at a level.  So that work is yet to be done.  Any damage caused to verges during the construction will be improved by the contractor. (re damage to overhanging tree by contractor vehicle) . I can take that up with my colleague who is managing the contract. I do note that some of this damage is historic so that will be a maintenance issue that we need to pick up but we can certainly look at that.

 

 

4.         467 bus route

 

Mr I Kirkpatrick asked if there is any progress on trying to improve the 467 bus route to Epsom which had been included in the Community Plan as an aspiration a few years ago. The 467 bus route finishes at 7pm and doesn’t work on Sundays. Epsom has a hospital and theatre and is a transport hub to Sutton, so an improved bus service would be of great benefit.  The Chair asked Robert Varney of TfL to try to obtain an update on this issue. 

[Mr Kirkpatrick also commented that several elderly residents had commented that they had been having difficulties in inputting car registration number into new parking meters.]