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Opposition to the over-development of the Bransby Lodge site on St Leonards Road

The Residents' Association has submitted a letter of objection (below) to Elmbridge Borough Council outlining its objections to the replacement of Bransby Lodge with a detached two-storey building containing 7 flats, plus another detached two-storey building containing 2 flats.

Thames Ditton & Weston Green
Residents' Association 
Founded 1934

Ditton Cottage      
Giggs Hill Road     
Thames Ditton      
Surrey  KT7 0BT    

Planning Services
Elmbridge Borough Council
Civic Centre, High Street
Esher  KT10 9SD

25 May 2020

Dear Sir/Madam,

Objection: 2020/0865 – Bransby Lodge, St Leonard’s Road, Thames Ditton

I write on behalf of the Thames Ditton and Weston Green Residents’ Association to support local residents in their objections to the above application.

Our Association recognises the requirement for sensible and sympathetic development on existing sites to meet government-imposed housing targets, so that development on green belt sites can be avoided. We also recognise that such development should aim to meet local housing need, should include an affordable element where possible, and should be done in a sustainable manner to ensure that local infrastructure such as schools, GP surgeries, and roads are not put under intolerable strain.

Sadly, this application is not an example of such a development, being unsympathetic and out of character with the area, both in terms of its low-quality design, and its overbearing scale and massing, with potential for overlooking to the residents of Lynton to the side. We would therefore contend that it conflicts with CS1 and CS17 and DM2 of the Elmbridge Core Strategy and Development Management Plan.

We are surprised that a development of nine properties requires 18 car parking spaces, which is above the maximum number allowed by the Development Management plan. Such a large parking provision would also appear to be in conflict with DM7 which states that parking provision should be appropriate to the development, and CS26 of the Core Strategy, which promotes sustainable travel. The area has good public transport accessibility, and we should not be promoting further private car use. We would expect at the very least for any car spaces to provide provision for electric car charging, which is often a problem for flat owners. The development would appear to be in conflict with the Development Management Plan on this front, which states that 20% of spaces should have such a provision.

Furthermore, we are concerned that the additional car movements that the large increase in car numbers suggests would be detrimental to road safety in the immediate vicinity. The number of spaces appears to be in conflict with the applicant’s bland assertion that the proposed development ‘would not be considered to generate significant vehicle movements that will impact on highway safety or capacity’, which has not been backed-up by any form of impact study.

Finally, we are very disappointed that the development neither includes any affordable housing component, nor offers to make any contribution towards the provision of affordable housing.

Overall, this application represents an overdevelopment of the site, with a large number of flats squeezed into a small area, with little if any amenity space, a poor-quality design which is unsympathetic to the local environs, and in an unsustainable manner which promotes private car use.

We would therefore urge you to reject the application.

Yours faithfully,

Rhodri Richards
Planning Convener
Thames Ditton & Weston Green Residents’ Association