Friday, 17 December 2010

Surbiton Hospital Consultation

Local residents have a chance to comment on the planning application for the redevelopment of the Surbiton Hospital site.

The proposals include a healthcare building and a new primary school.

You can view all the details of the application on the Council's website:

You can submit your comments on the application online or by email to

You may also discuss the application with a planning officer on 020 8547 4707.

The deadline for comments is Friday 14th January. (Remember that any comments you make will be made public).

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Minutes from AGM, Thurs 7th Oct 2010

Oakhill & District Residents Association, Minutes from AGM, Thurs 7th Oct 2010

Location: Surbiton New Life Baptist Church, Langley Road

1. Introduction to the meeting & the NHS/Council representatives
Robert Lewis (OADRA Chairman) opened the meeting and introduced the representatives from Kingston NHS and Kingston Council: Ian Nixon - NHS Kingston, Beth - Kingston Council, and Sarah Campion - Head of Communications and Engagement, NHS Kingston.

(Apologies received from Anne Redpath from the Council’s Learning & Children’s Services dept; Beth would speak in her place.)

2. Presentations and Q&A with the NHS/Council representatives
Business case:
Ian Nixon provided an overview of the business case, commenting that it is an affordable scheme that makes best use of the land, and it will not involve the sale of this public land, and that Kingston NHS will lease the land on the site.

Ian advised that the initiative is being worked on by NHS Kingston and Kingston Council, who identified that the best option for the site would be a school and health facility, and that they are now working with Kingston Council’s Learning & Children’s Services to submit a joint planning application.

Ian also provided an overview of the planning process to date and advised that the Council and NHS Kingston carried out a pre-application consultation in July. The next step is the submission of the full planning application, scheduled for November 2010. The review of the application is expected in February/March 2011, and it is hoped that approval will be granted by the Development Control Dept.

Need for a school: Beth provided an overview of the need for a new school and which alternative sites had been considered. It was noted that the main driver for the demand is a reported increase in birth rates of 30% in the area.

Beth also advised that the strategy was to expand many schools in the Borough, including Grand Avenue and St Matthews. However, a new school was also required.

Residents from the floor commented that this demand is only a sort term demand, driven simply by the recent economic downturn.

Beth concluded by summing up that the rationale for locating a new school on the Surbiton Hospital site was its location, budget constraints, no alternative site found meeting the constraints and budget, all of which means that the hospital site is the most viable. She described it as an “exciting opportunity”.

Consultation: Sarah Campion provided an overview of the consultation to date:
- a health questionnaire in 2009.
- a consultation on schools in March-May 2010.
- a joint (health-school) pre-planning application consultation with residents in July, and information is available via Kingston PCT Web Site (leaflets were issued to 36,000 homes).
- there will be a further consultation when the planning application is submitted.

Feedback was still being written up from the most recent consultation, but:
- 58% supported (or strongly supported) and 35% objected (or strongly objected) to the joint proposal.
- travel is the biggest concern, and there is lots of support for a new health facility and for some community use; concerns have been expressed relating to a new school.
- a Transport Working Group has been established, with OADRA is represented in that group. The average rate for children driven to school is 18%, but they would aim to achieve 10% at the new school. There would be pedestrian access at three points, and possibly a “walking bus” arrangement.
- they are working with GPs
- they are working with the Surbiton Neighbourhood Committee
- they are working with Heritage & Environment
- the next consultation will be in November when the planning application is submitted

Questions and Answers: Residents were then invited to ask questions, a detailed summary can be found in section 8 of these minutes. The key points & issues raised by residents were:

- concern raised as to whether the highest value for the land had to be achieved
- impact of parking & traffic on the area is a huge concern, and that current solutions/proposals are not practical
- residents want to see evidence that such a combination of uses on a single site (school & Polyclinic) works
- impracticality of locating both facilities on such a small location, and that far too much development (over development) is planned on such a small site and in a Conservation Area
- the approach to submit one planning application to cover both facilities was unanimously agreed to be unfair; e.g. we are unable to comment constructively if we support the Polyclinic but not the School, so the process seems biased in favour of the outcome the Council & NHS are seeking. It was noted that we were originally advised that separate planning applications would be submitted for the school and Polyclinic
- alternative locations do exist for a new school
- expansion of existing schools could equally meet the extra demand for school places
- there is a need for additional school places, but there was concern about the accuracy of the Council’s predictions; e.g. many children are born to parents in flats, but they move before children reach school age, to areas where houses cost less.

Ian Nixon took note of a number of questions from residents that he would get back to OADRA with response; these are included at the end of these meeting minutes.

Robert Lewis (OADRA Chairman) thanked the NHS and Council team for their time.

