Peter Seaward – BRA Chairman
Click here for PDF/Print version Mole Valley District Council are reaching the end of their work on the next Local Plan. Called “Future Mole Valley” a policy (once completed) sets out plans for development across Mole Valley for the period 2018-2033, includes targets for delivering new homes, identify locations for development and sets out areas which will continue to be protected. The draft plan is scheduled for release on 24th September with the consultation period running from 21st October to 1st December.
The Neighbourhood Development Plan for Bookham (NDP) which was the subject of a village referendum in May of 2017 will form part of this plan although which of its policies will be continued or cease to exist will be decided on by our Councillors and MVDC. Although subject to five years of hard work by many here in Bookham it is disappointing that policies expected to be taken into account by MVDC Planners have on occasions been “trumped” by other planning policies. The Council are charged by Government to build nearly 7,000 new dwellings throughout Mole Valley over the next fifteen years. This is an annual rate of over 400 dwellings compared with the present rate of around 190. If MVDC fail to convince the Government appointed Inspector that the new Local Plan is capable of achieving the required numbers then the Government can pass the responsibility to Inspectors or other bodies. Click here to read more of this report
In the BRA we have been keeping as up to date as best we can on what is being considered and although we know broad details most of the important information about where these new dwellings might go is not available to us. Our Councillors and Council Officers are not allowed to provide such information until the public consultation begins. Following a “‘Brownfield first” approach, we do know that some 4,100 dwellings of this requirement will be built within the existing built up areas of Mole Valley leaving nearly 3,000 units to go on “Greenfield/Green Belt” sites. At present MVDC are following an approach which would, enlarge the existing villages in the south (maybe at most 400 units), substantially enlarging one of the bigger villages again in the south with the rest of the developments going on selected greenbelt and green field sites elsewhere in the district. This could be around 1,500 to 2,000 units or more. We have asked often where these sites might be but MVDC will not release information until they have fully checked all the many sites for suitability and viability. We are obliged to await the public consultation. However, in Bookham we know because of the work done previously on the Neighbourhood Development Plan most of the sites that MVDC are likely to be considering. Of these the larger ones would be Preston Farm (the area between Little Bookham Street and Water Lane). Bookham Fields (south of the Lower Road Recreation Ground to the A246 and between The Lorne and Rectory Lane), and Rolls Farm (between Rectory and Manor House Lanes). There are other sites too but these we believe are the largest in area. If we consider the population of Bookham and the number of current dwellings and from these figures we extrapolated a proportionate share of dwellings we would expect to be built here, this could amount to around 800 new buildings (not all on green belt land). Population increase of probably circa 1,800 would also occur (an average of 2.25 people per dwelling based on the last census). Such an increase would have impact on many aspects of our infrastructure and in the BRA we have put some suggestions and facts to our Councillors and MVDC of what these might be. These would include schooling; primary care provision; drainage; power; roads and transport links. We accept that this is a major issue for Mole Valley and we along with everyone else in the District may have to accept a proportion of new dwellings which many would not like. We have pressed MVDC and our Councillors to resist any new developments until assurances and practical plans are seen that address the infrastructure deficit that this potential volume of new building would cause. We should state that the potential building numbers and green belt sites we have surmised might be both an over or under estimate of what might occur, but these are the best we can arrive at without more concrete facts. There will be a public consultation of six weeks after the Draft Local Plan is available and MVDC will be hosting road shows in Bookham and elsewhere. Our role in the BRA is to be a conduit for as much information as possible that we can gather and feedback especially to our Councillors what reaction there is within Bookham, about this Plan. Final decisions about what will eventually be forthcoming will rest with Mole Valley Councillors. Your views and interaction with our Councillors are important over the coming months before this plan is finalised so that they fully represent all our views on this significant process and plan. Prior to the publication and commencement of the MVDC Local Plan consultation you may submit comments to the BRA. We will aggregate these and share with Councillors. Click here to contact the BRA.
Finally, we must reiterate that all the information facts presented here are those we in the BRA have deduced and may well be wrong but, in our opinion, we need to alert residents to the possibilities and make some estimates about and what the consequences for us all these might bring. Further information on the Local Plan can be found on the MVDC website: https://www.molevalley.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=33905
Ray Pritchard – 1944 to 2019
It is with sadness that we advise of the passing of well-known Bookham resident, Ray Pritchard.
