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Newsletter - Sat 13 May, 2023

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Redhill station planning application submitted

Visualisation of Redhill Station project
  • Visualisation of the front of the new station - looking from Station Road

Plans to redevelop Redhill station and create up to 280 flats have been submitted to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council.

The developer, Solum, is a joint venture company between Network Rail and Kier Property.

The proposals (Opens in a new window)would see the creation of two buildings on the current station front ("Site A"), one with heights ranging from 10 to 19 storeys, and the other from 7 to 14.

Impression of Redhill Station
  • Site A with existing long-stay car park at left, then the two new blocks, then the station entrance

There would be 27 car parking spaces for the 280 flats: Solum says that this ratio is appropriate given the site's accessibility to public transport.

The main station drop-off would move to the rear of the station ('Site B').

Station parking would be provided by retaining the existing long-stay car park on Site A, and expanding parking on Site B.

However total station parking spaces would be reduced to 350, from the current 389.

Bicycle spaces would rise to 248, up from the present 202.

Entrances to the station from both Site A and Site B would be improved.

Three commercial premises, with flexible uses, would be part of the project.

A planning statement (Opens in a new window) in support of the scheme says its benefits include an increase in housing supply on brownfield land, enhanced vitality for Redhill town centre, and public improvements at the station, including for cyclists and pedestrians.

No affordable housing provision is being put forward. A financial viability assessment report (Opens in a new window)submitted with the application notes there will be "significant" improvements to the station, and payments to the council under the Community Infrastructure Levy (used for improvements in the borough), "but the scheme is unable to provide further contributions in the form of affordable housing."

Map of Solum's Redhill plans
  • Phase 1 (orange, site B): larger station car park, new canopy, new entrance pavilion

  • Phase 2 (blue, site A): improvements to station and retained car park

  • Phase 3: (purple, site A): block of flats (up to 19 floors) with parking

  • Phase 4: (yellow, site A): block of flats (up to 14 floors) with parking

    All images from planning documents prepared by architecture firm PRP.

Earlier this year Solum sought views (Opens in a new window) from the public on its plans, with presentations in Redhill.

Solum previously won planning permission in 2013 to redevelop the station, but with a different scheme that would have created 150 homes, and included a multi-storey car park and a Waitrose.

That scheme did not proceed because of changes to the market for food stores, the new planning application says. The proposal was not required to have any affordable housing, because that was found to be financially unviable.

Clarks set for 'early summer opening'

Clarks new premises in Reigate

A branch of shoe shop Clarks is expected to open "in the early part of the summer".

The location, at 47A High Street, is where Joules used to be, and before that Jigsaw.

A spokesperson said this week: "Clarks is delighted to be opening a new store in Reigate. We’re working hard to get the store ready for opening in the early part of the summer.

"Reigate has a thriving high street with many great brands, Clarks is looking forward to joining that community and serving our customers in the town.”

The Reigate store will be a franchise.

'Next steps' still being decided on Priory School plan

Impression of how the new school at Woodhatch Place could look
  • Impression of the new school building (Noviun Architects)

Surrey County Council is still deciding next steps on its plans for a new school next to its HQ at Woodhatch Place, on Cockshot Hill, which would become the home of Reigate Priory Junior School instead of the present location in Priory Park.

On 22 February the county council's planning committee ruled that it was minded to refuse (Opens in a new window) the proposals, because the basis for the selection of the Woodhatch site was contrary to the council's local transport plan, the scale and design of the new building would harm the character and appearance of the area, traffic factors (including congestion, safety and unlawful parking), and impacts on nearby properties from noise, light and overbearing.

Because it is the county council's own application, it has the option to bring it back to the committee, with or without amendments, for a final decision.

County Councillor Clare Curran, cabinet member for education and learning, said this week: “Our focus is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all children attending Reigate Priory Junior School, now and in the future, and it remains the case that the current school isn't fit for providing a modern 21st century education.

“We are still carefully considering feedback shared at the planning meeting to determine next steps however, whatever those steps may be, our intention is to invest in Reigate Priory School to make it the modern and appropriate education setting that our children and the school staff deserve.”

Work quickly completed at Reigate Hill temporary lights

Three-way traffic lights appeared at the junction of Reigate Hill and Brokes Road earlier this week, but were gone in just two days.

SES Water had a permit until 15 May but that proved to be unnecessary as they were able to complete the job more quickly.

A spokesperson for the water company said on Friday: "On Tuesday 9th [May] our standby teams identified and responded to an emergency water main leak on Reigate Hill.

"Our teams worked throughout the night to ensure the repair was completed as soon as possible with minimal disruption to the area.

"We are pleased to confirm the area is now clear and traffic should return to normal.

"We will always endeavour to prioritise and complete repairs on roads such as Reigate Hill as quickly as we possibly can.”

Publishing schedule

The aim is to publish newsletters on Tuesdays and Fridays (for paying subscribers) - but this week it's been Wednesday and Saturday. Things should be back to normal next week.

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