Forum - Q & A

October 2018 Forum and Q&A

Watch the live forum and Q & A with CEO of Coast to Capital Jonathan Sharrock, MVDC Councillor Simon Edge, Cabinet Member for Prosperity, the Transform Leatherhead Team, Surrey County Council (SCC) Cabinet Lead Member for Place, Councillor Colin Kemp and SCC Local Highways Services Manager, Richard Bolton,from 17th October 2018 here:

Download the presentation slides here.

Written Q & A

Check out the answers to the written questions asked before during and after the October forum below. We have responded with the help of our partners at Surrey County Council and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Topics: -
Coast to Capital
High Street
Market Town
Swan Centre car park
Parking
Sustainable Transport
Rail
Transport
Funding
Bull Hill
Business Rates
Leatherhead Football Club
London Labour Market

Look back at the May 2018 forum

Topic: Coast to Capital

The below responses are direct from Coast to Capital.

Q: In the Gatwick 360 strategy it states that the region will be "centred around (on?) a highly successful Gatwick airport". To what extent is this aim dependent upon expansion achieved by an increase in aircraft movements and the provision of an additional runway at Gatwick, which are opposed by a substantial number of inhabitants of the region?

A: "Our vision by 2030 is for our towns and cities to be known around the world as fantastic places to live, to grow and to succeed. We will become the most dynamic non-city region in England, centred around a highly successful Gatwick Airport."

"As we set out in our strategy, the economy associated with Gatwick airport is prosperous and has seen steady growth over recent years largely due to the international connectivity, business growth and innovation that it brings. However, we are clear that our vision for success depends on the sustainable growth of Gatwick airport within its existing capacity.

"Our strategy states that any growth within this existing capacity should not be at the expense of the environment and we will continue to work closely with Gatwick and representatives of local environmental organisations on this matter. In fact, priority 3 of our strategy sets out our objective to 'invest in sustainable growth', where we commit to an equivalent investment in natural capital for all new development. We have engaged with Surrey Local Nature Partnership, amongst others, and will continue to do so, to ensure that we are in full support of their emerging Natural Capital Investment Strategy."

Q: The composition of Coast to Capital appears to be principally, maybe exclusively, based on business interests. Is there any representation of Environmental bodies to achieve a balance of opinion?

A: "We have a dozen business Board members with a wide range of backgrounds from corporate business to entrepreneurs running successful SMEs and charities, or working in senior positions in Further and Higher Education. They are also joined by some of our most senior local politicians all helping to make sure the decisions we take reflect the best overall interests of the region.

"Investing in sustainable growth has been identified as a key strategic priority in our Strategic Economic Plan in which we have set out a number of actions including to be an active partner to Government in the development of the 25 Year Environment Plan and to Develop green infrastructure policies to help pilot Government priorities, including low carbon design, and consider how to apply them to proposed major developments in the area.

As mentioned above, in the development of Gatwick 360, we worked closely with the various organisations with a stake in the environmental wellbeing of our area. This engagement helped to shape our thinking and eventual priority to 'invest in sustainable growth' which has a focus on natural capital, air quality, carbon emissions and limited natural resources such as water. In delivering on this priority we will continue to engage with these expert organisations to help inform our emerging local policy and investment cases through the Local Industrial Strategy."

Q: How would Coast to Capital like strong business areas like mole valley (which is the second largest economy after Gatwick) to respond to its current innovation/R&D call?

A: "We have encouraged potential applicants from anywhere within the Coast to Capital LEP area to apply for the ERDF innovation call, which opened on 5th October and closes on 23rd November. Through a call launch event on 8 October we were able to bring together interested parties and share further information and networking opportunities. There were two representatives from Mole Valley at this event. If potential bidding organisations haven't already, they should visit the Coast to Capital website's ERDF page for further information on the call and how to apply for the funding. "

Q: £300m is a lot of money to have collected from central government since 2010 - how much has come to Leatherhead?

