You are invited to CHIP in your vision for Pippbrook House on Tuesday 28th October 7.30 at Burgundy & Black

You may have heard that Pippbrook House, the old library and before that council offices for DUDC and MVDC, is to be sold. It has not been properly maintained and needs money to be invested in repairs before it can even be declared safe.


You may not care particularly about this. You may feel if the council can get a good price for it, then let it go.

Or, like a growing group of local folk (front page of the Dorking Advertiser 3 weeks ago see attached) you may feel that this is something worth keeping, indeed cherishing.

So what can you do to support this idea?

At this early stage please register your support by going onto the CHIP Facebook page (Community Hub In Pippbrook) or emailing me by return to add your name to the rapidly growing list to say quite simply (or you can add complicated stuff if you like) :

I would like to be kept in touch with developments.

We have a vision and it involves retaining the building, both for local use and as a centre of excellence, for community projects including arts, music, drama, film, business, sports, health and wellbeing (to name but a few) with a much wider reach towards London and throughout the south east, thus bringing in valuable footfall and the kudos and profile that this town richly deserves.

So, we need YOU. We need your ideas, your expertise, your energy and your passion for all that is Dorking. Get in touch in whatever way suits you to register yourself as actively interested in CHIP and please spread the word, especially if you know somebody who has an area of expertise that you know we will need especially at this early stage people who are knowledgeable about, and well rehearsed in, applying for grants.

Tuesday 28th October 7.30 at Burgundy & Black (independent coffee shop at the bottom of St Martin’s Walk) to share further ideas, expertise, experience and ideas before we have an official launch!

For further information (website pending!) call Sally Elias on 07787 566 212, Roger Jones on 07770 887834, Belinda  Hard on 07941 141575.


Just to say to those who have followed my postings since April 2009 "Good-bye!" The LRA Blog is now a bulletin-board for the Association and, I feel, is no longer an appropriate place for a maverick to be posting individual opinions.

I have, therefore, set up my own Blog and will endeavour to post there at least once each week.


PS: Don’t forget the litter pick on the 25th October – see the posting below.

   Leatherhead Together

Join our community

 Giant litter pick

      Saturday Oct 25th

It’s our rubbish – Let’s pick it up!
    Wherever you are in the Mole Valley
   with friends, family, neighbours, or solo
       please support the LRA Litter Pick
    Gloves & litter pickers provided. Meet, The Institute 2 pm
          or clean up a patch near you
  Great prizes for 3 ‘best action’ photos (one per person)
  Send them by Oct 31st to The LRA,  c/- The Institute, High St
  Leatherhead KT22 8AH    or email:
  subject line ‘litterphotos’ (add your name address phone & email)
   This is Phase One of a five phase litter campaign initiated by the LRA
  working with many groups in the Mole Valley For info ph 01372 370 091

Anti Litter Initiative
The Leatherhead Residents Association(LRA) has  launched an anti litter campaign this autumn to continue through  2015.  This is in response to an outcry concerning the amount of litter and dog fouling to which local people are exposed during their town and country pursuits.  When the call for action came, we became aware that both SCC and MVDC have put litter and waste issues high on their list of priorities for Autumn 2014/2015.
The five phase LRA campaign will be carried out in conjunction with MVDC and representatives from organisations throughout Leatherhead:
First Phase
A giant litter pick in scheduled for 25 October-This will combine the forces of Leatherhead volunteers, targeting our wooded areas, riverside, and verges of roads on the fringes of Leatherhead leading into the town centre. We are encouraging those who cannot participate in the organised litter pick to spend a half hour on the 25th clearing an area near  their own home. We will be working with the support of MVDC who will provide collection of rubbish, pickers, gloves and sacks.   
Second Phase
In order to increase awareness of the massive problem litter causes to our planet and in light of the statistic that predicts that our landfills will be full by 2018, we will seek access to local schools via their art classes and expose the problem to fresh, young minds.  A short motivational film or slide presentation or the personal and social education programme carried out in all schools could be used to inspire the two art projects below.
A challenge will be given  to students to become involved in two kinds of art projects-
   Anti litter poster art that encourages awareness and change of behaviour, and
   Works of art made from recycled packaging and paper students collect during the Christmas season  (November or early December) The focus here is packaging and the waste it creates and over-packaging.
Third Phase
Art workshops/classes giving students the opportunity to turn their ideas into art, guided by professional artists or their teachers.
(Late January-February-March)
Fourth Phase
Selection of the best artwork from all schools to become a part of a travelling Anti Litter display. 
The display should inform and challenge the viewer to seriously consider changes in behaviour.
The display could spend time at each school, an empty High Street shop, or the Swan Centre.  (April-May)
Fifth Phase
Another Autumn litter pick (2015) to compare the quantity of litter in the areas targeted in 2014.  This is in way of noting the impact of the campaign.  Our neighbouring community, Fetcham, report to have noticed substantial reductions in successive litter picks over the years. Teazle Wood has had similar results.  Of course, we hope for the same.


Last time I posted, I said I would henceforth confine my comments to Streetlife.  However, after reading with dismay the Leatherhead Residents’ Association article in the September issue of the Ashtead & Leatherhead Local, I feel I had better write here rather than to a wider public on Streetlife.

