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Surbiton Hospital latest

October 28, 2010

from Graham Goldspring OADRA 

Yesterday, I went to the Heritage Working Group at Surbiton Hospital. The aim was to get opinions as to what should be put into the new site and building for the new hospital (apparently ‘polyclinic’ as a term as been removed) in the way of a garden or area to display the commemoration plaques, some of the original brick work, and other memorabilia from the current building which was constructed in the 1930s. They talk as setting this up WHEN the redevelopment gets under way (interesting).

The centre of the hospital building will have an open garden courtyard and it was agreed the plaques and any dedicated benches be put there. The front entrance will be restored and preserved. Maybe have a ‘memory’ garden near the main entrance. The entrance gates will be kept as these were a gift from the local council for the King’s Jubilee in 1935.

On display at the meeting was the latest architect’s plan. As it is still evolving, no-one can access this online until the planning application is submitted.

However other things were said which will be of interest.

The main one is that Marcus Ballard (representing the company which has put together the business plan for the re-development) confirmed that the joint planning application for the re-development will be issued on the RBK website on 19th November. So, time is now very short.

There will be also an application for Conservation Consent to demolish No. Oakhill (Elmside). The case for its demolition in the interests of the whole site development (!!) is being made by Alan Baxter Associates, who are Heritage Buildings’ consultants.

I have contacted the Victorian Society today. Alex Baldwin has left their employ and the contact person is now Chris Costello. They know Alan Baxter very well and recognise his expertise in heritage consultation. I referred to a letter Alex sent to Marcus Ballard objecting to the demolition of Elmside, suggesting it could be used as part of the school if that goes ahead. He said they can’t do any more until the planning applications are published.

They also picked up on a query that the report from the Transport Working group needs to be part of the planning application. So the follow-up meeting to the one held at the beginning of this month will not be January but around 15 November.

The covenant issue relates only to a large area of land where the school is proposed. Ian Nixon of the NHS has checked and there is no record of who owns the covenant presently. According to Marcus Ballard, someone needs to produce proof that he/she has inherited a covenant from anyone listed in the Land registry title deeds. If not, then the chain is broken and the covenant is not enforcable. At the moment, there is no evidence there is an unbroken chain.

The plan now shows soft grass and sand playing areas around the school at ground level where the position of Elmside is at the moment. So demolishing the villa will be so the school can have these playing areas and a cycle/pedestrian path from the end of Oakhill to the school and the hospital campus.

The number of parking spaces for the new hospital is now 69. I noticed that only half are for long stay (1 hr), about a quarter medium stay (30 mins) and again about 20% short stay. There are also 2-3 bays for patient carrier vehicles and disabled transport.

Graham Goldspring

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