OADRA AGM Business
Robert introduced the second half of the meeting by saying that OADRA needs local people’s involvement in order to be successful. It was now needed to establish OADRA in a more formal way.

RL outlined why it was important to have an active Residents’ Association, and outlined how OADRA had, in the past year, been able to help represent residents by giving input to the planning process for various local planning proposals.

3. Financial position
Ian Wilson (Acting Treasurer) advised that the current position is £50.37, minus £25 for hire of the hall for the AGM meeting.

Robert requested that anyone wishing to sign up for membership could do that at the end of the meeting. Annual membership would be £5 per year per household – if someone joined now, their membership would last until December 2011.

4. Introduction of interim committee and purpose of OADRA
Robert introduced the interim committee: Robert Lewis - Chair, Ciaran Oates - Secretary & Web, Ian Wilson - Treasurer, and Graham Goldspring - PR & Publicity. Ian McNicol, Paul Ryan, Alan Manchester and Rosalynde Lewis had also attended some committee meetings, as well as a few others on occasions.

5. Election of Chairman/Vice Chairman/ Secretary/Treasurer/Publicity/Webmaster/Road or Area Reps (some of whom would like to serve on the committee
Robert agreed to continue as chair for 1 year after no one else offered to take on that role. All other acting committee members were elected to the same positions, with the addition of a new “Membership” role.

The OADRA Committee is now confirmed as: Chair - Robert Lewis; Secretary & Web - Ciaran Oates; Treasurer - Ian Wilson; PR & Publicity -Graham Goldspring; Membership Secretary - Ian McNicol.

The following people offered themselves as road reps:

Kingsdowne Road - Ken Wilkes
Oakhill – Josie Doe
Oakhill Cresent – Alan Manchester / Paul Allen
Downs View Lodge and Palmerston Court, both in Oakhill Road - Ian Wilson
Langley Road - Rosalyne Lewis
Ann Brown – Kingswood Close
Graham Goldspring – Oakhill Road
Mary Hazletine – Glenbuck Road
Catherine Hunt – Oakhill Grove
Nena Foreman – Southbank Terrace
Paul Ryan – Pandora Court

Ann Brown offered to help with advice on the planning side, being a member of the Conservation Area Consultative Committee.

Ciaran commented that it was necessary to focus on big planning issues throughout the whole area covered by OADRA.

RL: Road reps need to try to get others involved in OADRA.

Ciaran: one of the challenges for the committee members is having OADRA representation at meetings. Therefore he suggested a ‘satellite committee’ of others who would be willing to attend committee meetings and help progress things, carry out research, etc.

6. Areas of concern and actions for OADRA
- It was noted there was no update on the planning application for the Police Federation Site
- No additional major areas of concern were raised

A developer (Mark Pearce) reported that he had been interested in making a proposal to acquire the surplus land not required by the Polyclinic and build a nursing home on it – in view of ‘bed blocking’ at Kingston Hospital and original land use. He did not agree with Ian Nixon’s assertion that the best partner for the Polyclinic was a school. A nursing home would provide a good use of the land, and be suitable next to a Polyclinic.

RL asked Mark to come to a future OADRA committee meeting as this was an interesting suggestion.

Paul Johnson: the issue of community beds in the area is a key one. When Surbiton Hospital closed for in-patients, some of the demand was taken up by Tolworth Hospital. It cannot be guaranteed that TH will continue indefinitely. He wished Mark success in his effort to provide more bed capacity in the Surbiton area.

RL: proposed the question – Can we find an alternative site for a new school, assuming it is needed?

There was a brief exchange of view about several sites, including the Hollyfield Road site and Police Federation Building (although it was understood the latter was most likely to be converted into flats).

7. Meeting close and membership enrolment/subscriptions
- The meeting closed at 9.15 pm. We recorded approximately 50 people attended
- We had 12 new members join the association

8. Detailed summary of Q&A session
Former local councillor Nick Kilby said that he was familiar with the history of the proposal. When Clive had been involved (former NHS CEO?) he had been told that the highest value for the land had to be achieved. He asked if this was still the case – i.e. would the Council purchase the land from the NHS at the highest market value – probably the value that could be achieved for housing? NK also reported that he had asked David Smith (NHS Kingston CEO) why there would not be two separate planning applications, but DS had not replied.

Ian Nixon replied that the District Valuer sets the price re. such land sales. The plan had now changed, and the NHS intends to lease the land to the Council, under a 125-year lease agreement. He said he would seek to obtain a reply from DS to the latter question.

NK noted that the two planned projects are quite different ‘beasts’ which will have quite different impacts on the neighbourhood.

IN said that the preferred option was for community development alongside the polyclinic, and the Council and NHS had identified a school as the best option.

C Oates: Questionnaires had been structured badly and difficult to comment on both constructively, would be better if there were 2 applications, one for school and one for Poly Clinic.

