Last Friday a public meeting and exhibition of the plans for the redevelopment of Hayes Place was held by Affinity Sutton (the successor to Broomleigh), prior to the formal submission of the planning application. Your ward councillors have already been involved in offering some initial advice – nothing more – on various aspects of the plans.
The proposals will include some housing for older people as well as a large proportion of private family housing.
The wide open spaces of the Ward, and the not so wide open, continue to attract these itinerants, the most recent arrival being a return visit to the approach road leading to St John’s Church and Wickham Court, off Layhams Road.
Fortunately, they were soon removed and it is good to report that the RC Archbishopric of Southwark/former All Saints School is seeking planning permission for a barrier across the road. It is sad that law-abiding people and bodies are forced to resort to taking such action. Your Ward Councillors would like to see some changes in the law and are working with Bob Stewart MP on this very issue.
The long-awaited double yellow banding around the junctions of Hartfield Road with Gates Green Road and Harvest Bank Road eventually appeared during the autumn term, and the single banding along parts of Gates Green Road has recently been installed. These should improve safety for pupils of Wickham Common Primary School. The School, Wickham Common RA and your Ward Councillors have spent much time in gaining these safety measures.
Late last summer, after a concerted campaign by residents, supported by your councillors, the backland development proposals in Chestnut Avenue were rejected by the council. Recently, however, the applicant lodged an appeal just days before the six month deadline. It is now understood that the Planning Inspectorate will deal with the appeal by the ‘written representations’ method without a public hearing.
There has been much interest in the future of Hayes Library, with a council Working Party including it in a list of libraries whose future could be under review. It will be some time before any final decision is taken, the Working Party Review first being returned to a meeting on 12th April of the Council’s Recreation & Renewal PDS Committee for further consideration. A round of public consultation, on the outcome of that meeting, is likely to be the next step.
However, your local councillors have been at pains to point out the key part the library plays in the life of Hayes and beyond, as well as the difficulties inherent in the physical site as regards any possible sale by the council.
Care for older people in the borough is undergoing major changes as more people seek to stay in their own homes for longer, including in ‘extra care’ housing, and the standard of remaining care homes is raised significantly. As part of this process, Isard House has now closed, all residents having been moved to alternative accommodation. The Council’s Property Department will ensure the site is made secure, pending a decision on its future.
The Council’s intention is to place Isard House on the open market and, at that stage, to indicate a preference either for a new care home or extra-care housing. Much will depend, of course, on someone making an appropriate bid and that, in turn, will depend upon the availability of funding.
We are keeping nearby residents informed as matters progress.