Her Royal Highness met those involved in the project, as well as members of the Trust and viewed the work which had been carried out. To cheers from the crowds, Her Royal Highness unveiled a new information board dedicating the project to the Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012. Sam Perkins (age 8) presented The Countess of Wessex with a commemorative book about the project.
One of the many highlights of the afternoon was a mini duck race on the River Mole. 20 plastic ducks, each one named after a member of the Royal family were designed by Children from the three local schools who have been involved with the project (Royal Kent School, St. Andrew's School and St. Matthew's School).
Watched by the crowd, the little ducks raced down the River Mole to the finishing line by the new viewing platform. The winning duck, named after Prince Andrew was presented to Her Royal Highness by Emily Banfield (age 6) as a wonderful reminder of the afternoon.
The duck race represented miniature version of Cobham's annual Heritage Day event (to be held on the 13th September this year) when 8,000 plastic ducks race down the Mole.
Her Royal Highness then enjoyed a demonstration by the Cobham Millers when she toured Cobham Mill, Surrey's sole surviving Water Mill.
Escorted by Sir Gerald Acher, Chairman of the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, The Countess of Wessex then moved to The Tilt where a tea party provided by Waitrose in Cobham was in full swing. Children from St Matthew's School performed a Maypole dancing demonstration and the Cobham Band provided uplifting music for the afternoon. Her Royal Highness enjoyed a cup of tea whilst meeting members of the Cobham Evening WI who had kindly made the cakes for the party, members of the Royal British Legion and some of the many volunteers who support the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust throughout the year. Read more: Royal Honour for Cobham
Proposal: Construction of new rural business centre, conversion of existing stable building to B1 office use, alterations to existing green keeper building and construction of new green keeper building on footprint of existing buildings (2,766 sq.m net increase)
Location: Norwood Farm Buildings, Old Common Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1BS
Application Number: 2014/1993
It is described as "a rural business centre". It is in the Green Belt and what is proposed is, in fact, a commercial office development of 2,766 sq. metres (30,000 sq. feet) – a large development with 65 or more car park spaces and up to 200 employees. Our community needs to ask whether there is any case for this large development in the Green Belt on what was a farm and consider the wider implications.
There is at present a varied collection of farm buildings. Will the proposed new development have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing buildings? Undoubtedly, as current permitted use takes in green management for the Burhill Golf Course (with storage of machinery for that which will be dislocated) and very small-scale artisan and equine use. The Applicant states that only 17 employees are currently involved.
The access will be via Elvedon Road off and onto Portsmouth Road. The location is far from reliable or convenient public transport and to discourage car use the Applicant proposes a shuttle bus to and from Esher Station at peak times and to Esher at lunch time. But employees will commute from other directions and how long before employees supposed to use a bus took to their cars? The Trust believes there would be heavy additional vehicle use, adding to local traffic, not only from that but also from numerous regular deliveries and visitors.
There would be no benefit to the local Cobham community, just loss of amenity. The proposals would significantly affect the amenities of the residential occupiers of Norwood Farmhouse, who are at present in a rural situation but could potentially have a full scale office development on their doorstep.
The Trust believes that this Application for a significant development contravenes the objects of the Green Belt. If permitted it could set a dangerous precedent. The Trust will be writing to the Planning Department at Elmbridge objecting. It would ask members to also write objecting if they can.
This application comes at a time when Cargills have notified a change (as new regulations entitle them to) of use of their extensive premises at Knowle Hill Park, off the Fairmile Lane, from business to residential in the form of 21 flats, indicating a lack of business demand. These premises are not dissimilar in size to what the Applicant looks to add in the Norwood Farm proposals.
Developers are planning to redevelop the former White Lion on the Portsmouth Road (previously known as the Vermont Exchange & NY Bar and Grill). This is a Grade II listed building and is an important Cobham landmark.
For those who were unable to visit the exhibition on Wednesday (4 June 2014), the electronic version of the information boards which were on display, can be downloaded via the following link:
We would like to refer you to the section relating to Constraints and Opportunities.
A number of important points have already been made by those who went along:-
We hope you will take the opportunity of studying the proposals and let us have your views. It will be high on the Agenda at our Open Meeting on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 at 8pm at the Cobham Village Hall. We expect a formal planning application to be submitted to the Elmbridge Planning department later this month.
The White Lion must not lose its status as the dominant building at Street Cobham.
Exploring Surrey's Past are doing some research to refine the development of their Heritage Lottery Fund bid to support the project, 'A County Remembers: Surrey in the Great War'. They would be very grateful for your help.
This project will facilitate new and original research into Surrey's experience of the Great War. The project will train volunteers in historical research techniques and help Surrey residents to learn more about the impact of the Great War on the place in which they live. The project will create a website showcasing the research taking place around the County and publicising events and other Surrey projects commemorating the Great War. The project will take place between 2014 and 2018, but we intend its legacy will last much longer.
They are asking as many people as possible to help support the bid by filling in the questionnaire. The more completed questionnaires they receive, the better. All the information generated will be used to help their bid be the best it can possibly be.
Here's a link to the research questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YPJ96V2
The questionnaire is fairly long, but all the questions are important. They would really appreciate your time and effort.
Please ask your friends, neighbours and relations or anyone else who would be interested in supporting the bid by participating in this research.
Riverhill in Cobham, Surrey is one of the very best in the UK – and that's official.
The prestigious national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities. The Riverhill Regeneration project passed an extensive assessment to qualify highly for the award.Read more: Riverhill awarded a Green Flag Award
The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust will be holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 8pm.
The meeting will be held at Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive, Cobham, Surrey KT11 2LU. Click here for a map.
In addition to the formal AGM business, we are delighted to have Mr Dominic Raab MP who be be speaking about "Current Issues challenging our local community".
Everyone is welcome.
The minutes from previous AGMs can be found here.
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.
We hope you enjoy exploring our website and find the information interesting and stimulating and if you are not already a member that this will spur you on to join and support us. Click on the Membership menu for more details.