Bulletin for May 2024

Dear Members

Leatherhead Town:

Perhaps the most exciting piece of news for Leatherhead is the start of the promised consultations between the Transform Leatherhead development partnership of Kier and MVDC, and us, the actual residents of the Town.   To this end, the Partnership has engaged a firm of professional designers and architects, called Design South-East, to meet with key stakeholders to form an accurate picture of what we would like, or perhaps, not like.  The first of these meetings took place on 13th May 2024 and two more are scheduled.

A programme of consultations with members of the public is also about to start.   Two of these will be in the old Clintons Cards unit in the Swan Centre, on 8th and 15th June from 10.00am to 2.00pm, a third one will be in “The Jam Place” at 299 Kingston Road on 6th June from 2.00pm till 6.00pm and the last one, a Virtual Event, will be on 18th June between 6.00pm and 7.00pm.  We strongly recommend that as many members as possible attend one of these sessions in order to ascertain what is proposed and give their views as to whether these latest proposals are an improvement on previous suggestions, which in my opinion showed over-development and excessive building height on the Bull Hill element of the Project.

Scams and Scamming:

This was the title of the talk given by David Stoves at our meeting on 13th May.   He went through a horrifying list of scams and scammers:  those via Social Media, those from “Friendship Groups,” alarmist phone calls like “This is a message from your bank:  we have just received a request to debit your account with the sum of £900.  If this was not you, please let us know immediately!”    In other words, give the caller your Bank Account number etc.  Email scams work in the same way, often having first spun you the most appalling sob story via a letter.  Finally, even the well- known knock on the door to advise you of falling slates from your roof is bound to be extremely suspicious.  David gave me the following places to contact when suspecting a scam:   Citizens Advice Consumer Service – 0808 223 1133, Facebook.com/BucksSurreyTS, and Action Fraud – 0300 123 2040.   There is also a website:  www.bucksandsurreytradingstandards.gov.uk  David’s main message was “Be suspicious and do background searches, or just put the phone down”.

The Hub in North Leatherhead:

Meanwhile, a new group is springing into life in Leatherhead.  It is centred on The Hub in the old school in North Leatherhead.   The Organisers, Eddie McCardle and Bill Donnelly, together with others in their team are in the middle of transforming that old building.  Their aim is a united North and South Leatherhead.  They want to do a lot of renovation work and are also envisaging some new building.   There is already a sewing room with very modern machines for hire at extremely reasonable rates and an art room with plenty of space.   I am sure many of you will have visited or just called in at the café where delicious cakes and sandwiches are available together with light-hearted chat.

The former Trinity Centre:

You may remember this old school, next to the Hub above.   It is in a dreadful state, but the owners (The Diocese of Guildford) have, I understand, been approached by developers with a proposal to build an 80-bed care home on the site which would provide residential and nursing care for elderly residents, including those with dementia.   Frontier Estates is the firm behind this plan, they have produced a leaflet and they are keen to engage with local stakeholders, i.e. local residents.

The Plough Roundabout:

For some time I have been heralding the arrival of planters for the Plough Roundabout.   There are even four sites marked out and a quotation has been received for the work which was to have been paid for by the “Community Infrastructure Levy.” (CIL).  However, at the last minute various complications have arisen and until they are resolved the project is in limbo.

Our Next Meeting:

On 5th August 2024, the date of our next open meeting, PC Ewan Keen and PC Oliver Storey will be coming to speak to us.    If you have any particular questions or problems that you would like them to discuss, I am sure it would help if you first wrote to me about them, and then I could pass them on.    On a more general note, if any of you have an idea about someone you would like to hear speak at one of our meetings, please do tell me so we can discuss it.

Our Accounts:

These have been compiled by our Treasurer and are currently being “examined” by an accounting professional.  They will be presented to our next meeting in August for members’ information.


I am informed that an Enforcement Order and fine have been placed on the owners of both the former Building Supplies shop at the top of the High Street and on the landowner of the former chapel on the Reigate Road.   Also, although not to the liking of many members, a new tenant has been secured for 5-19 Church Street, namely McDonalds.  Finally, last week, the owners of Brook Willow Farm, just off Randalls Road, appealed against the non-determination of their application for “established use” in respect of their motorcross track.  Complaints had been raised by people on both sides of the River about the alleged noise.  It is to be likely a few months before we know the result of this Appeal.


Finally, I return to the problem of who would like to be at the helm of the L.R.A. when I leave.   This is a very important post, as the LRA is an accredited Consultee to our Council and so has an opportunity to express members’ views on many local issues.  I am hoping to remain until the end of 2025 (i.e. 31st December) by which time the new Local Plan should be in place and the form of the Transform Leatherhead project settled.  However, Surrey is an active area and there is bound to be a never-ending stream of further issues to be examined and commented on.   31st December 2025 might seem a long way off, but, in fact, now would be an ideal time to join us and “test the water.”   Someone who is about to retire from a very busy job or who has already done so and is finding time heavy on their hands would be ideal.   Also, of course, you need to be enthusiastic about Leatherhead!

And now, I would like to remind you about our website.    This has been re-vamped and up-dated and you will see the Minutes of our meetings, the Chairman’s speeches and the list of our Directors among other information.   Search for “Leatherhead Residents Association.” https://www.leatherheadresidents.org.uk/

Meanwhile, I send my best wishes to you all

Caroline (Brown, Chairman)

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