A: "We have invested more than £11 million in the East Surrey area, £1.88m of this has been invested into Transform Leatherhead and Claire and James House projects."

Topic: The High Street

Q: What actions are proposed to stop the town centre dying on its feet in the short to medium term?

A: In the short term, MVDC supports footfall in Leatherhead town centre through targeted sponsorship of events such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas and otherwise providing support to the Leatherhead Events Team. Through our Swan Centre managing agent, Lambert Smith Hampton, a number of other events are organised such as Magic Mondays during the Summer Holidays, a variety of workshops during May half-term, support for Stoptober through various wellbeing-focused activities and LC 100.

We are currently undertaking improvements to the Swan Centre car park for shoppers and free car-parking is being offered to support Halloween and on the first three Saturdays in December.

Looking further ahead we are considering options for re-configuring The Swan Centre, as a catalyst to revitalise the High Street. We are also commissioning consultants to execute a High Street Review which will mould and direct our approach to the High Street. We will continue to target appropriate retailers and try and attract them into the town by offering attractive and flexible terms on the properties we own wherever possible. We have recently launched our Economic Prosperity Strategy and associated Action Plan, which prioritises retention and expansion of businesses, a culture of enterprise, improving the skills and education of the current and future workforce, improving investment opportunities for business and improving the business infrastructure. The Economic Development team would welcome contact from businesses looking for premises or other support in our district.

Q: Can there be more street entertainments put on along similar lines to Halloween/Christmas?

A: We are working with and supporting the Leatherhead Events working group led by Swan Centre Management and local business and community groups who are planning and arranging events for the town centre.

Q: Why can't the façade of shops reflect the age of the High Street which is a conservation area?

A: The decision to alter the façade of High Street shops belongs to the private landlords for those premises. However as the local planning authority Mole Valley District Council has taken steps to encourage attractive alterations when they are made. In the Local Plan we have saved planning policy ENV35 which aims to raise the standards of good-quality design, layout and development impact. We have also adopted additional planning guidance, "Shopfront Design: A Guide to Good Practice" which seeks to ensure that when determining planning applications "New shopfronts or alterations to existing shopfronts should reflect in their size, scale, detailing, colour and use of materials, the character of the building and the street scene."

Q: Can the market be extended into empty shops and extended up to the top of the High Street? Can the former 'Builder Supplier' - a listed building - be used creatively, possibly as an indoor market rather than falling into disrepair or to be built upon for gain?

The Leatherhead and District Chamber of Commerce manages the street market in Leatherhead and we are working with them with a view to incorporating a street market space into our longer term proposals for the Swan Centre. In relation to the units owned by MVDC, we are actively targeting less established retailers to test the market and build their businesses and would welcome an approach from any interested business who wished to operate a pop-up shop in a vacant unit on a temporary basis. Where we don't own the building, we aren't able to control its use.

Q: The cookshop in North Street is vacant from end of October. As well as MVDC's own properties. Does MVDC have the financial ability/power to lease empty shops as well as sometimes buy them? What proactive efforts have been made to attract independent businesses? I was hoping when MVDC acquired 21/23 High Street that a concerted effort would be made to find a suitable butcher and offer an attractive tenancy.

A: Although MVDC will consider opportunities to buy properties, where there is a business case to do so, MVDC occupy vacant units as the owner is looking for someone who will use it for their business. MVDC has pro-actively targeted suitable butchers to move into the High Street by offering them attractive terms, but high fit-out costs have so far acted as a deterrent.

At 21 High Street, phase 1 of our refurbishment is complete and we have submitted a planning application for change of use for the remaining floors of 23 High Street.

We are targeting occupiers for the vacant spaces who are independents, speciality food or leisure and have had interest from a Fitness Co. for the upper levels of 23 High Street, from an independent clothing retailer for 21 High Street and from a number of food operators for the former Carphone Warehouse unit.

