In 2016 Dart House on Thames Street, Lower Sunbury, was sold at auction for £1.2million. This has taken many immediate neighbours by surprise. More of a surprise was finding out that there were plans to demolish it and build a 5 storey block of 7 flats with underground parking.

Neighbours are all meant to receive notification of such applications and given due time to respond and object, but even more of a shock was that no letters were received and no public notice posted on the property. Residents discovered by chance and spread the word, under significant pressure to meet the deadline for objections of September 19th. LOSRA is opposing the application and many locals have now lodged objections too.

Dart House is in the conservation area of Lower Sunbury. It is the former site of Darts Stores, which many of you will in fact remember. It has been featured in many postcards, photos and paintings of the entrance into the village, with the Flower Pot on the left and St Mary’s in the background.

There are many reasons to object to the plans. You can read full details on the LOSRA website (www.losra.org) but essentially there are plans for only 6 underground carparking spaces with access to the underground garage from the mini roundabout by The Flowerpot. That will cause chaos.

The size of the proposed building will be out of keeping with the current sky line and conservation area. The image left shows how high the proposed new build would be.

The proposal is to extend the footprint out into the garden towards the river which will affect the view of Lower Sunbury which has been so celebrated in photos and paintings.

It is inevitable that this building will be developed. That in itself is not the issue. It has to be done sympathetically and has to consider views of neighbours.

We will watch with interest. Thank you to our vigilant residents for bringing it to our attention and mobilising such a strong case against it.