Walton Heath Golf Club – Latest News September 2020

Members of Walton Heath Golf Club met at an EGM on 28th August, to discuss whether or not to progress the Club’s Appeal against the decision not to allow the proposal to construct a new Clubhouse on the Course, and to redevelop for housing the existing Clubhouse site.

It is our understanding that the decision was made not to go to Appeal on both proposals. The consequence is, that these planning proposals will be withdrawn and, for the foreseeable future, be held in abeyance.

Throughout the lengthy debate and discussion which has surrounded these issues, the TWRA has always tried to reflect our members' views on this matter and, as a result, has consistently objected to the Club's proposals.

We therefore welcome this decision and now look forward to building a more constructive and co-operative relationship with the Club, its Members and its personnel.

Clive Elcome, Chairman TWRA
Walton Heath Golf Club – July 2020

Following the Council’s refusals of the Club’s two applications, (for a new clubhouse and the redevelopment of the existing site), the Club has had six months to appeal these decisions. This period is coming to an end and we understand that the Club intends to appeal.

In due course we will be notified by the Council of the arrangements proposed by the Planning Inspectorate. These will include the name of the Inspector, the timing and how it is proposed to run the Hearing. At present there is a backlog and major enquiries are being dealt with through the web.

We will publicise the details when we have more information. The Residents' Association intends to give evidence and support the Council in opposing the two proposals.
Walton Heath Golf Club – January 2020

The Reigate and Banstead Planning Committee, at its meeting on 22nd January, refused planning permission for both the new clubhouse on the south east side of the Dorking Road, and the proposed residential development on the site of the existing clubhouse in Walton.

Four speakers from the Tadworth & Walton Residents’ Association (TWRA) spoke against the proposals, two for each application.
The reasons for refusal of the proposed new Club House complex, comprising a large main club house building, Artisans club house, 171 parking spaces and an access road, can be summarised as inappropriate development in the Green Belt and loss of trees also the loss of a significant degree of openness. For the new housing site the reasons were: the loss of a community facility, the scale and massing of the proposed block of flats with impact on an adjacent historic garden, and no agreement on affordable housing provision.

The Residents’ Association is delighted with these decisions but  does not yet know if the Golf Club will appeal. In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us and those who formally objected to the proposals.
Walton Heath Golf Club – Letter of Objection towards the Walton Heath Golf Club Development Plan.
October 2019

Please click on the image to read the whole letter.
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Walton Heath Golf Club – Latest News January 2018

Recent communication between TWRA and Surrey County Council / Local Highways Services -
Dear Councillor Harris,
Walton Heath Golf Club
Proposed golf club complex on the South side of the Dorking Rd, Walton on the Hill.

As you are aware, the Walton Heath Golf Club is investigating the feasibility of building a new club house on the opposite side of the road from their present structure. A pre-meeting has been held with the local authority planners and we are aware that new architects have been appointed to draw up revised plans with a view to submitting an application in due course. (They will also need permission under the 2006 Commons Act).

We appreciate that the crossing of the Dorking Road is becoming more dangerous, particularly at peak periods, and so can understand why the Club has concerns on this issue. As a Residents' Association, we are also concerned as walkers have to cross the busy road to access the heath. Having at least one controlled crossing would be of immense benefit to the local community.

We believe in the past the Club offered to pay for a controlled crossing but the County Council were against interrupting the traffic flows. As speeding is a major problem we would have thought that drivers would be more careful if there is a controlled crossing.
Of course, if planning permission is granted and the new complex is constructed, there would probably have to be traffic controls in any event, which would have greater impact on traffic flows.

We have looked at the costs of Toucan crossings on the web. We feel that this will be more appropriate than a pelican crossing if to be used by golfers with buggies.

Costs obviously vary considerably as we appreciate the design will depend on road width, traffic speeds and services etc. The cheapest appears to be Wiltshire with a quote of up to £80,000 for a Toucan, 2016 prices. We are also aware of the Copthorne Golf Club crossing costing £80,000 half of which was paid for by Sussex County Council. Even if a Dorking Road crossing could be somewhat higher, this does not seem exorbitant, compared with the cost of a new club house, assuming the Club are still willing to pay.

(We note that Surrey CC's costs quoted on the web site are up to £250,000 but these do seem higher than other Highway Authority figures we managed to trace.)

We also note that there are 3 controlled crossings for race horses on Epsom Downs and so wondered if this could be regarded as a local precedent?

