On page 23 of the Leatherhead Advertiser of the 22nd December there is a short articled titled “Access Denied” which claims to give “clarification.” Sadly, it does not clarify things but rather adds further misinformation in what we are very concerned had become a ‘war of words’ which may be having a divisive effect on the community. I make the following points:
1. No one was denied access to the LRA meeting on the 3rd of December, which was was an open Committee meeting. Anyone, whether a member of the LRA or not, could attend as an observer.
2. The Longshot proposals had been favourably reported at some length at LRA meetings in the July and September, as the minutes show. Also the Summer edition of our Newsletter contained an article largely supportive of these proposals; the Autumn Newsletter also contained reports on the proposals. All minutes and Newsletter are available online:
3. It should also be pointed out that all Committee members had attended at least one of the impressive and professional presentations given by Longshot’s representatives at Cherkley Court.
4. Therefore, it was felt that the offer from one of Longshot’s representative to give yet another presentation at the 3rd of December meeting was superfluous and, in view of the intention to keep the meeting short, it was politely declined. But there was no exclusion on anyone’s attending the meeting. Indeed, some future presentation may be made, and this will be discussed at the January meeting of BLeAF (Chairmen of the Bookham, Leatherhead, Ashtead and Fetcham Residents’ Associations).
5. After Longshot had formally submitted its application to MVDC, our Planning Subcommittee met and spent some considerable time pouring over the lengthy documentation submitted in support of the application. The Subcommittee produced a report, which had been available on line since 27th November, and this report was presented to the 3rd of December meeting.
6. At the 3rd December meeting, one of our own LRA members was allowed to give a ten minute presentation on behalf of the Cherkley Campaign. This was a very modest ‘balance’ to the extensive pro-Longshot representations the Committee has been receiving over the past six months.
7. The vote that took place was made after having received several reports and presentations made on behalf of Longshot, a report on the actual submission made by our Planning Subcommittee, and a ten minute presentation on behalf of the Cherkley Campaign. It should also be pointed out that the vote was by secret ballot, i.e. each member was voting individually without influence of fellow members.