Article from the Ashtead & Leatherhead Local

The Leatherhead Residents Association have had two more monthly open meetings since our last report. At the first we were given a set of drawings for the modifications to the Knoll Roundabout, details of the revised parking restrictions (double yellow lines) on residential roads. We were also given a list of future works which are proposed to be financed by the Section 106 fund. This money is a contribution made by developers in respect of the increased demand which their project will make on the infrastructure.

The Knoll roundabout works have come about as a result of a parent whose daughter was nearly knocked down whilst walking round the corner by Pegasus Court. This was rather a blind corner, and one where vehicles turning left were often tempted to drive over the kerb whilst squeezing past those which were queuing to drive on into Ashtead. In the past promises had been made by Highways to install high kerbs or cast iron ‘bell’ bollards, but nothing was done (no money, being the reason given). The LRA supported Sally Edward’s campaign to get something done. When Section 106 funds became available as a result of Unilever’s new head office, scheme was rushed out, perhaps with undue haste. Some of the work appears to be rather wasteful. For example a new footway down the side of the bypass to the footbridge which links Linden Gardens to Grange Road, in Ashtead. Since crossing the bypass has never been much of a problem, this footway does nothing to avoid the Pegasus Court Corner, which still has to negotiated. Members who frequently use is roundabout found a few other matters where some improvements might be helpful – mostly in terms of signage and road markings. These are being reported to Highways. But in general the scheme met with approval and gratefulness that it was being carried out at last. All credit must go to Sally for her tenacity, in the matter.

At our last meeting we were delighted to welcome Rod Shaw, who is the Senior Planning and Conservation officer in Mole Valley Council. Rod explained how the Council’s Planning policies were applied to the Conservation areas. In particular he listed the many buildings in Leatherhead which need to be conserved, together with their settings. At a time when there is much controversy about the future of the central streets of the Town, this was a very informative talk.

In addition to our monthly open meetings, the committee have been very active in attending and contributing to other meetings held by related organisations including the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England, and the Public Examination of the Council’s proposed Local Development (Planning) Framework. The former Leatherhead Society derived much benefit from its membership of the Civic Trust. This organisation has been undergoing some trauma , but at least in this part of the country, it is re-emerging, and our representatives will be attending a meeting in Guildford on behalf of our members.

The Chairman

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