I Nixon: it will be one joint planning application. He agreed to convey the concerns raised back to officials.

C Oates suggested a quick poll be taken of those in the room about whether it should be one or two planning applications. All but one person voted in favour of 2 planning applications (48 votes to 1).

Paul Johnson (local councillor 1998-2010) said that he had been repeatedly assured that there would be two planning applications. Clive had also told him that the school would pay “top dollar” to the NHS to purchase the site. He said that other community uses could and should be considered. And he asked about covenants on the land. He said that the impact on the community should be assessed in the context of the impact of other local schools. E.g. there were problems at Christ Church School in Berrylands, where parents parking disturbs local residents, and there are problems at School Lane.

I Nixon said there was on-going discussion about the possibility of staggered start times for schools, so that the drop-off time for the new school may not coincide with other schools close by.
Resident: Where would the drop-off take place?

Beth: It would not be along the Ewell Road. Possible drop-off points were being looked at. It was thought there could be suitable drop-off sites up to five minutes walk away from the new school.

R Lewis: asked where exactly? Were actual studies of this underway?

I Nixon: re. the covenant question. All he could say was that the NHS will put them to its solicitors and will send OADRA the response soon.

Resident: A Surbiton resident of 71 years: my parents helped build the Hospital. Who actually owns the land?

I Nixon: The Secretary of State for Health owns the land.

Resident: Please come and see the traffic problems outside Christ Church School in Berrylands.

Resident: Why can’t Maple Road School be expanded further? It is a very popular school, along a main road with good access.

Beth: I will check this out.

Mary Clark: Are there examples of this combination of school and hospital already built anywhere?

Resident: I have experience with this particular architect. He was unable to measure an angle of 45 deg, and when queried he never got back to us.

Sarah Campion: There will be a planning consultation at the planning application stage. This will be Council led.

Ann Brown (Conservation Area Consultative Committee): We were told we were not allowed to comment on the proposal because “it is a health issue”. The site is in a Conservation Area. The Council MUST pay attention to the character of the area. The proposal is for the site to be over-developed.
There may be more babies being born here, but the families tend to move on quickly. She therefore thinks the Council’s figures are wrong about the number of school places required. The new rules on housing benefit and the economic recession will both contribute to there being less children of reception age living in the immediate area of the new school site. Is it worth destroying the heart of the Conservation Area if the school may well not be actually needed?
Having children playing on a school roof if not a fit solution for a 21st Century school!

Beth: re. numbers, we get the numbers given to us. Many couples cannot afford houses not, and so live in flats.

I Nixon: I will check the figures and publicise them.

Resident: The site is too small for a school. There are other suitable sites. What about the enormous site on the other side of Tolworth Roundabout for example? This could be ideal for a large new school.

I Nixon: If you mean the former MOD site along the A3, this is not in the needy area for school places. He was not aware of any progress of development there. [It seems the lady was referring to “St. George’s fields” rather than the MOD site]

I Nixon: Creating play areas on a roof is considered good use of available space.

R Lewis: What about the staff parking issue? What is the transport plan for staff? Surely providing no parking at the new school would limit recruitment to very local people? Is that even legal, and surely would mean the best staff may not be able to be recruited.

There was some debate among the speakers about whether the latest proposal was for 4 staff parking spaces to be provided. It seems the plan has recently changed.

R Lewis: I am not convinced by your response.

Resident: We are desperate to a local school for our child. We do not have a car, and do not want to buy a car. In this area a lot of people do not own a car.

Resident: Would expansion of Maple Road School be a solution for you.

Resident: Yes, I will take whatever is given; I just want a school place for my child.

Rosalynde Lewis: My children went to Grand Avenue School. This has a large site. We had parents even park in our driveway at that time. The local Council is not facing up to the facts.

Beth: both Grand Avenue and St. Matthew’s are being expanded, along with other local schools across the Borough.

Resident: will service vehicles access the Polyclinic or new school via Southbank Terrace?

I Nixon: I will get you an answer about that.

Paul Ryan: I want to know about this too, because of living on the corner of Southbank and the Ewell Road. That junction is already very busy, particularly at morning rush hour with commuters going down to the Surbiton Station car park.

R Lewis: we need to end this part of the meeting. One other item I know is of concern to local residents is the future of No. 1 Oakhill, the large Victorian house that would be demolished to make way for a new school. Preserving that would help the concerns about conservation.

9. Tracey Reader (NHS Kingston, Communications) has supplied responses to Questions Raised on 7th October 2010

Why is the planning application being submitted jointly?
It has long been NHS Kingston’s aim to redevelop the Surbiton Hospital site using a joint partnership approach, to ensure the best use of space for both the health facilities and any other community partners willing to share the site and the redevelopment costs – in this case the Royal Borough of Kingston for the provision of a primary school.

