HUNDREDS of vehicles could be ploughing their way through what is currently a quiet and safe family cul-de-sac in Bisley if developers have their way.
Beth James and her neighbours, who live in Snowdrop Way, were invited to attend a preview evening exhibiting the ‘emerging proposals’ by Redrow Homes for the FC Brown Ltd site last Thursday.
Although having no objections to a new housing development, residents were horrified to find out that the company plan to profoundly change their idyllic little cul-de-sac by converting it into a busy main access road serving more than 100 houses.
The Redrow Homes meeting was held at the Bisley Office Furniture Factory in Queens Road, the 73-year-old site earmarked for the development.
Beth said: “We were shown outlines of the site along with limited details of the ‘emerging proposals’ and their suggested preferred routes of access into the site, which will have 100 to 110 homes.
“The prime concern for residents at this stage, both in my road and those in neighbouring streets, is the plan to radically transform our cul-de-sac into the main access road.”
The strength of feeling has been such that residents immediately rallied round, formed an action group, launched a communications plan and set up a dedicated website carrying the dictum ‘Our way, not a highway’. Beth pointed out: “As a group, we are not in opposition to the new houses – in fact, we greatly welcome them.
“We are, however, against the use of Snowdrop Way as the access route when there is a perfect one already in existence at the factory entrance.
“Redrow representatives informed us that, due to the land between Queens Road and the factory gate being owned by Surrey County Council, and the fact that permission is currently only for industrial usage, the existing entrance is not viable. As a result, they see Snowdrop Way as the natural access into the site.
“But this completely disregards its current status as a safe, quiet cul-de-sac, inhabited by just a small number of family homes – a fraction of the total housing that will end up on the neighbouring site.”
The area is used by the community to get together for events such as The Queen’s Jubilee, picnics and even snow parties, and children are able to play safely there.
It is an environment that residents are seeking to preserve and one they feel will very much be destroyed should the access road go ahead.
Beth added: “Indeed, the cul-de-sac was the feature that drew most families to it and one of the reasons why there are so many families with young children living in the street.”
Additional concerns include an increase in traffic, fears for off-road parking and the safety of pedestrians.
Beth, who lives there with husband Itor, said: “Most of the houses are served by a mixture of off-road and on-road parking, which at times makes it difficult even to pass by a single vehicle, let alone the two-way traffic if the plans are approved.
“We do not see how the road is passable for 200 plus vehicles per day (assuming two vehicles per 100 planned households). If the road is to be made that busy, where will current homeowners in Snowdrop Way be expected to park? Most homes have at least two cars.”
Children also use Snowdrop Way to walk to and from the local school. It exits on to Queens Road where the road bends, making it a difficult and dangerous place to cross, a situation only to be made worse by additional vehicles using the route daily.
Those living in Snowdrop Way have all signed a statement that includes the following: “We, the residents of Snowdrop Way, Bisley, signed below, support the plans for future housing redevelopment of the FC Brown Ltd site, on the condition that the current site entrance off Queens Road is used as the entrance to the proposed new housing site.
“We believe it entirely reasonable to expect that Redrow Homes, the Government and local authority do their jobs properly and ensure that the current site entrance continues to be used as the entrance to the proposed new site.
“The alternative, of destroying the Snowdrop Way cul-de-sac, is destruction for destruction’s sake.”
Visit www.snowdropway.wordpress.com for the latest updates. The exhibition is open to the public from Friday, February 7.
Redrow Homes have yet to submit a planning application to Surrey Heath Borough Council.