As most residents of Fetcham will be only too aware, there remains a singular lack of constructive, or even scheduled destructive activity, within the hoardings surrounding the now very delapidated Tudor Motors buildings.
Throughout this year, as for the previous four or so years, the FRA has maintained regular contacts with Stonegate Homes, who have been the development agents acting on behalf of site owners Littleworth Properties. We have also maintained dialogues with MVDC' Planning Department, directly and via our local Councillors.
Since the Planning Application itself was formally Approved, there remained numerous conditions applied to the approval that required to be demonstrated as being able to be met. And of course the pandemic will have undoubtedly had some slowing effect upon the processing of the numerous undertakings and contract agreements. However the FRA's expectations were that with the lifting of mandatory social distancing regulations by mid July and the government's 'back to work' messages, physical signs of progress might soon become evident.
The most recent update that the FRA received from Stonegate Homes, on the 12th July, was that clarification was awaited from the Council about the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) required by MVDC. And that once that clarification was received, demolition work could be started … and that Stonegate Homes would keep the FRA updated.
Prompted by that response, the FRA sought advice from Piers Mason, Head of Service (Planning & Regulations) at MVDC about when such clarification was likely to be able to be provided.
The response from Piers Mason received 14th July was, we must say, a little less than helpful …
“Yes, there are a number of matters in respect of housing relief and then potentially a new liability notice. We have received that and it’s in with the normal CIL workload. Should be done within our normal timescales.”
Given the lack of urgency that has been evident in processing this development during the past 5 years, the FRA is not very hopeful that ‘normal timescales’ will deliver the final clearance to commence works any time soon. We hope we are being overly pessimistic.
There is also the potentially compounding national issue of critical shortages of building materials and labour. So even when work could eventually commence … there may still be further delays.
Meanwhile Stonegate homes have been requested by the FRA on a number of occasions now to at least remove the redundant signage that stands outside of the hoardings ... ahead of any demolition of the buildings within. Unfortunately, and frustratingly, for much of this year, the supposed imminence of full site demolition work has been given as reason to not do so.
The FRA will update the community as soon as we learn of any new news.
Meanwhile the original Tudor Motors Clock also remains frozen in time and still awaits the day when it can be mounted on a face of the new building as a 'timely' reminder of recent history.