After the controversial approval of Shepperton Studios expansion at an extraordinary meeting of Spelthorne’s Planning Committee on February 12th, a number of residents wrote to the Secretary of State asking him to “call the decision in”.

Spelthorne Planning approved the application even though the ‘very special circumstance’ used to counter inappropriate use of green belt was the interest of the national economy. Neither Spelthorne nor the Studios put forward any argument that our local economy would benefit.

This “call in” request should have amounted to an independent review of the entire application by the Secretary of State.

It was disconcerting therefore to receive a letter on 5th March from the Secretary of State’s office refusing to call the matter in. This letter states that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance” and should therefore be dealt with by Spelthorne!

Conflicting national policies on the preservation of green belt, decentralisation of business from the South East and support for the British film industry are justifiably issues that should be dealt with by central government and not be determined on the recommendation of a Spelthorne employee.

The speed with which the Secretary of State made his refusal suggests that the decision was not considered in any depth - if at all - by the secretary but made by a civil servant. Regrettably there is no appeal procedure and the only possible way of taking matters further would be a judicial review costing tens of thousands of pounds if not more.

Whilst many consider this the wrong decision, if would perhaps be more acceptable if at least shown to be properly considered. Unfortunately, it is highly questionable that the planning committee were fully conversant with their responsibilities on February 12th or that any serious consideration was given to the issue at national level…

Littleton Lane 2020 restoration – Spelthorne Council consider legal options
The Joint Residents Association Committee met with Spelthorne Borough Council on Monday 18th February to discuss the ongoing saga of the closure and restoration of Bretts Littleton Lane site by 21st Feb 2020.

Although there are some positive signs that the mineral extraction part of the site will be cleared and restored by Feb 2020, there are still complex legal issues hanging over the future of the industrial estate

An application to establish the future use of the industrial estate was made by Bret Aggregates in July 2018, however the information submitted was inadequate in parts and they have spent the last 7 months trying to clarify.

Spelthorne Planning now appear to have decided what can and cannot be allowed to continue on the site and we will meet with them on April 9th 2019 to discuss the way forward.

The JRAC would like to reiterate that permission to continue any activity at Littleton Lane will only be due to past negligence and legal mishap. We request that the land owner, Brett Aggregates consider the health and happiness of residents and “Do the Right Thing” – that is to cease all operations and restore the site in its entirety. We urge our Council planners and our Councillors to support is in this request.

  LRA AGM on Friday May 17th 2019
The Annual General Meeting of the Laleham Residents Association will take place on Friday 17th May 2019 at The Lucan Pavilion, Laleham Recreation Ground, TW18 1RZ

The formal meeting will start at 7.30pm and the bar will be open from 7.00pm.

The AGM is an opportunity to tell you in person what we have been doing in the last year and to discuss our plans for the year ahead. Your feedback and comments are always very helpful.

We are assured that our MP Kwasi Kwarteng will be in attendance to comment on various issues.

As ever, traffic and green belt development is top of the list and we hope to give updates on Shepperton Studios, Littleton Lane, Manor Farm, the SLP Pipeline and Heathrow.

All residents of Laleham are welcome but only paid up members can vote. It will be possible to join the LRA or renew subscriptions on the evening. Family membership is £5.

Contact the LRA
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