Bisley access fight rages on

DESPITE 141 objections and a petition from Bisley residents and the parish council, hundreds of vehicles look set to be ploughing their way through what is currently a quiet and safe, family-friendly cul-de-sac.

Officer Aneta Mantio at Surrey Heath Borough Council has recommended granting permission for Redrow Homes to develop the old Bisley FC Brown office furniture factory site when the Planning Committee meet on Monday (November 17).

THERE'S SNOW WAY! – children joined their parents in protest

THERE’S SNOW WAY! – children joined their parents in protest

In February and again in May, the News & Mail reported that, while residents haven’t any objections to the new development, they were horrified to discover the proposals included radically converting their idyllic Snowdrop Way cul-de-sac into a busy main access road serving more than 100 homes.

The current entrance to the 73-year-old factory site at 17 Queens Road has been used by articulated lorries for decades, so residents have questioned why their safe family environment needs to be destroyed.

Earlier this year, Redrow stated that Surrey County Council, who own the land, would not allow use of the existing access. However, Bisley Parish Council received confirmation from the Transport Department that the permit to use the Queens Road entrance could be changed from ‘industrial’ to give housebuilders and future residents access. Residents say their objections have not been given serious consideration.

A Bisley Parish Council meeting on Monday (November 10) was attended by residents of Snowdrop Way, keen to gauge the reaction of councillors to the news that the officer has recommended the Planning Committee defer and delegate for a legal agreement, then grant permission subject to conditions. Chairman Steve Moore voiced his disappointment.

Snowdrop Way’s concerns about access are referenced in the document regarding Officer Mantio’s recommendation, stating that: “Redrow Homes consider they have done all that can be considered reasonably possible in this account to explore alternative options for access.”

In response, Chairman Moore said: “I don’t believe that for one minute, nor do I think any councillor here believes that.”

It was agreed to send another document to all Surrey Heath councillors on the Planning Committee reiterating their concerns regarding access, and asking for clarification of the legal agreement.

There was speculation about the motives of the borough council to rush through the plans before November 26,before the new format of the Community Infrastructure Levy is in place.

Surrey Heath would then secure the £772,000 Redrow are looking to donate for resources,and the £75,731 offered to enter into the SANG agreement, due to the proposed building works being within 400m of a Special Protected Area – this will need to be clarified with the Parish Council Secretary, Jill Biden.

The parish council felt that the recommendation had not taken into account the 141 objections at all in reaching the decision for approval.

Councillor Malcolm Vaughan said: “It certainly concerns me that any officer of the Planning Committee says in their view Redrow have done all they can.”

A concerned resident said: “We are extremely angry and disappointed our views appear to have been utterly disregarded during this process and that, despite the high levels of objection to the proposed access road through our tiny cul-de-sac, Aneta Mantio still has not been able to see why the proposal is ludicrous, and that she should have recommended the plans be refused.

“We will continue fighting this and hope Surrey Heath, especially Cllr David Mansfield – who represents Bisley and knows our road and its restrictions from driving down it – will use common sense and refuse to grant approval for this application as it stands with its absurd plans for access.”

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