Sunday, 22 December 2013

Updates - and Message to Oak Hill residents from OADRA Chairman


Dear Resident

First let me wish everyone the very best of Health and Happiness for the festive season and the New Year.
If you have planning problems or other problems where you think we as a Residents’ Association can help, then contact us by email on:

Our Planning Representatives Bryan and Chris keep an eye on all new applications and bring them to the notice of the committee if they believe there is any action we should be taking to preserve the area.

We are currently trying to ensure that the wall alongside the Police Federation Building redevelopment in Langley Road is built according to the granted planning permission – i.e. a wall in keeping with the walls on the adjoining similar properties. It may seem a small matter, but that is what preservation of the area is about.
Similarly we have been pushing for the planting outside St Matthew’s School, removed during the building works, to be replaced. It has been promised for nearly two years now, but no action has been forthcoming.

The Lime Tree School and the new Surbiton Health Centre have both been open for some time and seem to have settled down into their respective routines. We have not heard of any major problems, but it does seem that at times there is insufficient parking space at the Health Centre, because cars are parking alongside the driveway, and at times backing up to the Ewell Road. We would be interested to hear your feedback.

A "smiley face" sign that displays speed was installed on the Ewell Road, near the fire station, after a member kept informing the police about speeding cars along the Ewell Road, particularly late at night.

The new Royal Star & Garter Home in Upper Brighton Road opened a couple of months ago, and we wish the residents and staff every happiness in their new home at Surbiton, following their move from Richmond Hill. There have been some interesting articles describing the history and work of this charity in local publications.

We still await a plan for the old Oakhill Health Centre in Oak Hill Road, and the large white house alongside it (No.3 Oak Hill), that we were assured would be preserved and not demolished.

We hope to have our annual meeting and social in February or March 2014, when everyone is welcome to come along and express their views and enjoy themselves. The one last year was a great success.

The local Council elections are due in May 2014. That will be the opportunity for us to show whether we wish to carry on with a Party-Political form of Local Government, or whether we wish to select and elect councillors who live in the ward and are free from party political influence to represent the views of the people who have selected them.

Are there any people in our ward (Surbiton Hill) who believe in non-party politics and would be willing to put themselves forward to be considered as our representatives? Or do you know of anyone who might be approached? Please let us know. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us on:

If we do not make a stand, we shall continue with the type of Council we have always had, where we can moan as much as we like, but policy is decided on party-political lines.

Once again, we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!

Robert Lewis – Chairman
Oakhill and District Residents Association (OADRA)
on behalf of the Committee
December 2013

Oak Hill History Project
There are now displays along the walkways on both sides of the driveway into the new Health Centre, showing some of the unique history of the Oakhill area. We recommend you take a look! Some of this information was compiled from research carried out during the planning stage of the new Centre, and some was contributed by OADRA members.

We have discovered several other interesting things about Oak Hill too - e.g. that Cooper Cars developed world-leading racing cars at workshops in Langley Road and Hollyfield Road - and in the 1950s and 60s famous drivers such as Jack Brabham could be seen driving them around, even in local streets!
We attach a photo of Jack Brabham with his latest car, right outside what is now Surbiton New Life Baptist Church (formerly called Oaklands BC), in Langley Road. The Coopers workshop was next door.



Recent break-ins
Please be aware that there have been a number of burglaries recently in the Oak Hill area, such as at garages behind flats. It is important that the local police are made aware of all incidents, but we would appreciate if you ever advise the police of an incident that you also inform OADRA, so that we can be aware, and help keep people informed. We intend to liaise more closely with the local police and Safer Neighbourhood Team, and to help strenghten Neighbourhood Watch groups in the area. Belinda Craig, one of our local officers, recently wrote:

"Hi everyone,
Just to make you aware that we have had a spate of garage burglaries on Surbiton Hill in the last couple of days. These have happened during the day with the method of entry being to bend back the garage door. Could you ask residents to be extra vigilant and keep an eye out for anybody acting suspiciously.
Kind regards, Belinda"

