Thanks to all who came to our AGM. We had a very full house so sorry if you couldn’t get a seat!
After a review of the past year and reports from officers, there was a brief presentation by our Chair, David Furst. His focus was “The Changing Face of Laleham” in the light of recent and impending projects, including the Heathrow, Eco Park, Shepperton Studios, Littleton Lane, Home Farm and Laleham Farm, Manor Farm, Watersplash Farm, Riverscroft & Chertsey Road potential development and the Esso Pipeline.
Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng took the floor in response. He spoke first in support of Shepperton Studios and continued with opinions on many things from Heathrow to Brexit. The discussion was lively, fair and good humoured but intensity of feeling from the floor became stronger as the evening progressed.
Government support for business, education and jobs is all very well, but residents have real fears about the future of Laleham, given the sheer weight of traffic produced by each one of these individual schemes. We are losing greenbelt hand over fist to Brett and Pinewood and very little consideration is being paid to the infrastructure required for these, and other, major developments.
Kwasi is aware from our last AGM and from meetings since, that traffic density and HGV movements are the greatest concern of Laleham residents, so when the question of what should be done about this was finally raised, there was no surprise that the cry from the floor was “LALEHAM NEEDS A BYPASS!”
The idea of a bypass has been kicking around for decades but has never been taken seriously by our councillors. The route for such a bypass is extremely possible and major sponsors should be Shepperton Studios and Brett Aggregates who have long benefited from our communities and given very little back. The Esso Pipeline Project could also present an opportunity as they intend to form a gravel hauling track along 30% of the proposed bypass route, which could constitute a start?