Petition :  Say No to 116 Dwellings on Hurst Park Recreation Ground

The Petition Says : There is a proposal to redevelop Hurst Pool which would be most welcome - but  the cost would be the loss of precious open green space on Hurst Park


The Story So Far:

We published a post at the beginning of July asking whether the proposed feasibility review of Elmbridge Borough Council would result in the end of Hurst Pool:
July 7th 2023:

Hurst Pool - At Elmbridge Cabinet this week it was agreed to explore three feasibility options for Hurst Pool in Molesey.

The options to progress are:

1. Refurbish the existing facilities - no enhancements to the Hurst Pool and continue as is.

2. To adapt and extend existing facilities - provide enhanced facilities plus the opportunity for gyms, studio, splash pad and cafe.

3. Build a new swimming and health facility – beside the existing building so as not to close the pools temporarily, provide enhanced sport, leisure, and wellbeing activities internally and externally.

Hurst Pool is a high user of energy and water and any facility improvement would provide the opportunity to deliver an environmentally sustainable swimming pool/leisure facility, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the facility with an aspiration to be carbon neutral.

Work will now progress to fully cost and assess these options before coming back to Elmbridge Cabinet later in the year.

No decision has been made on which of these options will be taken forward, and each needs fully exploring before coming to a balanced decision.


What Happened Next?

There was an understandable backlash from local residents, naturally concerned as to the impact these options would have on the local community:

At the Elmbridge Full Council Meeting last Wednesday, this was raised by Surrey County Councillor for East Molesey and Esher District, Steve Bax:

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We estimate that around 2000 Elmbridge residents will read this post in the next 2 days.

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 Subsequently, a petition has been launched against the use of Hurst Park Recreation Ground for the additional 116 dwellings that will fund the Hurst Pool options being debated by Elmbridge Borough Council - Say No to 116 dwellings on Hurst Park Recreation Ground

The details of the petition can be found below:

There is a proposal to redevelop Hurst Pool which would be most welcome - but the cost would be the loss of precious open green space on Hurst park recreation ground. This for many local families is their only access to an open space. Many adult and youth teams train here football, cricket and tennis. Families visit the playground here, they picnic here, they dog walk here. The green space trees and plants help our environment remain healthy and our air remain relatively clear. The recreation ground is protected for sports provision.

the local infrastructure couldn’t cope with an additional 116 homes - the GP surgeries, hospitals, schools, roads and utility companies can barely cope with the population they already serve.

Elmbridge Council claim The Molesey Hurst Recreation Ground is not designated as Green Belt or Green Space within the current Local Plan. The Recreation Ground has also not been designated as a Local Green Space within the Replacement Local Plan. Although there are many trees, EBC claim There are also no protected trees on the recreation ground site.

the Recreation Ground is protected under 'sports provision' planning policy rather than green space, and as such, the project needs to ensure that there is no loss of outdoor sports provision resulting from development on site.

Depending on a decision around the re-positioning of the tennis courts and demolition of the pavilion to the south of the site, there may be an opportunity to deliver two phases of residential development. The first phase could be delivered to the northwest of the site to the left of the existing leisure centre car park with the second phase involving the demolition of the existing pavilion and tennis courts to the southwest of the site

Based on an initial review, the above approach could deliver approximately 116 units across both sites. The first phase of development in the northwest of the site could deliver a mix of buy to rent and affordable Later Life/Independent Living dwellings. BC Planning Team has indicated that up to three storey accommodation could be considered to the northwest of the site as this is in keeping with the neighbouring three storey residential properties located on The Fairway.
A new access road to the residential development would be provided from The Fairway would also provide an exit road for the leisure centre. Access control to the residential development would need further consideration and it is currently assumed that it would be gated.
A smaller Mews style development would be provided in the south of the site, on land currently occupied by the tennis courts and pavilion. Positioning and scale of the proposed development has taken into consideration the smaller scale of some of the adjacent properties and the need to ensure that they are suitably distanced from residential boundaries and the adjacent football pitch.
The orientation of the properties will also need consideration, to ensure that
they are not all north facing. Access control to the residential development needs to be considered further and it is assumed that it would be gated.

EBC also aim to have discussions with adjoining land owners to establish whether there are any joint benefits in the development.


let’s protect this precious green space -  Say No to 116 dwellings on Hurst Park Recreation Ground