Our local Safer Neighbourhood Team is based in Surbiton YMCA, and can be contacted on: 020 8721 2518. (In the event of an emergency you should always dial 999, and for all other calls to the Metropolitan Police Service dial the new non-emergency police number 101.)
Surbiton Filter Beds update
The public enquiry was held a couple of weeks ago at County Hall, about the future of the Filter Beds in Surbiton. This is outside the Oak Hill area, but we know is of much interest to local residents. The developer who owns the land was contesting about why planning permission was not granted to build 64 floating homes and a marina at this site. The land has a highly protected status - Metropolitan Open Land - and so Kingston Council, Ed Davey MP, and hundreds of local residents (with their efforts focused via the Friends of Seething Wells group) think the proposed development is inappropriate. The developer hoped to convince the judge at the public enquiry that there were very special circumstances, meaning that the MOL status should not automatically prevent its proposal from being built. We await the outcome. The site is of much interest in terms of its biodiversity and industrial history. The FOSW group is developing its own plans for the site, in partnership with other organisations, for if the site were ever to become available. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Proposed Speed Tables in Langley Road

We have written to the Planning department re: additional Proposed Speed Tables in Langley Road, the planning notice is also included below. 

We welcome your comments.

Dear Mr Judge

I have recently received your consultation regarding Proposed Speed Tables in Langley Road.
I do not know who has commented on the speed of exit from the roundabout. As Chairman of the Oakhill and District Residents’ Association, and a resident of Langley Road, with regular contact with the residents I have not received any such comments. I shall ensure that this letter is circulated to our members to see if we receive any comments.

It is very difficult to exit the roundabout at any speed. It is true that cars occasionally exceed the 20mph limit along Langley Road in both directions but this is almost exclusively outside school hours. When children are coming and going to school, the parking area opposite the Police Federation is full as are all the yellow lines so that it is practically impossible to exceed 20mph.
Children going to school and coming from that end of the road are already on the school side when they enter the road and traffic is light enough the remainder of the time for it not to be a hazard to cross the road.

If one really wanted to slow traffic down and this might then prevent heavy goods vehicles from using Langley Road as a cut through, it would be to put a chicane similar to the one at the other end of Langley Road at the mid point of the parking bays on the side opposite to the Police Federation.
In any case I trust no action will be taken until the development on the Police Federation Site is complete.

Also, given the stringent cuts that are on going, what is the cost of the scheme and what is the cost/benefit? I assume this is from the Mayor of London’s fund. However our Council Tax also goes to that fund.

I welcome your comments

Yours sincerely

Robert Lewis – Chairman of the Oakhill and District Residents’ Association

Friday, 1 March 2013

OADRA AGM - 11th March 8pm

OADRA (Oakhill and District Residents' Association) will be having its AGM on Monday 11th March, 8pm, at St. Matthew's School, Langley Road, followed by a brief talk and social time.

The AGM part is expected to last approx. 45 mins, and then Dr. Phil Moore (of Central Surgery, who also has various other responsibilities for planning health services locally and regionally)
has kindly agreed to come and give a short update about the new Surbiton Health Centre - which opens next week (from 4 March). We are inviting our local police/Safer Neighbourhood Team to come, and we hope that one of them might be able to speak about local issues for a few minutes (tbc). There will some time for questions and answers.
From about 9.15 to 10pm we will have a social time, with refreshments.

You are most welcome to join us for all or part of the evening.

All homes in the local area should receive a flyer about the AGM and social - although we often have difficulty delivering to some blocks of flats.
Please feel free to tell your neighbours.

kind regards
Alan Manchester
for OADRA committee
PS. We very much hope that residents in Oakhill will become members of OADRA for 2013. The cost is just £5, and that helps us to print flyers, hire rooms when needed, and generally run the Association and help serve the local community. If you would like to join or re-join, it would help greatly if you could do so at the AGM, and could bring along £5 with you on the night.