In the article,  the Vice-Chairman writes: “Most responsible drivers respect the need for limiting the parking in narrow streets.”  That, in my opinion, is utter tosh.  The Vice-Chairman obviously does not live near enough to the Station to be inconvenienced by commuters.

In July 2010 I write on the LRA Blog: "A month or so back, most residents in the road, a cul-de-sac, went for three weeks without any bin collection simply because the bin lorry was unable to squeeze between the cars parked by commuters on both sides of the road!" Inconsiderate parking had prevented access to bin lorries for three weeks and it was only the initiative of a resident putting up an unofficial "No Parking" sign that allowed the bins to be emptied. See:

At the time those posts were made, the Vice-Chairman was Chairman of the LRA.  Did he not read any of those posts?   Did he not understand them?

When I first moved into this cul-de-sac twenty-two years ago, most drivers did indeed respect the need for limited parking in this narrow street and parking was (almost) entirely restricted to one side. But over the past decade things changed and more and more parking took place on both sides of the road, just as it still does during the week on Park Rise, making that road difficult to drive along.  It has taken a long campaign to get Surrey County Council to restrict parking in our narrow street.  The Vice-Chairman asks whether we need fines to control parking.  Sadly the experience of many of us is that we do.

The article seems to advocating a laissez-faire approach to on-street parking.  Is this the policy of the LRA?  If it is and this becomes known, then I fear the LRA will lose membership not only in my street but in the many that over the years have been plagued with parking problems.  If it is not LRA policy, then what is it doing in the Ashtead & Leatherhead Local with the ‘Vice Chairman of the LRA’ appended to it?

The bit below the article invites people to join the LRA.  Surely the LRA article ought to encouraging people to do that.  Quite frankly, if I was undecided and considering joining, this article would dissuade me.


AGENDA for LRA Meeting on 1st Sept 2014 at the INSTITUTE

In the Abraham Dixon Hall at 7.30, preceded by coffee or tea at 7.00.

Short address by the Chairman covering future plans, activities, membership and requests for information

1 Apologies:   Fran Smith
2. Minutes August 2014 for approval, linked here.
3. Matters arising:  None
4. Reports:
            1.The Environment Chairman will explain her ideas for the future
            2. The Planning Committee’s report is attached.   (It will not be read out).
            3. Forward Planning Group: For info only:  Together with many other local
                groups, HC is   to meet with MV Chief Executive Officer, Ms.Yvonne Rees,
                on 16 Sept. to discuss the    hopes and achievements of the whole area.  
               (CB will, unfortunately, be on holiday).  

5. And now for our talk by Mr. Peter Mills, the MV Historic Environment Officer.

6. The next Open Meeting will be Monday, Nov. 3 at 7.30  (unless advised differently) in G6 of the Institute.


The following is from Tim Hall who has been very much on the case for some months:

“Verbal reports from the County Jetter Crew say that
1. They have discovered a blocked Thames Water Pipe between Randalls Way and the drain that was pouring out water.   It had roots in it and may have partly collapsed.   This info has been passed on to Thames Water for further action, although, in the mean time,  the drain had stopped pouring water.   This indicates that the limited clearing by the Jetter may have afforded temporary relief.

2. Pipes and gullies near the railway bridge have been cleared and appear to be working better now.   (25/07/14).   However, there are questions about a Thames Soakaway which need to be followed up when we get the technical report and pictures.

3. They will be returning to do the area from Randalls Way to Springfield Drive in the near future.

4. Written technical reports are awaited.

Open Committee Meeting on Monday 4th August at 7.30 in G6 of the Leatherhead Institute

This is to be an “Open Committee Meeting,” so members may wish to come with written versions of any problems they are facing and then present them orally to those present.      This may be particularly pertinent given the decisions that our local MVDC is going to have to make in the near future in connection with C2C* and Plan L.    We shall hold other meetings in this Open Committee format and are also planning a general meeting for the whole area some time in September.   However, it is not only problems which can be voiced but also we would especially welcome fresh ideas for the town and its surrounding highways and rail system.

*C2C = a large report on the area between London and the coast, i.e. Coast to Capital.    Plan L refers to Leatherhead, but as yet there is no clearly defined future project.

Agenda for Open Committee Meeting on 4th August2014
Extra insert: Issues raised by non-committee members attending, which, when heard and understood, can be passed on to the appropriate sub-c. chair for discussion after meeting.   No. 1:   Overgrown path at end of Homelands   No. 2:  Why not lay sound absorbent tarmac on the by-pass?   (from Mr. R. Baddaert)

Apologies for absence, so far, 

Cllr Dixon and Cllr Ashton, Roger Hardwick, Phillipa Shimmin

Presentation for approval plus my ideas for circulating Minutes.   (to be explained)

Matters arising.

Terms of reference – (Possibly the final check, but could be postponed until the Closed Meeing in October)

Future meetings, types of, i.e. Open Meeting with Speaker, Open Committee meeting like 4th August(could have a Speaker in an explanatory role) and Closed Committee meeting.

