The saga of Ambleside Road rebuild nears the end

This may well be my last article on the rebuilding of Ambleside Road in Lightwater, for in my visits on Tuesday and Wednesday this week I’ve noted significant progress.

On Tuesday I took photos of the base layer middle part of Ambleside Road that was nowhere near as bad as upper part, which I noted had been prepared for it’s final layer of tarmac.

I also spent time chatting to one of the supervisors while the road gang were awaiting the arrival of tarmac. In the conversation he said he’d been in the team that resurfaced the road three years ago, and knew that the surface wouldn’t last long as they’d found the underlying surface was so poor.

He told me that in the rebuilding of the road in parts they’d dug down 450mm to find a solid surface, and also that the finished road surface would have 150mm of tarmac.

Yesterday, I walked along the road and a couple of the photos show the excellent result of their work. I imagine the final shortish stretch of road will be completed in a few days, and so the saga may come to and end. Along with a resident who joined our conversation, we thought vehicles would speed on the new surface, and before long there’d be road humps.

Hoping not to bore, here’s another update on Ambleside Road

Hope you don’t mind more photos of the ongoing saga of the Ambleside Road rebuild. My, yesterday, walk home from Lightwater’s village centre, in which I previously commented on house prices, took in the diversion to walk the length of Ambleside Road.

My update on the road rebuild is is that the road base appears to have been completed, and now awaits three – I think it’s three – layers of tarmac. There wasn’t anyone working on the road – at around 2.0 pm – for me to ask questions. I suspect it’ll be almost another week before they complete.


Looking in estate agents windows, as you do

Walking home from Lightwater village center, I passed one of the estate agents, and couldn’t help myself from peering into their window, as you do.

It was in Carson & Co’s window display that I spotted three houses in Lightwater priced at £1,100,000.

The significance of this is that it’s not just one house at that price, as no matter where you are there’s always a house at the top of the local market, but that there were three houses at that price.

So, without me previously noticing, it appears that there are numerous houses in Lightwater priced at over £1,000,000.

Seeing the Esso jet fuel pipeline uncovered

As is my wont, yesterday I walked from Lightwater to the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut. I can tell you I was totally pooped at the end of the walk. I didn’t meet any else on my walk, obvious really, as it was a bit too hot [lift home from my wife who was volunteering in the museum].

What I did encounter on my walk was a section of the Esso jet fuel pipeline that had been uncovered on the track alongside the Bisley & Pirbright Ranges. If your keen to know exactly where, it was on the downside of Hangmoor Hill before it leads up to the Maultway.

I stopped and chatted to a pipeline engineer. I really should have found out more about their work, but ended up talking about football – me a Wolves supporter, the engineer, a Sunderland supporter. Interestingly, you might be able to see in a photo that the pipeline has a concrete cover.

I’ve written before about the renewal of the pipeline from Southampton to Heathrow, which you can read in – Preferred fuel supply pipeline corridor announced, and when I previously encountered the uncovering of the pipeline – Uncovered Esso pipeline at Colony Gate on The Maultway in Camberley. Click on images to expand.

Our climbing hydrangea is a success among some losses

The formal name of climbing hydrangea is Pileostegia viburnoides. The ‘viburnoides‘ referring to the plant being viburnum like, although a viburnum is a different family. Plant names are odd, don’t you think.

Anyway, we’ve had the plant growing against a wall, and it’s self clinging, which is handy. It’s a hardy plant, not suffering the vagaries of our weather. This year the cluster of flower panicles are particularly extensive, as you can see in my photos, taken yesterday.  We’ve not watered it, though we’ve lost some plants due to my lack of watering. Its roots sit beneath our patio, so perhaps that’s helped. I count our climbing hydrangea as a success. It’s a vigourous climber, and needs regular pruning. Otherwise, it’s to be recommended. Oh, one final point, the bees and flying insect love it.

Phew, completed my submission on Surrey Heath’s Draft Local Plan

Surrey Heath’s Local Plan is intended to guide the location, scale and type of future development in Surrey Heath up to 2032. A public consultation stage, concluding on July 30th, will help the Council in determining where development should take place and in developing the policies to guide this development.

I left it late to complete my submission, only handing it in yesterday. Here are the main points I made,

  • No mention in the Vision and Objectives of the need for policies to be compatible with attracting new employers to the Borough.
  • The policies on retail centres are Camberley centric. I suggest that Lightwater should be classified as a District retail centre, as it meets the needs of West End and Bisley residents, who can access it via the 34 & 35 bus route. Unlike any other retail centres in the Borough, Lightwater has no shop voids; and vacancies, when they occur, are soon filled. A definite good sign of retail success.
  • On Flood Risk, there’s no discussion of past significant flood events in Lightwater, nor will planning policies make any difference to existing infrastructure, such as un-adopted roads lacking high quality drainage. The re-making of Ambleside Road, due to streams being uncovered below the road structure, is a case in point.
  • On vehicle parking provision planning policy should reflect the need for car parking provision, over and above any set nationally or by County, in a borough with poor public transport. Surrey Heath has the highest proportion of households with over 4 cars, due primarily to poor public transport.
  • In the Council’s desire to introduce a new heritage strategy, there should be a review of heritage assets in the Borough, with efforts to gain national recognition, such as with Grade II listing. No milestones in the Borough are Grade II listed, and the only locally listed one was despoiled, without any censure.
  • Regarding Local Area Polices in the east of the borough, cycling and pedestrian facilities are limited, eg, Red Road, and the planning bonus for Deepcut housing makes little effect on this.

Oh, I could go on, and for a moment was tempted to try and get back on the Council to put my thoughts across more strongly. Sense prevailed, and I had another cup of tea.

Much needed renewal of Ambleside Road, Lightwater

The origins of Ambleside Road in Lightwater were as a heathland track. The houses on the road were mostly chalets surrounded by Scots Pine trees. In Victorian times living near pine tress was considered beneficial to health.

Over the years the chalets were replaced by more substantial houses. This is an ongoing process, as even those houses continue to be replaced by bigger houses. The road has been resurfaced many times, though never properly made into a road. In the short video below you can see how the road has deteriorated from the last, and quite recent, resurfacing.

There are a number of places where rivulets, and streams cross under the road, causing road surface movement, and hence deterioration.

Here’s a short video of the work.