Update - Surbiton Health Centre opens 4 March 2013

Please see below a link to the latest update on the Surbiton Health Centre, which will open its doors to patients for the first time on Monday 4th March 2013.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Royal Star & Garter Homes - February 2013

What has happened
Christmas has come and gone as has the second wettest year on record. As we look forward to a drier 2013 the roof is nearing completion and the final shape of the building can be seen. Also externally we are preparing to add the final touches to the external cladding with the white render about to start and the timber boarding underway.
Internally the services fit-out and plasterboard wall construction are well under way and painting has started on the ground floor. Sinks, showers and basins are progressing in the en-suite bathrooms and it is possible to get a feel for how the bedrooms will look in their final state.
The basement plant room is progressing well.
What’s nextols
Externally we have started to prepare the entrance works onto the Upper Brighton Road. We appreciate that this is inconvenient and we assure you that we will complete the works as soon as practicably possible. If all goes well this should be before the end of February.
External landscaping has just commenced in and around the tree conservation area as we clear the jungle of brambles and undergrowth. No long lost treasure yet!
Once the entrance off Upper Brighton Road is complete then works will start to the new ramp into the underground car park. This will reintroduce excavators, muck away lorries and concrete wagons to Langley Avenue for a period of about three weeks. Be assured that we will be as diligent as before in keeping the road clean and clear for residents.

The crane has become a local landmark over the last year but we are saying goodbye to it later this month. The dismantlement of the crane will be shortly followed by the removal of the scaffold. This is a key moment in the construction process as it allows the full effect of the building to be seen for the first time and allows us to proceed with the landscape gardening.

Best regards
Rob Siddens

Outline Construction Programme

Autumn and Winter 2012
·     Steel roof superstructure complete
·     Building services start
·     Internal walls and floors
·     Plant installation.
·     Complete roof
·     External rendering
·     Install and fit out plant rooms
·     Internal fitting out
·     Landscaping
·     Front entrance
·     Car park entrance ramp
·     Completion and building handed over to Royal Star & Garter during Summer of 2013.

Site opening times:
Monday to Friday 8am—5.45pm
Occasional Saturday opening (for specific operations)

Contact details:
Rob Siddens
Project Manager
07813 056494

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Useful info for residents- Christmas Tree Collections

Christmas Tree Collections

Christmas trees will be collected on the same day as your landfill waste between Tuesday 8 January and Friday 18 January 2013. Just leave your tree next to your wheelie bin and we will take it off to be composted, only real trees please.
Alternatively, you can take your tree to be composted at the Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Royal Star & Garter update

The clocks have gone back and the days have become much shorter as we enter the winter months. We have reached a critical part of the construction now as we try to get the roof watertight so that internal work can commence in earnest. The low level roof is on and practically complete while the high level roof is structurally complete and the timber rafters have just started. The brickwork is making its way up the building and we are preparing to start applying the external render. The building will start to look like the architect’s impression as we approach Christmas.

Important news for those who live in Langley Avenue: we are about to start making the final drain connections which are in Langley Avenue and, predictably, the foul drain is on the opposite side of the road to the site. This would normally mean a road closure for about two weeks while the road is dug up and the drain connection made. To avoid this disruption we are going to approach the challenge slightly differently. The plan is to dig a vertical shaft in the parking bays to the North side of Langley Avenue and then tunnel beneath the road to find the drain and make the connection. This allows us to keep the road and the footpath open during the work with minimal disruption above ground.

The internal works to the building are underway with the walls starting to go up in the ground and first floors. Building Services have started to be installed and the site is generally very busy with up to 70 men on site each day.

Windows to the ground and first floor should complete by the 16 November and the ground floor doors will start to go in before Christmas.

That’s about all there is to tell you this month and in the meantime I look forward to updating you with further progress in December.

Gordon Craig MInstF
Director of Fundraising & Marketing
The Royal Star & Garter Homes
Richmond Hill, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6RR
Tel: 020 8439 8110
Fax: 020 8439 8004
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