Brunel site: Not enough park­ing

En­gle­field Green: Wor­ries raised as re­vised hous­ing plans sub­mit­ted

Egham News - - FRONT PAGE - by Eleanor Davis eleanor.davis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

UP­DATED plans to re­de­velop parts of the for­mer Brunel Univer­sity site in En­gle­field Green have been sub­mit­ted.

A con­sul­ta­tion on the plans has now ended after an ex­hi­bi­tion was pre­sented at the Vil­lage Cen­tre de­tail­ing the de­vel­oper’s changes to the ap­pli­ca­tion, orig­i­nally granted in June 2012.

The most re­cent ap­pli­ca­tion in­cludes an in­crease in homes, from 56 to 63, as part of a larger mas­ter­plan that in­cludes 59 care home rooms, 528 stu­dent units and 104 homes, 28 of which will be af­ford­able hous­ing.

Changes also in­clude an ex­tra apart­ment in the chapel via a mez­za­nine.

After vil­lagers raised con­cerns over an in­crease in traf­fic, dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase and when the homes be­come hab­it­able, park­ing bays in­cluded in the de­vel­op­ment have in­creased by 10, pro­vid­ing two spa­ces for each dwelling.

A to­tal of 16 spa­ces for vis­i­tors are also in­cluded in the lat­est ap­pli­ca­tion.

David Humphrey, 60, who lives in Cooper’s Hill Lane, said it was hard to imag­ine the ef­fect the de­vel­op­ment would have on the road.

“It’s go­ing to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the num­ber of peo­ple in En­gle­field Green,” he said.

“They did take into ac­count our con­cerns that there should only be one en­trance to the site.

“It’s been agreed that there will be the main ac­cess but to the af­ford­able hous­ing area, there will be a sep­a­rate en­trance.

“Our con­cern is that Cooper’s Hill Lane will be used for peo­ple to park in. There are no park­ing re­stric­tions.”

Mr Humphrey said de­mo­li­tion work had restarted on the site, fol­low­ing a quiet pe­riod.

In a joint let­ter of ob­jec­tion to the coun­cil, Dr Janet Fer­stl-Jones and Dr Martin Fer­stl of Hol­ly­combe sug­gested that rather than in­creas­ing the num­ber of prop­er­ties on site, the de­vel­oper should look at re­duc­ing the im­pact of con­ges­tion in the area.

With 40 park­ing spa­ces al­lo­cated for the 59 care homes and two spa­ces for each four and five-bed­room home, their let­ter states this is un­re­al­is­tic.

“We fear that it will fur­ther ex­ac­er­bate what prom­ises to be a de­vel­op­ment that has too few park­ing spa­ces, such that the cars will spill out into a con­ser­va­tion area which is ill-equipped to han­dle it,” the cou­ple’s let­ter states.

Hav­ing at­tended the pub­lic meet­ing or­gan­ised by Art Es­tates, they added: “They were very will­ing to blame the coun­cil for the lack of park­ing places.

“They said they were not al­lowed to pro­vide more as this would ex­ceed the foot­print they were al­lowed to build on.

“They ne­glected to men­tion, of course, that one way around this is for them not to build so many houses, and so al­low some of the foot­print to be made avail­able for park­ing.”

The cou­ple added: “Once the de­vel­op­ment is com­plete, there will also be more than 700 ad­di­tional peo­ple and cars jostling for space. Surely the coun­cil can­not ex­pose all of th­ese peo­ple to the dan­ger of walk­ing on roads while the pave­ments and edges are parked on, which also will de­crease the vis­i­bil­ity.”

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