Content of Newsletter and future ideas for it.   CB to describe.

Increase in Subs and Membership list.   Discussion only at this point.

HC has volunteered to write the article for A &LL, on parking  (N. Street and Highlands Rd)




Forward Planning

Membership and Publicity

Highways:  (cycle path)

Outside meetings attended

LAP on 24th July (CA or HP or HC))

Litter Campaign on 30th July (CB )

Nick Gray on 16th July (HC)

Mr. Goldfinch with HC

Future meetings (outside LRA):

16th Sept HC with many other RAs and Yvonne Rees

Next LRA meeting:  Open Meeting with Mr. Peter Mills as speaker on 1st September at 7 pm – coffee first!

Raffle Prizes drawn on Monday 9 June 2014

The Open Gardens on Sunday 8th June gave us all the opportunity to win some excellent Raffle prizes.    Lucky winners are listed below


A special “Thank You” to Peter Snell of Barton’s Bookshop for selling the tickets to the gardens and to those who donated the prizes

Laura and Tony* who won a Voucher for a family visit to Polesdon Lacey

 Anne and Peter* who won Kew Garden Orchid hand and body lotion
 Diana Carr* who won Elizabeth Arden body products
 Caroline Brown * who won a bottle of champagne
 D. Gale* who won a bottle of wine
 Peter Humphreys* who won a bottle of Denbies Surrey Gold Wine
  Liz Shepperd* who won 2 cinema tickets at the Leatherhead Theatre
  Edmund Morgan-Warren (Great Bookham) who won the small planter
  Mary (nee Price) and Glyn Bursey* who won the large planter
  Martin and Julie West*  who won the Meal/wine at the Shy Horse, Chessington
  Marjorie Creasy* who won the Yellow Calla Lily
   Elizabeth Watson (Dorking) who won the luxury choclates.



Open Gardens Raffle Prizes

The Open Gardens on Sunday 8th June gave us all the opportunity to win some excellent raffle prizes.    Listed below are the lucky winners.
A special “thank you” to Peter Snell of Barton’s Bookshop for selling the tickets to the gardens and also to our generous prize donors.

Laura and Tony* won a Voucher for a Family Visit to Polesdon Lacey
Anne and Peter* won some Kew Garden Orchid Hand and body lotion
Diana Carr* won some Elizabeth Arden body products
Caroline Brown* won a bottle of champagne
D. Gale* won a bottle of wine
Peter Humphreys* won some Denbies Surrey Gold Wine
Liz Shepperd* won two cinerma tickets at Leatherhead Theatre
Edmund Morgan-Warren (Great Bookham) won the small planter
Mary (nee Price) and Glyn Bursey* won the large planter
Martin ad Julie West* won the Meal/Wine at the Shy Horse, Chessington
Marjorie Creasy* won the Yellow Calla Lily
Elizabeth Watson (Dorking) won the Luxury Chocolates.


Mole Valley Housing & Traveller Sites Plan (Ashtead)

I am writing to invite your views on the following two documents which have been prepared by Ashtead Community Vision and submitted to Mole Valley DC (MVDC) for consideration:
  • Ashtead Green Belt Boundary Review February 2014; and
  • Ashtead Site Assessments May 2014.
Ashtead Community Vision (ACV) is the working group for Ashtead Neighbourhood Forum, which was established in July 2013. The Neighbourhood Forum is tasked with preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the Ashtead area, under the powers created by the Localism Act 2011.
The Ashtead Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared under the strategic policy framework set out in Mole Valley’s Core Strategy adopted October 2009. The Core Strategy commits MVDC to a review of Green Belt boundaries, in order to meet the District’s housing requirements to 2026.
The decision about which areas of the Green Belt may be released to meet housing needs rests with Mole Valley DC and will be progressed through preparation of the Housing and Traveller Sites Plan. However, as part of the Neighbourhood Planning process, and in the spirit of localism, ACV took on responsibility for undertaking the Green Belt Boundary Review within the Ashtead neighbourhood area.  They have also appraised a number of specific sites which have been proposed by landowners and developers as potential housing site allocations. Council officers have been working closely with ACV to ensure that their methodology matches that followed by Mole Valley DC, elsewhere in the District.
As a consultee on planning policy issues in Mole Valley, you will have received notification of the first stage of public consultation on the Housing and Travellers Sites Plan, which took place between 10 January and 9 March 2014. However, that consultation did not cover the Ashtead area, because ACV’s work was still in progress.
ACV have now submitted their completed Green Belt Boundary Review and Site Assessments to MVDC. I am therefore writing to invite your views on both documents.  Copies are enclosed with the electronic version of this letter. You can also download them from please click on “Neighbourhood Planning in Mole Valley” and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Comments should be forwarded by email to or by post to the Planning Policy Team, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ.
Please submit your comments by 4pm on Monday 21 July 2014.
Your comments will be considered as part of the process of integrating ACV’s work into the evidence base for the Housing and Traveller Sites Plan.  As it progresses, the Plan will cover the whole District, including Ashtead and other NDP areas.  MVDC is working towards publication of a pre-submission draft early in 2015.

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