17/05/19 LRA AGM Report - Friday May 17th 2019

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?

The meeting closed with a buzz in the air about this bypass and the LRA will pursue this with Kwasi and our Councillors and report back. Perhaps a new pressure group was born last night and perhaps this is the start of something big!

Other Announcements:-

Sadly there will be no PANTOMIME this year! The Director, crew and fairies are taking a break in 2019

Big thanks to members for contributions to Hanging Baskets and War Memorial project.

New War Memorial and Heritage Centre planters are installed and planted up. We shall see how the grow!

Littleton Lane 2020, indications of reduced activity but full closure battle continues.

Killoughery have ceased importing waste.

Atlas Bulk Carriers are moving out in July.

Next meeting with Spelthorne, Surrey and Bretts is on June 4th.

Shepperton Studios has been approved but we will continue to push to get road mitigations schemes in place – and more!

Finances are stable / Membership is up for the 7th year running

The Heritage Centre has purchased a large collection of local postcards and some of these were on display.

We were sad to lose our treasurer and friend, Martin Jones, from the committee but delighted to welcome Kathleen Thompson and Raj Mohan.

Laleham Good Neighbours Scheme is looking for more volunteers. Contact 07434 433 844 or email info@lalehamgoodneighbours.org.uk

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