Waterside Drive Sports Complex (Next to the Excel Centre)
Latest Update – 22nd June 2015
According to the Council’s website, the planning application will now be going before the 6th July planning committee at Elmbridge Borough Council, along with the Lidl application and Rydens School applications. It is presumed that the case officer has recommended the application for approval (otherwise it would just have been refused). Once the officer’s report has been published (generally a week before the committee date) we will provide a link.
Should you wish to speak at the planning committee, you need to register your wish to speak by telephoning 01372 474474. You must do this at least 4 ½ working days prior to the meeting.
16th April 2015 – Update #2
Massive apologies for the delay in posting this summary. The demands of baby, two year old plus work have been taking up the majority of my time!
The Council’s deadline for receiving public consultation comments is tomorrow the 17/04/15. They normally accept comments after this deadline if they are still considering the application. This date is the earliest they can formally decide the application so best to get any comments in ASAP.
Comments can be submitted here
It should be noted that there is already a live outline planning permission on this site for similar facilities, however the access road for this was adjacent to the Excel car park, the facilities were positioned closer to the Thames and there was a significantly larger play area and picnic area and less natural landscaping. The main pavilion building is now more modest in size than previously proposed.
Having reviewed the application documents here is a summary of what’s proposed:
- Siting/ Access – the site is to the East of the Excel Leisure Centre on green belt land (historically a land fill site). It is 14.2 hectares and currently contains the existing football ground, a grassed area and a large area of untouched scrubland. Pedestrian and vehicular access will be off Waterside Drive. A new access road will be created. The new car park will sit next to the Excel Centre car park (car, coach and cycle parking);
- Proposed Facilities – athletics stadium, ‘league’ football pitch and training pitches (grass and artificial) for Walton Casuals FC, Walton and Hersham FC and Walton Athletics club to replace their current facilities. Seating is proposed for 636 supporters (divided equally between athletics and football). The annotated site plan below shows the proposed layout.
- Landscaping – there will be an area of untouched scrubland retained to the north–east and south-east boundaries of the site, a mown dog walking track around the outside of the sports area (not quite a circle) and fenced picnic area and playground. The landscaping has had to avoid developing in close proximity to the high-pressure petroleum pipeline systems which run underneath the site.
29 trees and 12 ‘groups’ will be removed as part of the proposal. The Council’s report states that apart from the one group, the remaining trees are all of low amenity value. Full details of the replacement landscaping do not appear to have been submitted at this stage. This may therefore be dealt with as a further submission once planning permission has been granted.
- Parking – 242 car parking spaces (Including 6 disabled spaces), 18 electric vehicle charging points,
- Ecology – A section of the site is in a Biodiversity Opportunity Area. The Council’s Ecology report requires the following measures to make sure the development is acceptable in ecology terms:
- A green buffer between 5 and 10m wide along the Northern edge of the development;
- Protection of deciduous woodland close to the site boundary by the use of dust sheets;
- Avoiding night time work that requires outdoor lighting;
- Directing proposed lighting away from woodland and controlling light pollution to the standards of the Environment Agency pollution prevention guidelines;
- Retain and protect semi-natural broadleaved woodland on the site or compensate in a like for like basis within the landscaping proposals if retention not possible;
- Site clearance to take place between August and February which is outside the bird breeding season. If not possible, should be carried out under ecological watching brief;
- Ensure the site remains suitable for common starling and cinnabar moth after construction has been constructed via nest boxes and planting host plants for the cinnabar moth.
- Gas Risk – Because of the site’s previous use for landfill (it was apparently restored in the 70’s), a Gas Risk Assessment was submitted with the application which suggests various mitigation measures if the development proceeds. It suggested that even if the development does not go ahead, the Council may wish to investigate the potential for off-site migration of landfill gas towards neighbouring residential properties and potential ‘vapour phase contamination’ near existing properties bordering the River Thames
The Council are proposing a new ‘Sports Hub’, next to the Xcel Leisure Complex in Walton-on-Thames, According to the Council, the development ‘will meet the growing aspirations of Walton and Hersham Football Club, Walton Casuals Football Club, Walton Casuals Junior Football Club and Walton Athletics Club, while also providing local sport fans with a premier sporting destination suitable for hosting high profile events.’
There has already been an exhibition on the Sports Hub and there are concerns from local residents about noise and light polution and impact on public transport.
There is now a 5 week public consultation for the project which the Council hopes will be operational in 2016. Follow this link to the Council’s website for full details:
What else is happening in Hersham this summer:
Elmbridge Boundary Change Proposals:
Drake Park – A view from Bonnar Allen:
Lidl – A View from Lidl:
The Hersham Hub’s Independant Planning Section:
Drake Park: thehershamhub.co.uk/drake-park
Waterside Drive: thehershamhub.co.uk/waterside-drive