Q: If we want a butcher or greengrocer in our town why not offer an interested trader a cheap short term rent to get a business established?

A: We have proactively targeted butchers on this basis; however the fit out cost for a butcher is in excess of £100,000 and this so far has acted as a deterrent. They have indicated they are more likely to consider this level of investment once the Swan Centre has been re-configured.

Q: Are there any plans to improve the actual High Street surface? Or surfaces of other paths and roads in town?

A from SCC: There are currently no plans for Surrey County Council to enhance the surface of the High Street, or adjoining roads. This would be a major scheme that would require prioritising for substantial funding. However, the surface has an annual walked inspection and any defects that meet the intervention level would be repaired. This could be considered for the Transform Leatherhead scheme as an enhancement, rather than as a highway maintenance scheme.

Q: We received numerous questions about the High Street parking situation highlighting topics such as:

  • the status of the High Street parking petition submitted to the SCC Mole Valley Local Committee that suggests 'Leatherhead High Street to be open from 3.30pm for parking and access, 4.30pm on market days, for an experimental period of six months, to encourage an increase in footfall'
  • If parking is to continue in the High Street can we perhaps mark parking bays so cars are not blocking pedestrians or the road?
  • What are plans for making the High Street safer in the evenings for pedestrians?
  • High St Parking - dangerously small amount for disabled. Comment please.
  • Isn't the new guidance from Department for Transport on 'shared surfaces' directed at new schemes in the course of construction not ancient highways like ours?

A from both SCC and MVDC:

As a result of the petition raised at SCC Mole Valley Local Committee in September officers have been and will be reviewing a number of matters relating to parking in the High Street and how we can support an increase in footfall.

In the immediate future:

  • SCC has commissioned the repair of the walling to the ramps at the foot of the High Street. It will entail removing the damaged tiles and replacing them with new rendering. This will be funded 50:50 by SCC and MVDC, with MVDC using public realm planning contributions.
  • MVDC in partnership with Lambert Smith Hampton (Swan Centre) and the wider community Leatherhead Events Team, has a number of initiatives in place to increase footfall. The next events are Halloween and Christmas. Free parking will be available for the Halloween event on 31 October from 3pm onwards and all-day for three consecutive Saturdays in December.

In addition as part of Transform Leatherhead, both MVDC and SCC are investing resources in better understanding the needs of the High Street. This includes a specific High Street Feasibility Study which will include economic, safety, and public realm assessments. This will complement the existing traffic modelling work.

It is important to ensure that the implications of any proposed actions are fully understood and evidence based before implementation. Therefore officers have identified a number of considerations which must be assessed before any actions are taken:

  • Safety Review: SCC will undertake a safety review of the petition proposal as any increase in the period of time vehicles are permitted to use the High Street may increase risk for conflict with pedestrians; particularly with children at that time of day. The review will consider recent guidance from the DfT which raises safety concerns for vulnerable users of 'shared spaces'. 'Seeability' on Highlands Road and other stakeholders not represented by the petition will be consulted. SCC has a duty of care to consider all highway users.       
  • Congestion/obstruction: Allowing parking to take place earlier could create obstruction issues for HGVs that are allowed to travel through the High Street after 4.30pm. Increased parking hours could also obstruct other vehicles that load/unload directly from the High Street, like bullion vehicles for the bank, which have to park close to the banks for security.  
  • Causing confusion: The proposed changes would result in larger signs, with information that would be different for different days, which would be confusing and as a result difficult to manage and enforce.
  • Process: A notice of intent is required for experimental orders; however, SCC Parking officers consider that this would not sufficiently inform all those using the High Street of the changes and their impacts. As an experimental traffic order can be in effect for up to 18 months, SCC Parking officers recommend that the process for a permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) should apply. It would be more efficient and cost-effective to agree a proposal that works with the long term Transform Leatherhead initiatives, and to consult on this widely with all stakeholders.
  • Costs: The cost of changing the restrictions, whether through an experimental or permanent TRO, is estimated between £10,000 - £25,000. This includes the cost of new signs, advertising, placing a notice in papers, and officer time. All repeater signs along the High Street would need to be replaced. Many are on shop fronts and walls that require legal permission to change at additional cost. If these can't be replaced new signs with posts along the High Street would be required.

