HOOK HEATH NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM UPDATE 54 9 September 2023
Woking Borough Council finances
If you’re interested in what WBC has to say for itself, there is plenty of information available on its website, not to mention comments in the papers.
The most immediate impact on the Neighbourhood Forum is that there is a freeze on spending Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds. Key extracts from the last WBC press release are:
“The Council will comply with its statutory obligations under both Section 216 of the Planning Act 2008 and in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, and it will utilise all CIL funds that have been collected for the intended purposes.”
“Officers have advised all Councillors, irrespective of their political party, that the spending controls that have had to be introduced must apply to all financial transactions which have an impact on cash coming into and leaving the Council’s accounts. It is in this context that that CIL commitments are required to comply with the controls the Council has had to put in place.”
“This is however a temporary position, and the Council is planning to comply with all of its commitments and contractual requirements.”
This means that our plan to improve the footpath across Woking golf course will be delayed.
WBC have recently announced that although any previously allocated CIL money is temporarily frozen, any payments made in future will not be frozen and should be available for approved projects.
Community Infrastructure Levy
We monitor the CIL payments that are required to be paid by developers. Disappointingly the latest release of the ‘Green Book’ (WBC’s financial statements issued monthly) has completely dropped any reference to CIL. It’s worth noting that while the sums involved in Hook Heath are significant, other areas have significantly more money at their disposal.
When Birchgrove obtained planning permission to rebuild Woodbank they agreed to provide £10,000 to plant trees in Hook Heath. So far trees have been planted in Hook Heath Avenue and at the junction of Wych Hill and Orchard Mains (though not all have survived). There is believed to be about £6,000 left but there is no space on Council-owned land for more trees. Thus, if there are residents/chairs of road associations who would like some trees planted on private road verges, please get in touch. Ultimately it seems likely that if unspent, this money will be lost for its intended purpose.
Because WBC have started the process of reviewing the Core Strategy, we need to think about reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan, which runs till 2027. At present our intention remains to launch a review next spring, starting with the HHRA Newsletter. In the meantime, we are considering whether there is useful information to be extracted from the 2021 census. We also need to develop a communication strategy to gather the views of residents.
To add to the uncertainty, we don’t know when another revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be issued (it was updated on 5 September to make changes to the section on onshore wind); however current indications are that likely revisions will have little impact on our Neighbourhood Plan.
Woking town centre
For those of you who haven’t noticed, SCC have installed speed cameras (30mph) on Victoria Way at the traffic lights by the Lightbox.
Annual General MeetingWe are required by our constitution to hold an annual AGM. The Forum’s officers: David Dare, vice chairman; Heather Mustard, secretary; Gerald Griffiths, treasurer; and myself offer ourselves for re-election. The AGM will be held with the HHRA on Monday 9th October at Woking Golf Club, Pond Road. Doors will open at 19.00 for a 19.30 start.
Planning applications in Woking of interest outside the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area
There are currently two pending applications for 15m high 5G monopoles in Woking, both in locations close to Hook Heath.PLAN/2023/0725
Proposed 5G telecoms installation: 15m high H3G street pole and additional equipment cabinets on Gorsewood Road, St Johns.
This is on the pavement outside the shops close to Oakwood Road.
Proposed 15m 5G telecoms installation: H3G street pole and additional equipment cabinets on highway verge adjacent to open space at Guildford Lane, Wych Hill Lane. A similar application by the same company using a different agent was refused last year. So far there have been eight objections. Local Planning Applications in the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area Four applications reported in the last Update have been approved by the Council.
Erection of a single storey front extension to form open porch, single storey side extension and rear conservatory extension following demolition of the existing conservatory at Redwing, Mile Path.
Erection of a single storey side extension at Mimosa House, Hook Hill Lane.
Erection of a two storey and part single storey front extension and single storey rear extension at 6, Fernhill Close.
Erection of detached two storey dwelling with accommodation within the roof space, attached single storey garage and associated works and landscaping at Hook Hill Farm, Hook Hill Lane. Two applications reported in the last Update remain undecided.
Erection of single storey extensions to the front, side and rear elevations and roof extension to increase ridge height including insertion of front dormer windows and rear and front rooflights to facilitate additional accommodation within the roofspace at Eastwood, Hook Heath Road. An application which argues that the proposed development is less harmful to the green belt than the already approved expansions together with permitted development.
PLAN/2023/0367 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for conversion of single garage to an office with insertion of solar panels, erection of outbuilding to rear of garden at Little Frankley, Sun Hill. Three applications have been submitted and approved since the last update.
Erection of a single storey rear extension following the demolition of an existing conservatory and insertion of side facing bi-fold doors at 9 Mount Close.
Erection of a front porch extension at Vermont, Holly Bank Road.
Single storey rear extension to connect to existing garage, part conversion of garage to habitable space with increase in roof height to facilitate at Braegrove, Hook Heath Avenue. There are four new planning applications which are currently undecided.
Submission of Reserved Matters (Appearance, Landscaping, Layout and Scale) pursuant to outline permission ref:
(Outline planning application for the demolition of the existing bungalow and the erection of 2x two-storey three-bedroom dwellings with double garages using existing accesses from Cedar Road with the access arrangements to be determined at the outline stage) at Red Lodge, Cedar Road. Surrey Wildlife Trust have commented to say that there is insufficient information to check whether the conditions from the original application have been met.
Erection of a detached single storey tandem garage at La Rigondaine, The Drive. The arboricultural officer has requested more information.
Erection of a two-storey side and single storey rear extension. Changes to fenestration and replacement of tile hanging with render at 12 Fernhill Close. There has been one objection.
Erection of 2no 2.25m entrance gates, 1.5m steel posts and railings at 3 Hurst Close. Certificates of Proposed Lawful Development.
Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the installation of Solar PV panels at Mounts Ryde, Golf Club Road. Approved
Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the erection of one dual pitched roof dormer to the rear and one to the side with the addition of two rooflights at 29 Allen House Park. Approved
Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for a rear outbuilding at Acorn Lodge, Hook Hill Lane. Submitted since last Update and approved. General Permitted Development extension
Prior notification for a single storey rear extension to extend a maximum depth of 7.0m, maximum height of 4.0m and a maximum height of eaves of 2.97m at The Chase, Hook Heath Road. Approved This section has been shorter than normal, partly because there are only four new pending applications. Perhaps mortgage rates are having an impact. Also WBC have dealt with some simple submissions quickly.
Many thanks for your interest and support
Mike Cooke, Chairman On behalf of the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum Management Committee
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