Chobham Society petition presented to Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council issued this press release on 1st August 2017, [NOTE: My photo of council chamber, not of this council meeting]

Surrey Heath Borough Council welcomed members of The Chobham Society and local residents to debate a petition presented to a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday 26 July.

The petition, which collected enough signatures to trigger a debate at Full Council, was signed by 992 residents in the Borough, 605 of whom live in Chobham.

The petition asked SHBC not to promote or support housing development at Fairoaks Airport, a privately owned site in Chobham, but to retain it in the Greenbelt, including committing to not making a second bid for a Fairoaks Garden Village, and to encourage airport operations at Fairoaks with associated employment opportunities.

Mr Darren Rees of The Chobham Society made a presentation setting out reasons for objections to redevelopment of the site with reference to the Local Plan.

Councillor Moira Gibson, Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, said: “With no planning application submitted for the Fairoaks site it is too early for Members to comment on future plans for the site, but the background information and concerns presented by The Chobham Society and local residents is an important part of the process.”

The petition had been accepted by the Council for a public debate as a valid petition in March 2017, and had run for three months.

SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan added: “Members of the public have a right to be heard on a host of topics which are important to them, which is why the petition process exists. When issues also affect decisions councillors might have to take in the future, it is naturally important for councillors to be made aware of local opinion, whilst keeping an open mind to any potential development proposals in the borough.”

Surrey Heath Borough Council loses planning appeal on Heathpark Woods

Surrey Heath Borough Council statement regarding Heathpark Woods Planning Permission

A planning application for up to 140 dwellings and community facilities, with associated landscaping, open space, car-parking and access from Woodlands Lane, and use of land to provide publicly accessible recreation space (SANG) at Heathpark Wood, East of Heathpark Drive, Windlesham, Surrey was declined by Surrey Heath Borough Council on 18 March 2016.

An appeal and subsequent inquiry was held by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The appeal was upheld and therefore outline planning permission has been granted for this development.

Councillor Moira Gibson, Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council said  “We are disappointed by this decision. There have been a number of cases recently where planning permission has been granted despite the concerns of the local council and residents.”

Does Surrey Heath Council value its Museum?

Surrey Heath Museum is under threat. Sad but true. Click on image to find out more.

At the recent Camberley Society meeting in the Surrey Heath Council Chamber in June, ably reported on by David Chesneau in The Camberley Eye blog articles, Camberley Regeneration, and Monday’s Meeting Part II where David wrote,

What is the future of the museum? Answer – a museum service will be maintained for the foreseeable future, though the nature of this service has not been decided. The council’s wish, though, is for a “more modern facing” museum.  The council executive will be considering whether to carry out a consultation on the subject  next month.

There’s a strong belief in the value of heritage and history in Surrey Heath, evidenced by the Surrey Heath Museum and its support groups, the Heritage Gallery in the Camberley Mall, Chobham Museum, Windlesham and Camberley Camera Club, Camberley Natural History Society, and numerous other groups,

An issue that concerns the Council is Surrey Heath Museum’s low visitors numbers. Many factors contribute to this, its location in the Council Offices along with it’s difficult access, long term lack of council investment or interest in the museum.

At the Council’s Executive Meeting on 11th July the following paper was presented, and agreed. One thing to notice in the paper, is that the word MUSEUM isn’t mentioned.  A sure sign of the Council’s focus. I’ll write more in the coming days on this topic.

Frimley Lodge Park’s 17th consecutive Green Flag award

On the 18th July 2017, Surrey Heath Borough Council announced,

L-R SHBC Recreation and Business Manager Sue McCubbin, SHBC Greenspace Team Leader Steve Harris, Glendale Contract Supervisor Christopher Wickham and the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Valerie White

Frimley Lodge Park in Surrey Heath has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best in the world – for the 17th year running!

The 24-hectare park is among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.​

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Owned and maintained by Surrey Heath Borough Council, Frimley Lodge Park attracts a large number of visitors with its beautiful open spaces, picnic areas, pitch and putt course which now also doubles as a footgolf course, children’s playgrounds; as well as a miniature railway and barbecue and private hire areas.

