Friday, 30 July 2010

Stakeholders' meeting re Surbiton Hospital site

15 July 2010 14:20
Subject: Stakeholders' meeting re Surbiton Hospital site

To Oakhill Residents.

I went to the stakeholders meeting at Surbiton Hospital on Tuesday regarding the proposed plans for the site. Below is a list of main points which I have gathered. Tracy Reader, who is the liaison person, is going to send me the meetings notes with questions and answers given at that meeting, which I will circulate on receipt.

1. The proposals for the polyclinic and the school is now a joint proposal.
2. The RBK executive committee approved the proposals at a meeting on 30 June. I spoke to Liz Green who is the Education for All councillor who was at that meeting and she said that this current consultation is about the building plans and not about whether a school is wanted or not - that was determined by the previous consultation in March - May which indicated that the majority of those who favoured school expansion wanted a school on the site. There was no data available to back this up.
3. Apparently, there has been a 30% rise in birth rate in the borough between 2003 and 2009 and in the last year an increase in 14% of 4 year olds.
4. The plan is that as this is a new school, the public will be 'educated' not to bring children to school by car as the catchment area ought to be within walking distance. There will be no parking for staff as the staff will be expected to walk, cycle or take public transport! Staff are not expected to carry marking and preparation material to and from school! The school will be an 'exemplar' school with these expectations from the start.
5. The polyclinic - all ground floor area will house 6-7 GP practices, with lifts to second floor for all diagnostic testing and treatments. List of these services yet to be clarified. Parking from the Ewell Road entrance only for polyclinic users.
6. A third traffic impact assessment is being carried out, working with TfL and the focus is to reduce impact of traffic.
7. Asked about the status of the project in the light of the proposed government cut backs and changes to NHS management, the cost will come from partly private sources and from within existing NHS funding, mainly from resources for existing services. A business case will be drawn up and presented by October but there is a commercial confidentiality legislation which makes it not possible to publish the detailed costs.
8. I asked Marcus Ballard who represents Lifco, the trust which is managing the development, about the future of No1 Oakhill (Elmside). He says it has a lower heritage status than No.3, which will be restored and used for flats. Therefore No.1 will be demolished "in the public interest" i.e. it gets in the way of getting the required area needed for a school.
9. The future of the Oakhill Health centre to be decided but use as a day care centre or sheltered housing has not been ruled out.
10. The playground and sports area will be on the roof of the primary school.
11. Note that the school is being built to accomodate 420 pupils. What has crept in is provision for a nursery area for an addition 80 pre primary age children, adding to the total of 360 primary (2 form entry, 30 each form = 60 x Years 1 - 6 =360).

On the consultation sheet, the first question asks about whether you approve or oppose the whole joint project. As most people agree with the polyclinic, saying you approve would indicate you support the building of a school as well, which for many people may not be the case. So this needs to be made clear in the comments box. The person who organised the document agreed that the question would lead to people inadvertantly agreeing to the school.

I have blind-copied this email as I don't want to assume that everyone is ok with email addresses being made public. I am sending this to OADRA committee, local neighbours and residents in my house, with a first copy to the OADRA email address.

Best wishes

Graham Goldspring
Acting Publicity Officer