Proposed Water Activity Centre site in Spring
RARE  Great Burnet Autumn Squill - a rare plant now confirmed growing in Hurst Park and nowhere else in Surrey RARE Bee Orchid in Hurst Meadows The Hurst Marker RARE Hybrid Duck at Hurst Park Lady's Smock (Cuckoo Flower) Hurst Park signpost

Click photos to enlarge


Elmbridge Council has made it clear that any development on the public open land, flood plain and Green Space of Hurst Park and Meadows is unlikely to be permitted.

A 30m x 10m x 8m modern warehouse construction, proposed for a Water Activity Centre by 1st Molesey Scouts, was refused on 31 December 2018 because of its scale, mass and height. As a result, the council judged the development did not respect the character of the area nor the riverside location (shown above). The council was unequivocal that the proposal ran contrary to its policies and management plans.

This opinion has been supported through two separate proposals over a period of more than two years by hundreds of local people and park users, who wrote a total more than 600 objection letters to the council. All werel based on planning issues relating to the sensitive location of Hurst Park Floodplain Meadows and written with passion. The level of attachment for local people and park users to Hurst Park and Meadows was clear.

The planners stated that the open space of Hurst Park, identified for conservation in the Arcadian Thames by the Thames Landscape Strategy, was important as the setting for key landmarks, strategic views and heritage assets.

The council added the proposed development would also increase land and water-based activities, leading to noise, disturbance and light. The decision notice stated the applicants had not satisfactorily demonstrated the development would not have a detrimental impact on biodiversity and protected species, in what is also a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and a Local Nature Reserve.

There were no informatives to the refusal, indicating that there was no acceptable mitigation nor alternative way forward for such developments at this location. There are several appropriate alternatives for a water activity facility and It is hoped that 1st Molesey Scouts will be able to identify a way forward everyone can support.

Read the refusal notice here.

You can find the background and history to both applications from 2018 and from 2016 for a Water Activities Centre at Hurst Meadows Riverside, starting here.