Other attractions include a 3G all-weather football pitch, traditional football and cricket pitches, and a café.

The Mayor of Surrey Heath Valerie White said at the unveiling of the flag: “I am absolutely delighted to see Frimley Lodge Park receive its 17th Green Flag Award.

“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Frimley Lodge Park to such a high standard.

“It is such a popular, attractive park with excellent facilities, and well deserves this amazing award – I congratulate all those involved.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.

“Each flag is a celebration of the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. The success of the scheme, especially in these challenging times, demonstrates just how much parks matter to people.”

Surrey Heath introduce smartphone car parking payment app

Surrey Heath Borough Council introduces the Glide Parking is a parking payment app

Surrey Heath Borough Council has introduced another quick and convenient way for customers to pay in their multi-storey car parks.

Glide Parking is a parking payment app, which customers can download on to their smartphones to make payment fast and painless.

Following the recent successful introduction of contactless payment at Knoll Road and Main Square car parks in Camberley, Glide gives customers even more choice when it comes to swift and easy ways to pay.

To create a Glide account, customers can simply download the Glide Parking app from Google Play or the App Store. Paying for parking is a simple three button process to confirm payment. Once payment has been made, there is a 10 minute ‘grace period’ to leave the car park. Free wi-fi in the Mall and Camberley Theatre make using Glide Parking even easier.

There’s also an introductory Glide offer from SHBC car park partner Newpark Solutions – for a limited time customers using the Glide app will receive a £1.40 discount on each parking fee, less a convenience fee of 20p per transaction, making a net saving of £1.20. Where a parking fee is under £1.40, the amount paid by the customer will be a flat rate of 21p. Once this promotion is over, parking fees will return to the standard level.

Surrey Heath Business Portfolio Holder Cllr Craig Fennell said: “The Glide Parking App gives our customers the ability to pay for their parking on the way to their car, avoiding having to divert to a pay station. As well as being quicker for the individual, this has the potential to reduce the queues that invariably form at pay stations during busy periods.”

Newpark’s Managing Director Matt Cook said: “The Glide Parking App is a leap forward for payments in car parks where you pay when you exit. Many people readily have their smartphone to hand, so customers will no longer need to queue at pay stations and search for their payment cards or cash – instead they can just open up Glide Parking on their phone and with three clicks pay for their parking.’

More info: and

First Camberley Enterprise Expo announced

Surrey Heath Borough council has announced the date of the first Camberley Expo,

If you are involved in business in or around Surrey Heath, the Camberley Enterprise Expo is a crucial event not to be missed.

The Council is pleased to host our first ever Expo on September 13 at Camberley Theatre. With virtual interactions increasingly replacing opportunities to meet existing and prospective clients face to face, the Camberley Enterprise Expo offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, build key relationships and gain valuable sales leads.

This local event is more than just another business to business exhibition. It’s open to exhibitors who wish to reach local consumers as well as other businesses – encouraging a wide range of attendees, including venues, banks, IT companies, professional services and retailers.

To ensure the event gets off to a flying start, the Council are hosting a pre-Expo breakfast seminar, including presentations from SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan and Surrey Heath MP Michael Gove. A series of business seminars led by local business leaders will also take place throughout the day.

The Expo is supported by The Camberley Society and Surrey Chambers of Commerce, and is being organised by Webster Consultancy and The Best Of Camberley, both of whom have significant experience in delivering successful networking and exhibition events across Surrey.

Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Moira Gibson, said: “We are pleased to support this important new business event in Surrey Heath, as part of our key objective to support and promote our local economy so that people can work and do business across Surrey Heath.”

Co-organiser David Yu of The Best Of Camberley said: “This is a key new event in the Surrey business calendar. We hope that local businesses will support it, and make the most of the networking, sales and marketing opportunities it offers.”

A range of stand sizes are available at the Expo, with prices starting at £380. There will also be a smaller, lower cost area for charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

Thanks to event sponsors McCarthy & Stone, Watchmoor Park, Dolphin Head, Basepoint Camberley and The Mall Camberley for their continued support.