We have met recently with the businesses who signed the petition and begun data gathering and will be consulting further with all stakeholders involved.

Officers will continue to assess the specific petition proposal, and will be drawing up a project plan. The Local Committee will receive a further update and response to the second petition that was submitted to Surrey County Council in December 2018 and we will ensure continued communication with petitioners and other stakeholders throughout the process.

Topic: Market Town

Q: What is a 'market town' and what makes Leatherhead one?

A: Historically a market town was a town which had one or more market days and they were centres that were at the economic heart of an often rural area or district. Leatherhead has a long tradition as a market town. Its charter to run a weekly market was granted as far back as 1248. Today, the market is operated and managed by the Leatherhead and District Chamber of Commerce and is in Leatherhead High Street every Thursday and Saturday 9am - 3pm.

Topic: The Swan Centre car park

Q: Are the parent and child bays being moved?

A: The spaces which were formerly for parent and toddler on Level s 1 and 3 have been shortened to create a better turning route to navigate the ramps. These are intended to now be motorcycle and smaller car spaces so no longer parent and child spaces. The old signage has been removed.

New wider parent and child spaces have been created further away from the ramps on Levels 1 and 3. These have been resurfaced and given fresh signs.

Q: Will the changes mean less parking spaces?

A: Yes. But based on the data gathered through a number of studies before the decision was made to undertake improvements many spaces were not being used because of the access difficulty. There will be 280 spaces when we are finished which is still more than the maximum usage recorded in our studies.

Q: How will pay on exit work for disabled users?

No effect. They will just be able to come in park and put their badge on their car as usual.

Q: What will happen to the disabled parking spaces?

There will still be 18 disabled bays when works complete but 4 of the spaces have been they will be repositioned. The proposals were subject to an Equality Impact Assessment and the new positions were determined in consultation with Mole Valley Access group.

Q: Shopmobility signage. Will there be improved signage for the Shopmobility unit (on the second floor of Swan Centre car park) in the new lifts and car park improvements?

A: As part of the works, the Shopmobility signage is being rationalised to make it clearer. The area in front of the Shopmobility unit has been painted with new white lines and signage.

Topic: Parking

Q: Will the data collected during the parking survey in June 2018 and the report and conclusions be available to Leatherhead residents?

A: The parking survey results have been fed into our baseline traffic model which will be complete by the end of the year. We will then use the model to look at options early next year. The report on the results of the modelling work will be shared via our website and there will be more information at our next forum on March 7th 2019.

Q: Can we please consider a residents parking zone across central Leatherhead. Many of the historic homes in central Leatherhead are on roads where parking is restricted and current road by road permit system does not help them.

A from SCC: SCC will only introduce permit schemes in areas where the criteria is met - this is described on the webpage, linked below:

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/parking/restrictions-and-controls/permit-parking-schemes

Not all roads will meet the criteria, therefore SCC could not introduce a blanket permit scheme across the entire town of Leatherhead - some adjoining roads will meet the criteria, whilst others will not.

SCC also only look to introduce permit schemes, where the residents of the roads in question, put together a petition that has 70% of the households in favour of such a scheme - this is because there is a cost attached to a resident permit scheme and we would be asking the residents to pay that cost for the permits - SCC cannot impose a scheme on people where a cost to them is involved.

The implementation of the current residents permit schemes may seem piecemeal, but these have been implemented as and when residents have requested them, based on the criteria at that time.