We also sought advice from the Planning Authority which strongly recommended that a joint planning application be submitted. The adopted Planning Performance Agreement (as agreed by Development Control Committee) also advocates that the proposals be dealt with in a single, comprehensive planning application.

The same design team has worked on both parts of the development and by sharing this work we have been able to:

• reduced the costs of the application by sharing surveys;
• ensure that public access, circulation space and additional space for community use has been incorporated into the site in the most appropriate and effective way (avoiding duplication and design restrictions due to fixed boundaries);
• deliver efficiencies through shared infrastructure, servicing and facilities management;
• realise aspirations to create a sustainable development in terms of building design, energy usage and reducing car dependency;
• create a focal point for the local community and the promotion of health, learning and education in the widest sense.

It is also proposed that the healthcare building and the school be constructed at the same time to minimise the impact on residents and capitalise on the economies this could bring. It is therefore important that planning be granted together in order for the development to move on to the next phase.

What measures are being considered to minimise the impact of service vehicles on Southbank Terrace?
As part of the joint development NHS Kingston and Kingston Council will create a combined waste storage site for use by both buildings at the back of the site to reduce the number of vehicle movements in this connection and ensure an efficient as possible waste collection service is provided.

Waste collections for the current hospital site already occur via Southbank Terrace. It is expected that the current level of service will remain the same in order to service the new health facilities and the school. Waste management policies will help reduce in future waste arising from the provision of services.

Based on data from other schools in the borough it is anticipated there will be one delivery a day for school meals and one a week for Breakfast club by a Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) - which will be made via Southbank Terrace.

Most health related deliveries will be made via Ewell Road and this is expected to show only a small increase on the existing number - currently being approximately 2 deliveries per day in light goods vehicles.

Oak Hill Road will experience a reduction in service vehicles since those vehicles currently accessing the Oak Hill Health Centre will no longer be required once those GPs move to the new building.

Why is Maple Infant School not being expanded?
Maple Infant school accepted a bulge class in 2008/9, pupils of which will then transfer to adjacent St Mark’s and St Andrew’s for junior provision. Further expansion of these junior places would not meet the local need for community non-selective spaces as St Mark’s and St Andrew’s is a Church of England School and technical complexities and subsequent cost implications make the further expansion of Maple Infants unfeasible.

Are there examples of schools and health facilities sharing the same site?
Yes, the Platt Bridge Community First Development in Wigan which was opened in 2007 by Tony Blair is an excellent example of healthcare, education and community facilities sharing the same site, the development combines;

• A community school formed from the amalgamation of two primary schools
• An integrated children’s centre providing full day care for babies and toddlers and early education for three and four year olds
• A family centre to support families experiencing difficulties
• Children’s and adult’s libraries providing lifelong learning courses
• A housing office providing estate management, homeless advice, and tenant participation
• Healthcare centre with services including GP partnership, diagnostic and therapy services

Havering Council and Havering PCT are currently developing a scheme similar to ours with a Primary School and healthcare building adjacent. Tower Hamlets Council are co-locating a new health and community centre opposite the newly re-built St Paul’s Way School and who are working with the school to promote healthy living.

Are there examples of primary schools meeting the 10% driving target?
Latest data as of 10th October 2010

Alexandra Infant School - 8.1%
Latchmere Junior School - 9.1%
St Luke's CE Primary - 6.9%
St John's CE Primary - 6.8%
St John's CE Primary - 6.8%
Maple Infant School - 10%

Is rooftop play space a crazy idea?
Roof top play has been a solution to providing outside learning space in built up areas since Victorian times and has become increasingly more common in recent school design as space and land costs are at a premium. As well as providing additional outside learning space these roof top spaces provide an inspirational back drop for young people, in the case of the new school in Surbiton students would be able to experience first hand the beautiful canopy of mature trees which surround the site.

Following the pre-planning consultation the scope of the rooftop play has been scaled back from a large open area to four separate play decks which would support individual classes for outside learning as well as maximising space and providing an inspirational setting.

Examples of schools, both old and new with rooftop play include the award winning Hampden Gurney School, Bridge Academy, Dallington School, Sharrow School and Rooftops Nursery.

Can there be another transport working group before the application is submitted so that residents can see the figures from the impact assessment?
Yes, a meeting to present the findings of the traffic impact assessment will be held prior to submission of the planning application as follows:

Wednesday 10th November - 7pm, Surbiton Hospital, Turner Ward

Please RSVP to Tracy Reader (details below) so that we can provide an appropriate number of facilitators to support the meeting.

As the Surbiton Hospital car park is not usually operational during the evening, please could anyone needing a car parking space close to the hospital entrance let us know so that we can arrange for the barrier to be lifted for you.