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Cobham Heritage Trust honoured with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2015

Queens Award for Voluntary ServiceThe Cobham Conservation & Heritage Trust has been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust is one of 187 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award in 2015. The number of awards handed out to groups have increased by over 60% from 2014, due to an increase in high quality applications, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. Award winners this year range from Ablaze, a charity helping to raise academic achievement amongst disadvantaged young people in Bristol to a volunteer rescue boat service on Loch Lomond.

Sir Gerald Acher CBE LVO, Chairman of the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust said:

"This is a tremendous achievement for the Trust and its hard working committee and one which I am very proud to have been involved with. During the last decade, the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust has gone from strength to strength tackling some ambitious projects such as entertaining 5,000 people annually on Heritage Day; creating an education programme for the local schools; and hosting HRH The Countess of Wessex for the Dedication of the £150,000 Riverhill Project to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. All of our projects such as these are run solely by our army of willing volunteers.

To achieve our goals we have involved individuals, families, local businesses, schools, clubs, Borough and County Councils, and the community spirit and cohesion of Cobham is obvious from our combined achievements. I would like to thank my wonderful committee, all our members, volunteers and supporters and I look forward to working with everyone in the next exciting ten years."

Surrey's County Councillor for Cobham, Mary Lewis, who nominated the Trust for this award, said:

"I was delighted to nominate the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust because they have made such a positive contribution to the community spirit of Cobham over the last decade by bringing people from all walks of life together, through a variety of worthwhile and enjoyable projects. They are the sort of organisation that binds communities together, which has been invaluable to Cobham."

The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Dame Sarah Goad DCVO JP later this summer.

To view the full press release click here


2015 CIL Support

Consultation on 2015 Community Infrastructure Levy funding applications

At the AGM we approved submitting our proposals for financial support for footpath maintenance, and for the acquisition of a museum display cabinet for the new library to display Cobham and related historic artefacts following the closure of the Elmbridge museum to visitors. We have suggested that we fund 50% and the Elmbridge community infrastructure levy (CIL) the other 50%.

Decisions will be taken on June 16th, but in advance of this the community is invited to show their support for the projects.

Because the demands on the CIL funds could outweigh the funds available due to some large requests, it will be vital if we are to succeed, for our members and supporters to register their support for our projects. Thus may we ask you and your like minded friends to register your support by commenting on both the footpath maintenance project and the museum display project by either following the steps below or downloading the Cobham CIL Response Form from here (.doc Word Document format) which should be completed and then sent as an attachment by email or sent by post to the Elmbridge Planning Policy team (address details are shown on the last page of the Form).

Responses must be received by the Elmbridge Planning Policy team by 22 May 2015.
Read more: 2015 CIL Support

Former White Lion, Portsmouth Rd - April 2015 Planning Application

There are 2 new applications relating to the former White Lion and the surrounding area, 46 Portsmouth Road - Application No's 2015/0997 and 2015/1266. Over 100 objections were submitted on the previously refused applications. Those, and the Trust's own letters can be found on the Elmbridge Borough Council's (EBC) Planning Department's website using application number 2014/3417. EBC has informed us that those who objected to the last applications have been notified by letter re the new applications. However, we know of several members who have not received this letter from EBC.

The proposals are now for 5 x two-three storey buildings to provide 26 retirement flats and 20 affordable flats. The previous plan was for 3 slightly taller buildings providing 31 flats and 24 affordable flats, with conversion of the White Lion building to provide a further 4 flats (as the previous application). So the current plan is for 9 less flats but 2 more buildings! The rear of the listed building would be demolished, but one outbuilding with some heritage value would be saved, although not in its historic context as it would be in the midst of a car park.

It is disappointing that the developer has chosen not to consult with the Heritage Trust prior to proceeding with these applications. There is less elevation and more respect for history, but the Trust has always considered that the site should attract about 30 residential units at most, while the developers are still looking for 46. Density apart, parking has not been addressed and the suggestion of underground parking ignored.

The Cobham Heritage Trust Planning Team will, of course, be submitting their views on behalf of the Trust and we are always happy to receive feedback from members, but hope that you feel strongly enough about the proposals to submit your own letter to the EBC Planning Department. The Trust must look to state views that find the best balance between conservation and heritage, and new development.

The official closing date for submissions is Friday 24th April. We are informed by the Planning Department that they encourage people to get their comments in as soon as possible and they will, as normal, take comments right up to the day of decision, whether this is at Officer level or by Sub-Committee. It is important to point out that a closing date allows time for the Officer to draft the report.

It has been confirmed that both Applications and the Listed Building Consent have been promoted to the Planning Sub-Committee by Cllr Dorothy Mitchell if the recommendation is to permit, and we thank her for taking this step. It is expected that the date of the meeting will be 15th June 2015.

Objections on planning applications can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. quoting the relevant Planning Application number, together with your name and home address, or you can complete the on-line form. Alternatively, letters can be sent to the Planning Department, Elmbridge Borough Council, Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD.

Three Farms Meadows/Wisley Airfield - Please Consider Objecting

An Application has been submitted by Wisley Property Inv. Ltd to Guildford Borough Council to build 2100 homes on Wisley Airfield, as well as a school (not secondary), care home and shops. In addition, a 120-acre countryside area, football pitches and a 4G hockey pitch are envisaged. It would be the third largest settlement in the Guildford Borough area and about half the size of Cobham.
Three Farms Meadows Map
Wisley Airfield is on the opposite side of the A3 to RHS Wisley Gardens and is in the proximity of Downside, Ockham, Hatchford and Elm Corner and is in the Metropolitan Green Belt.

If this were approved, there would be a very adverse effect on all of the nearby areas including Cobham, Downside, Stoke d'Abernon and Oxshott.
Read more: Three Farms Meadows/Wisley Airfield - Please Consider Objecting

The Brooking Collection

During the December 2014 Open Public Meeting of the Cobham Heritage Trust we were given a talk by Charles Brooking about the Brooking National Collection of Architectual History.

Due to some technical problems with the videos, not all videos could be shown at the time but we are pleased to say that Charles Brooking and Raymond Smith have provided some links to some of the videos available to allow members to find out more:-

You can visit the Brooking Collection website at


Former White Lion - Planning Sub-Committee. Mon 15th Dec 2014 7:45pm

cobham whitelion

UPDATE - 15 Dec 2014: The Planning Applications have been refused by the EBC West Area Planning Sub-Committee. Hopefully the applicant will take onboard the objections and comments made and will submit a revised application which provides better design, lower density, reduced height and takes into account the historically significance of the site and its buildings.

On the 15th December there is an important planning meeting at the Civic Centre which includes an item on a matter which affects Cobham. This concerns Planning Applications 2014/3417 and 2014/3752 - the former White Lion (Vermont Exchange - NY Bar, or as the Applicant chooses to call it, the Cobham Lodge Hotel). We have previously said that this development must not be allowed to go ahead, due to the bad design and the demolition of an 18th century building within the curtilege of the Grade II listed building. From the start we have emphasised that this site is one of the most prominent public sites in Cobham, and high quality design must be provided to make the same positive contribution to the built environment that the existing Inn makes.
Read more: Former White Lion - Planning Sub-Committee. Mon 15th Dec 2014 7:45pm

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The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust (CCHT) was relaunched in November 2005 from the Cobham Conservation Group. You can find out more about the Trust on the About Us page.

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