Ray has been a stalwart on the BRA Committee for a number of years and has been part of the Membership and Publicity Team with the role of providing regular BRA contributions to Bookham Bulletin and Look Local each month. He was also the Woodlands Road BRA Road Steward and also an active member of Woodlands Road Residents Association.
Originally from South East London, Ray worked in the music publishing industry for many years and moved to Little Bookham with his late wife Kathy. In addition to working in the music industry, with a love of opera he was also a keen performer and sang in local choirs.
His other main love was cricket and Ray had a long standing relationship with Effingham Cricket Club and since 2015 and has been President of the club. He also liked to play and was a very good wicket keeper. Through these interests Ray had a large number of friends and enjoyed being involved with village life. Nothing was too much trouble for Ray and was always pleased to help in the any way he could and take the initiative when needed.
We in the BRA and particularly the Publicity and Membership team will really miss Ray.
Publicity – Bookhams Residents’ Association.
Bookham Tree Wardens
The has been much discussion on different forums on Ash Dieback and Oak Processionary Moth outbreaks in Bookham.
The Bookham Tree Wardens have prepared a comprehensive presentation on these subjects and what residents need to be aware of.
Click on the image below for more information
Click on the image below for information on the Oak Processionary Moth
On Sunday 7th July instead of Litter Picking volunteers attacked the overgrown vegetation and weeds that have been spoiling the look of the High Street. “It was a very productive morning” said organiser Margaret Lawson “with our team of seventeen volunteers getting stuck in the High Street looks at lot better”.
We hope that now the weeds have been cleared local business take the initiative and look after the areas in front of their shops and businesses
Weeds outside your home? Why not spend a few minutes clearing the path and gutter and keep our village tidy.
And it is not just weeding the BRA organises. It also provides and maintains the hanging baskets as well and makes the High Street that bit more welcoming.
For the June litter pick Cubs and pupils from Dawnay school joined in with the regulars to give Bookham streets a clean. A big “Thank You” to the young people and also to St Nicolas Church who provided much needed refreshments after the litter pick!
The litter pick is held on the first Sunday of the month. Meet at Lower Shott at 11.00 am. All safety equipment and bags provided.
The BRA Spring 2019 newsletter has just been published and members will be receiving their copy from their Road Steward shortly.
This year as we do not have road stewards for all roads a”Good Will” edition has been delivered to residents in these roads by Road Stewards from other parts of the village.
Could you consider becoming a Road Steward? All we need is a commitment of a few hours in the Spring and Autumn to deliver to around twenty homes.
If you can help either email: email@example.com or call: 0300 030 9890. Our Membership Secretary will be happy you to take you through what’s needed.
Click on the image below for the PDF edition of the Newsletter.
Join the Bookhams Residents’ Association for our monthly litter pick.
Meet at 11.00 am at the Lower Shott car park. Gloves, grabs, and high vis tops will be provided.
Residents may or may not be aware that a large contingent of Canadian troops were stationed in Bookham prior to embarking to France as part of the D-Day landings 75 years ago today, 6th June 1944.
A memorial to the Canadians who died in action is situated on Young Street. The BRA along with other local resident’s associations in conjunction with MVDC are planning a tidying and light cleaning of the memorial.
Late last year a survey was published as a joint initiative by the BRA and Transition Bookham to determine if a Car Share Club would be of interest to residents.
Click here to read more of this report
What are the benefits?
Convenient car use
The convenience of a car without the hassle of owning one – no more servicing, insurance, parking, MOT or repairs.
Cars are accessible to members at all hours and typically would be used for local journeys for several hours at a time. Bookings would be made through a mobile phone app or web site with the vehicle being centrally located in Bookham. (Note: this isn’t a ride sharing idea).
Saves you money
According to Carplus, joining a car club could save you £3,500 per year compared to owning a car (if you currently drive fewer than 6,000 miles per year).
Protect the Environment
Car club vehicles are energy efficient and cleaner than the average car. They also reduce the need to own a car and discourage unnecessary car travel.
To gauge interest a short on line survey was conducted with the following questions:
- Would you be interested in a Car Club for Bookham?
- If you did join a Car Club, how often do think you may use the service?
- Do you have any comments either for or against this idea?
Twenty eight residents responded to the survey which is fewer than we would have liked, however the results are interesting nevertheless.
For the survey results, click on the image below:
Later this year the Bookham Youth Centre will be closing but fortunately the BRA Tree Warden team have been able to rescue some of the shrubs and plants and relocated them to the area outside of the library which had become almost devoid of plants as people walked through.
Here’s “before” and “after” photos of the work the Tree Wardens have completed.