Topic: Sustainable transport

Q: Cycle paths have been a big failure! Cyclists do not use the cycle paths designated for them and continue to clog up the road (sometimes cycling 2 or 3 abreast). They also ride on the A24 which is very dangerous for motorists. We have an elderly population who do not cycle around town. The traffic flow in Leatherhead is a huge problem. Cyclists should be required to pass a test, have insurance and be fined if they do not adhere to cycle paths. There should also be some sort of registration scheme. It needs to be regulated as it is out of control. Why provide more paths when they do not use them? Please comment.

A: The Mole Valley Cycling Forum is a key stakeholder in Transform Leatherhead. The Council has to consider all users of Leatherhead and balance the varying views. We are reviewing sustainable links in and around Leatherhead which includes walking and cycling to improve connectivity and reduce severance. There are different confidence levels of cyclists to consider and different reasons why people choose to cycle whether commuting or for leisure. We acknowledge your views on cycling and will balance this with all highway users within our transformation plans working closely with Surrey County Council.

Q: With the new developments in Randalls Road - Beechcroft/The Farthings and Queen Elizabeth site - a bus service would reduce car numbers coming into Leatherhead. Comment please.

A from SCC and MVDC: The Queen Elizabeth Foundation planning permission includes financial contributions for a new bus route between the site and Leatherhead Station. The S106 included a bus acquisition contribution (50k), bus service infrastructure contribution (20k) and transport contribution (700k). Surrey County Council is working with Mole Valley District Council to review potential options to provide wider bus improvements in and around Leatherhead.

Q: I just wanted to reiterate my request for cycling provision to Leatherhead - routes and parking - to be looked at seriously. While better bus or walking routes are to be welcomed, they alone will not help get more people to the shops or reduce the numbers wishing to park or drive to the station / offices in Leatherhead and beyond. More people cycling really could help alleviate congestion, reduce pressure on parking, and help get more footfall; not to mention the health benefits that a bus cannot bring. Of course I would really appreciate a safer route from Fetcham to Leatherhead, and I am sure the many schoolchildren who currently have to resort to the pavement on Waterway Road would as well.

A: Thank you for your comments regarding cycling. Sustainable routes are a priority of the Transform Leatherhead team. We do agree that encouraging sustainable modes and travel planning to reduce car use can only bring positive benefits to the road network and the environment. We are currently reviewing potential options for the highway network in the context of the key transform leatherhead development schemes and these will include cycling connections and cycle parking. Fetcham is within the recommended 5km catchment to encouraging cycle use but we are aware that the current route has certain constraints that need to be reviewed and improved. Connections to nearby towns and villages is a key priority for Transform Leatherhead.

Topic: Rail

Q: What scope is there for joined up working with Network Rail etc. to improve the infrastructure at our busy station where as we found when subway closed in August the narrow pavement under the bridge is precarious for access?

A: We are liaising with Network Rail and partners and hope to work with them to bring forward improvements as part of our Transform Leatherhead project.

Q: Are accessibility funds for lifts or ramps being bid for from DfT (November )?

A: Mole Valley District Council, alongside Surrey County Council, have provided the necessary supporting information to the train operating companies to enable them to submit a nomination for Leatherhead Rail Station along with Box Hill & Westhumble; Dorking (Main); Dorking (Deepdene) and Dorking (West), to be considered to receive 'Access for All' funding. The deadline is 16th of November 2018.

As part of the Government's Inclusive Transport Strategy, announced 25th July 2018, funding has been released by the Department of Transport for the Access for All Programme. This programme enables improvements to take place at selected smaller rail stations that will make them more accessible. Nominated stations will be considered and successful stations announced by the Department of Transport in April 2019.

For more information see: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/passengers/station-improvements/access-for-all/

Q: Indirect rail services: Gatwick from Leatherhead and Heathrow to Leatherhead. Are there any plans to improve these indirect rail services?

A: Please see Southern's Performance Improvements Plans which are available via their website. https://www.southernrailway.com/about-us/how-were-performing/performance-improvement-plan. Southern are the rail operating company for Leatherhead Station working with Network Rail to improve rail connectivity.

