Lower Road Youth & Community Centre – Outline Planning Decision: Approved

Computer generated image provided by Surrey CC. This is for indicative purposes only and not the final design.

Update: 29th April 2021

Voting summary from the 28th April 2021 Mole Valley District Council Development Management Committee (DMC) :

  1. MVDC Planning Officer recommendation to refuse application MO/2020/2103: Rejected

  2. To consider application MO/2020/2103 for outline application for the consideration of access, layout and scale in respect of the erection of a Youth and Community Centre and sporting facilities with car parking and associated works: Application approved with conditions.

This is excellent news as the journey can continue to provide a much need facility for our community and particular for our young people.  It’s a “Well done” to the team of Residents, Stakeholders and Bookham Councillors who behind the scenes have worked diligently to move this application forward.

Special mention should be given to David Cox whose persistence over the last ten years to provide this facility and also to Peter Seaward – Chairman of the BRA and Cllr Clare Curran who have been actively involved as well. 

David Cox has issued a statement of behalf of the Bookham Youth & Community Association:

“The BYCA is very grateful to all the Councillors, not only from Bookham, but from across Mole Valley who voted for the replacement centre.  A powerful message of  belief in the value of  our young people. We understand the concerns of those living near the proposed site and will do all we can to work with them in the future to reduce them.  We trust that, the yet to be published conditions for the approval will be realistic and practical to running a viable  youth & community facility.

A tremendous number of hours has been put into this exercise over very many years by a number of individuals but the journey is not complete. We see  this is a milestone achieved on a road that has many unknown pitfalls to overcome. However, the focus will remain on delivery for our young people. We understand that the next phase will be the detailed planning application which will show the building design rather than the indicative computer generated model.

Thank you to all the many supporters of all ages within our community  for seeing the value in providing a facility that will serve future generations of the  Bookhams. Hopefully it will survive as long as the old one did  i.e. over 50 years! “

Development Management Committee Meeting Report

On the 28th April 2021 the Mole Valley District Council Development Management Committee (DMC) considered the outline planning application MO/2020/2103 for a new Youth & Community Centre at the recreation ground on Lower Road, Bookham.

The DMC considered two aspects of this application. The first was the recommendation of the MVDC Planning Officer to refuse the application on the grounds of inappropriate development harmful to the Green Belt; noise and disturbance to nearby residents; parking capacity.

The MVDC Planning Officer,  Sherelle Munnis, presented the case on why they had come to the “refuse” recommendation.

Following the Planning Officer’s report five three minute presentations were made to the committee:

  • Bradley Hayes on behalf of neighbours to the recreation ground in support of the Planning Officer’s recommendation
  • David Cox on behalf of the Bookham Youth & Community Association and the BRA speaking against the recommendation
  • Jenny Coffin on behalf of the Bookham Youth Project speaking against the recommendation.
  • Bookham Ward Councillor Elizabeth Daly  speaking  against the recommendation. 
  • Neal Thompson – Planning Consultant engaged by SCC for the application also presented the background the process that had been followed by SCC in creating the application and why the “refuse” recommendation should be rejected.

Following extended discussion by the DMC, the MVDC Planning Officer recommendation to “refuse” was rejected. The application was then discussed and after some protracted clarification on standing orders and conditions associated with application the application was voted on and was approved: 13 members approved, two members rejected and two members abstained. 

The application will now move forward to detailed planning application.

You may watch the DMC meeting via the Mole Valley District Council YouTube channel:  Development Management Committee – 28 April 2021 – 7.00 pm. This item is the first on the Agenda and starts at 14m 39s.

We are also aware from MVDC Democratic Services that so far over 190 people watched the meeting online and is the highest attended online meeting for three years. It is good to see that residents have taken an active interest in this planning application stage.

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