The answer, it would seem, is when it suits some planners to push through a development!

Sunbury is under assault from all sides. The Eco Park, the EA site, Gravel Extraction, London Irish, Police Cadet College and now we find that outline planning has already been APPROVED to cite a huge floodlit sports hub comprising an Athletics Stadium and four football pitches next to the Xcel Leisure Centre on the Elmbridge side of the Thames.

The historic view from Kings Lawn towards the Weir is threatened with domination of 18m floodlights which will light up the whole area pictured below. Houses on Wheatleys Eyot, Parke Road and parts of Thames Street will have their view over trees and greenery completely altered and the nature of the village will change for ever.

When is the greenbelt not the greenbelt?

When it’s lit up at night like an industrial estate?

So this is a plan that is GOING to happen. But how many knew about it? How many people had a chance to protest? It appears that the plans have been pushed through by stealth.

Residents of Parke Road found out by chance and started looking into it and what the consultation process had been. They found out that only had few local residents been consulted, but local councillors and LOSRA were not informed by Spelthorne. There is a history of complaints about the noise from the Walton Casuals football pitch (which operates once a fortnight in the season) and lights from the existing Xcel leisure facility, yet these people weren’t consulted about plans to create six sports pitches, move two football clubs to the site and operate this sports hub on a daily basis.

Because the boundary between Spelthorne and Elmbridge is down the river the effect of such an Elmbridge plan on its neighbour has been completely ignored! This is despite Elmbridge having a policy (CS12) to ‘protect and enhance’ the river.

So, what can we do?

Well, we need to work now to minimise the impact the plans will have on our village and there are certainly modifications which would help do just that. The public park which is planned to be on the far side of the sports pitches, could be situated along the riverside so move the lighting intrusion further away. What we need is a united voice for Sunbury. Please keep a look out for a development of the story in The Herald and on LOSRA’s website, and please also register your objection with the planning department, Robert Moran, the Chief Executive and Alex Williams, the Head of Asset Management:

Ref 21012/1185 Land adj Xcel Leisure Complex
Email : tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk, rmoran@elmbridge.co.uk, awilliams@elmbridge.co.uk