As stated above we are working with Network Rail and partners in hopes of improving the station at Leatherhead to improve sustainable connections. The station has been nominated for DfT Access for All funding with successful stations being announced in April 2019. MVDC are liaising closely with Surrey County Council and Southern/Network Rail to understand wider aspirations for Leatherhead and the connecting rail lines.

Q: Coach service to Gatwick and Heathrow airports from Leatherhead. Leatherhead is half way between the two airports. It would be very useful to have a direct coach service from Leatherhead to the two airports with a pick up point at Leatherhead Station, to avoid the difficulties of trying to travel by train. This could increase the demand for hotel accommodation in Leatherhead (I understand this is being considered) as local hotel rates would be lower cost than ones near the airports, this could be an anchor attraction.

A: Thank you for this feedback, we will pass this on to Surrey County Council who hold regular meetings with Heathrow Airport Limited and Gatwick Airport Limited to improve wider connectivity and reduce congestion on Surrey's highway network. The potential for a hotel is something being considered within the Transform Leatherhead key projects and your input about economic viability with regards to hotels in Leatherhead will be shared with MVDC's Economic Development team.

Q: Elevated footbridge between Leatherhead station and town centre. In the original ideas for Transform Leatherhead there was a good idea to connect Leatherhead Station to the town centre with an elevated footbridge to avoid the traffic.  This would also help to relieve traffic holdups at the pedestrian lights near the station in Randalls Road. I haven't heard anything about the elevated footbridge recently. Is it still being considered?

A: The Transform Leatherhead Masterplan suggested exploring the opportunity to provide a pedestrian bridge from Leatherhead Station to Bull Hill Plaza in a way that uses the gradient of the site to connect to the town centre. This would need to be developed further as we complete the transport modelling work, commence a masterplan for the Bull Hill site and would need the agreement of Network Rail as the landowner, potentially as part of a wider package of improvements to the station.

Topic: Transport

Q: When is the road from the High Street into Bridge St being opened? This is essential for all shops to survive and to make Leatherhead a proper market town again.

A: The traffic modelling currently being undertaken will review the options for opening up Bridge Street/High Street in traffic terms to understand the impact. A safety review will also be required to understand whether this poses any highway safety implications.

Q: The state of Garlands Road pot holes are very bad, lots of lorrys going up and down. Comments please.

A from SCC: Garlands Road has an annual walked inspection to see if there are any highway defects, such as pot holes, that meet the condition level required for being fixed. Details of the Highway Safety Inspection (HSI) process can be found on the Surrey County Council website: www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/policies-plans-consultations/policies-and-plans/highway-safety-inspections-standards-and-procedures

It is always best to report any pot holes, that meet the intervention criteria, on the Surrey website: report a pothole. All traffic can use the road as it has no traffic restrictions, and HGVs are able to use the road. This means that residents can have deliveries of goods and services, and there are no plans to restrict the use of Garlands Road.

Q: We need an additional river bridge or widened waterway road bridge urgently for integrity of our roads. What action is being taken?

A: As part of the wider sustainability improvements in and around Leatherhead we are reviewing walking and cycling routes and potential options. Improving the wider connectivity to Leatherhead from nearby towns and villages is a strong aspiration as well as improving existing pinch-points to reduce severance.

Topic: Funding

Q: Of the financial investment - what are the expected proportions from:1. Local government, 2. SCC, 3. MVDC, 4. Business investors?

A: Please refer to the following documents "Funds Flow Forecast" and "Funds Flow Forecast and Programme Notes" (click here to view);, which sets out preliminary options as to funding the delivery of Transform Leatherhead.

Topic: Bull Hill

Q: How is it proposed to create a town square at/near Bull Hill? Town Squares transform the vitality of towns; Dorking desperately needs one too.

