Did you get a letter recently about the former Duke of York?

If you formally opposed or supported the planning application to redevelop the site of the former Duke of York on the corner of the Frimley Road and the A30, you probably recently received a letter from the borough council seeking your views on:

[the] ..”Removal of Condition 8 of planning permission APP/03640/A/13/2209994, relating to the erection of 3 buildings containing 87 one, two and three bedroom flats with parking (partly undercroft), landscaping and access following the demolition of existing buildings) to allow the occupancy of the 65th dwelling (and above) without the provision of lighting improvements to the Frimley Road/London Road junction”
You probably didn’t understand what it – and a very similar letter that accompanied it – were on about!  In which case, you and the Eye were in the same boat…
However, we decided to dig further, and we discovered that the letter contained several errors.  We contacted the council about these, and, as a result, corrected versions of the letters are apparently being issued.  The amended text is already on the council’s website.
If you have the courage to read the new letters, you’ll see that, apart from changes in detail (they’ll say Condition 9 rather than Condition 8, for example), they’ll also differ in a key respect.  Rather than being about improvements in lighting – who cares very much about that? –  they’ll be about “the provision of highway improvements to the Frimley Road/London Road junction”   Which seems to be MUCH more important.
 P1120325
In particular, unless the Condition is removed, the developer is obliged to comply with the following:
“Before the occupation of the 65th dwelling the Frimley Road junction with London Road shall be modified in accordance with a scheme to be first agreed in writing by the local planning authority to provide for the following highway capacity works:
i) The widening of Frimley Road carriageway to provide space for 2 lanes each of a minimum width of 3 metres and a 2.5 metre wide cycleway/footway on the approach to the traffic signals and a pedestrian crossing of a minimum width of 2.4 metres;
ii) Adjustment of traffic signals to accommodate the new 2 lane approach;
iii) Re-alignment of kerbing along London Road;
iv) All necessary signing and lighting adjustments;
v) All ancillary and accommodation works to accommodate the highway improvements.”
Now, far be it for the Eye to suggest how its readers might want to respond to the forthcoming letters.  But, if you’ve ever been caught in congestion as you wait to join the London Road from the Frimley Road, you might like to ask the council to retain the Condition.  A similar Condition was written into the approval of the outline planning permission back in February last year, so it’s been in existence – and known about – for quite some time.
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8 thoughts on “Did you get a letter recently about the former Duke of York?

  1. If I remember correctly, there used to be 2 lanes approaching the traffic lights, with a left lane filter on to the London Road, whilst the right hand filter turning into the Frimley Road was operating. This seemed to work perfectly well and I did not understand why it was changed to a single lane causing such chaos!

  2. Yes, I received two letters and wondered what all the fuss was about, re lighting! Thank you very much for bringing this very important matter to our attention.

  3. Having looked again at the original application, isn’t the provision of two lanes etc etc in the Frimley Road Condition 12? I am confused!

    • You’re right, Helen, of course. But the “original application” was only an outline application (I was referring to it when I said that the condition dates from Feb 2014 ) I don’t think outline conditions automatically get applied to
      the full application – perhaps they do, but it probably makes sense to re state them?

    • Maybe the fact that the final permission was granted by the Planning Inspector, on appeal, had something to do with it. Maybe what the local authority said previously isn’t relevant under such circumstances, so the condition reflects the inspector’s views, not SHBC’s

  4. The demolition of the terrace and the latest application is bigger news, however this one is interesting too. The argument from the developer is that he set back the building line to give extra road width for these improvements and the council agreed that it would be too expensive for him to do this work, however the condition was still left on the decision notice.

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