We would be grateful if you would ask the Highways officers to do an initial feasibility study which can then be discussed with the Walton Heath Golf Club. We fully appreciate that the Council currently lacks finance for works such as this but we do feel that there would be major benefits to the Club and the community if a crossing could be installed.

We have also considered a tunnel but this would be far more expensive as well as taking common land. Views on this option would also be appreciated.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

Gillian Hein
Tadworth and Walton RA

Response from Local Highways Services -
Thank you for forwarding the letter from the Tadworth and Walton Residents Association about the proposal for moving the Walton Heath clubhouse, and any proposed pedestrian crossing facility.

Colleagues have looked in to your enquiry and, although a lot of information, I hope that this is useful to you.

Walton Heath Golf Club has submitted a pre planning application to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council and had attended a meeting with the Council as a result. The meeting was primarily to discuss a proposed move of the existing clubhouse across the Dorking Road on to Walton Heath, in to an area of land that is not designated as Common Land. Please see the plan below, that shows an almost rectangular area that is outside of this designation, and includes a section of the gallops.

Reigate & Banstead’s Principal Planning Officer had advised the applicants that they would need to seek separate early pre-application discussions with Surrey County Council as the Highway Authority. The views in relation to highway safety, operation and capacity would be taken in high regard.

I understand that a copy of the pre-application was included in the Tadworth and Walton RA newsletter.

The Golf Club had commissioned the company Motion to carry out a Traffic and Pedestrian Survey for the Dorking Road and Deans Lane.

The Local Area Highways Team, in discussion with Development Planning, have expressed concerns about the location of any entrance to the proposal, and the proximity with other junctions and house entrances, together with speed and capacity. It was also noted that the speed survey carried out by Motion recorded 85th percentile speeds of 46mph for northbound traffic and 45mph for southbound traffic, which are in excess of the 40mph speed limit on Dorking Road. Based on these speeds, a new vehicular access onto Dorking Road would need to be provided with visibility splays of 2.4m 'x' distance by 123 'y' distance to the north, and 2.4m by 127m to the south. It would need to be demonstrated that these visibility splays are achievable in each direction, across land within the ownership/control of the applicant, or across land within the public highway. This would also have to comply with current highway design standards and not encroach on the Common Land, without the need for additional approvals.

Comments were sent back to the Golf Course, without prejudice to any formal planning application that may subsequently be submitted.

There has been no further correspondence about this pre-application advice from the Golf Course.

The Golf Course are permitted to have a temporary crossing with a supervisor, run on batteries, for a short time for an annual tournament when there are a large number of pedestrians crossing the road. The design and approvals process is far more stringent for a permanent formal crossing. The costs of formal crossings often vary, due to the need to have an electricity supply, and how wide the crossing planned is. Please note, than even if there is funding for a formal crossing from a developer it may still not be appropriate for the location, and would not gain a safety audit or highway approval.

A feasibility study with outline design would be required for a crossing before a more detailed cost estimate could be made. The costs may or might not be a total project cost or include the cost of design, traffic management to construct, and supervision costs. Please also note that the land on the north side of the road is designated Common Land, even the land opposite the area that is not Common Land. This would be the area where there would need to be potential equipment for a crossing, and electricity supply. The Common Land procedures and approvals are likely to make that type of crossing unfeasible at this location.

I hope that you find this helpful,

Kind regards,

Zena Curry

Local Highways Services
South East Area Highway Manager
Surrey Highways and Transport
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Walton Heath Golf Club – Latest News August 2017

"New Clubhouse on the Heath” - Pre-Application response from RBBC obtained by the TWRA via a Freedom of Information request.
Read more below. (Click here to view, download & print as a pdf file.)

Walton Heath Golf Club – July 2017

We understand that the Club’s Board is now embarked on a “pre-application process” with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in an effort to obtain planning permission to build a new clubhouse on the Green Belt. They will also be seeking planning permission to use the existing clubhouse site for development. It is believed that this process, of “pre-application’ will take about 6 weeks (from the beginning of June).

The TWRA have long suspected that this was the real reason why the Club was so keen to de-register Beechams Field, in our view it was never just about a practice ground. As soon as their specific plans become known, which they are not at the moment, the TWRA Committee will consult our members on what action they would like us to take to protect the Green Belt in this regard. We will continue to keep residents informed of developments as far as we are able.

Extract from The Tadworth & Walton Tribune, August 2017