A: The transport modelling work is key to understanding how any proposals would be delivered and what the highways implications might be. However, the Transform Leatherhead Masterplan proposal was to create a 'market square' character to the junction of High Street, North Street and Bridge Street and linking through Church Street in order to create a space for an expanded market and events. As part of this approach removal of 'the ramp' and iron railings should be considered to create a high quality piazza and enable better visibility to the High Street from North Street. This should also function as a meeting space with opportunities for social interaction. The Masterplan also recommended the creation of a new 'plaza' adjacent to a new traffic calmed junction at North Street / Bull Hill as part of improved links to Bull Hill and the railway station.

Q: Do you think the name Urban Quarter is a good choice to promote our town as an attractive place to live and work?

A: The TL Masterplan took a holistic view of Leatherhead town centre and its key character areas or 'quarters'. Urban design analysis of the town centre as a whole led to the definition of quarters, each with their own characteristics and opportunities. This has provided the basis for a town centre wide framework that strengthens Leatherhead, helping it to become more legible, coherent and vibrant. The designation of the space centred around Bull Hill or the Red House Grounds as the Urban Quarter refers to the opportunity for a mixed use development including office, residential and car parking to extend the urban form of the town centre, improving the connectivity between the town centre and the railway station through attractive walking and cycling links.

Q: What is the plan to better connect the station to Bull Hill and the proposed plaza?  Or is there any plan?  

A: The Transform Leatherhead Masterplan suggested exploring the opportunity to provide a pedestrian bridge from Leatherhead Station to Bull Hill Plaza in a way that uses the gradient of the site to connect to the town centre. This would need to be developed further as we complete the transport modelling work, commence a masterplan for the Bull Hill site and would need the agreement of Network Rail as the landowner, potentially as part of a wider package of improvements to the station.

Topic: Business rates

Q: Can you help resolve the business rate burden in Leatherhead? How about offering business rates relief to sustainable businesses?

A: MVDC do not set or control business rates this is a central government role. We welcome the recent announcement in the last budget concerning extending small business rate relief to retailers with a rateable value below £51,000 and hope this will help the smaller High Street traders in Leatherhead.

There are many business rates reductions already available. For more details click here or email business.rates@molevalley.gov.uk.

Topic: Leatherhead Football Club

Q: We like the new Meadowbank football facilities and would like the Council to do the same for Leatherhead - can this be done by TL? If not then who/how?

A: The redevelopment of Meadowbank project gained support and was brought forward in response to strong desire to see some focus placed on Dorking to balance the TL focus on Leatherhead. The 4 G All Weather pitch created there is not the revenue generator and they are very expensive to construct (over £600,000), the revenue is produced from all the facilities that are built around the pitch. Leatherhead Football Club as a MVDC tenant would need to come up with a vision and a plan, but the flood risk that is present on the site in question would warrant a 4 G pitch unviable as flood water would damage the base and lift the rubber crumb.

MVDC has recently supported the creation of a 4G pitch in Leatherhead at the Leatherhead Youth Football 4G pitch and this can be hired out to community groups.

Topic: London labour market

Q: What can be done to reduce reliance on the London Labour Market?

A: Our district needs to attract and retain employers. One challenge is retaining employment land whilst meeting housing need. MVDC as the local planning authority has already taken measure to protect some business premises from conversion to residential.

MVDC has also adopted a ten year Economic Prosperity Strategy and associated Action Plan, which prioritises retention and expansion of businesses, a culture of enterprise, improving the skills and education of the current and future workforce, improving investment opportunities for business and improving the business infrastructure. Working with Surrey County Council and Coast to Capital LEP through its Strategic Economic Plan, Gatwick 360, and the proposed adoption of a Local Industrial Strategy, should help our district ensure our transport infrastructure needs are prioritised by central government.

May 2018 Forum - Q&A

Watch the live forum and Q & A with the Transform Leatherhead Team, Environment Agency and retail consultants Cushman & Wakefield from 24th May 2018 here:

Written Questions and Answers

Download a copy of the written answers here