Nonsuch High School not planning to axe controversial dome plan

A dome similar to the one proposed

Objector Neil Denny pointing to the proposed site of the dome

First published in News
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A school is not axing its plans for a huge sports dome beside a nature reserve, but is looking at improved pedestrian access and parking.

Nonsuch High School for Girls in Ewell Road, Cheam, confirmed yesterday that it intends to make some amendments to the plans it has submitted to Epsom Council for its proposed new sports facilities.

This follow a meeting with Sutton Councillor Mary Burstow, who had complained about a lack of consultation with resident and her colleague, Councillor Graham Witham.

But the school is not intending to axe or scale down its controversial, 48-foot-high, dome, insisting that lighting and dome technology, along with the planting of more trees, will minimise its light and visual impact on the surrounding area including Warren Farm - grassland and woods owned by conservation charity the Woodland Trust.

Head teacher, Peter Gale, said it was a productive meeting and the school would be discussing the suggestions raised with its architects over the next few weeks.

Asked whether any other alterations were being contemplated he said: "In terms of other changes - nothing major - just an ethos that we are happy to listen and adapt as we move forward."

Despite complaints that Epsom Council has failed to consult widely enough over the planning application, it emerged that it had asked Sutton Council for its views and it responded last month that it had no comment on what is being proposed.

A spokesman for Epsom Council added: "The school is within the Borough boundary of Epsom and Ewell.

"It does however border Nonsuch Park. The park whilst within the boundary of Epsom and Ewell is joint managed with Sutton Council. The Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee is aware of the application."

He said that when the school amends its plans the council will re-consult residents by sending out new letters and putting up notices, ensuring people have ample opportunity to give their views within the three week consultation period.

Comments (5)

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8:16pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Monstermunch17 says...

A lot of fuss about nothing. But anything that upsets the nimby brigade around here gets my backing.
A lot of fuss about nothing. But anything that upsets the nimby brigade around here gets my backing. Monstermunch17
  • Score: -1

7:35am Fri 11 Apr 14

Binsanity says...

"it emerged that it had asked Sutton Council for its views and it responded last month that it had no comment on what is being proposed".
"The Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee is aware of the application." but have made no comment either.
Seems to me plenty of people and organisations know of these plans but for one reason or another have not become involved. Don't hold your breath waiting for our lethargic Sutton Council to comment.
"it emerged that it had asked Sutton Council for its views and it responded last month that it had no comment on what is being proposed". "The Nonsuch Park Joint Management Committee is aware of the application." but have made no comment either. Seems to me plenty of people and organisations know of these plans but for one reason or another have not become involved. Don't hold your breath waiting for our lethargic Sutton Council to comment. Binsanity
  • Score: 4

9:25am Fri 11 Apr 14

labyrinth says...

Monstermunch17 wrote:
A lot of fuss about nothing. But anything that upsets the nimby brigade around here gets my backing.
Do you live "around here?" When people use the term "nimby" (invented, by the way, by a landowner surrounded by his own thousands of acres, who took it upon himself to criticise people who merely wanted to protect themselves) they are generally either not in the area under discussion, or they simply do not know or understand what is being proposed.

Residents are upset because they already suffer from a great deal of traffic congestion, and this dome is a commercial operation to be open until 10 pm. You may be unaware that the majority of pupils at Nonsuch do not live here but travel in from far & wide, which is what leads to much of the congestion. There is no 'nimby brigade' - just people who wish to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours.
[quote][p][bold]Monstermunch17[/bold] wrote: A lot of fuss about nothing. But anything that upsets the nimby brigade around here gets my backing.[/p][/quote]Do you live "around here?" When people use the term "nimby" (invented, by the way, by a landowner surrounded by his own thousands of acres, who took it upon himself to criticise people who merely wanted to protect themselves) they are generally either not in the area under discussion, or they simply do not know or understand what is being proposed. Residents are upset because they already suffer from a great deal of traffic congestion, and this dome is a commercial operation to be open until 10 pm. You may be unaware that the majority of pupils at Nonsuch do not live here but travel in from far & wide, which is what leads to much of the congestion. There is no 'nimby brigade' - just people who wish to live in peace and harmony with their neighbours. labyrinth
  • Score: 2

9:39pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Monstermunch17 says...

I do live here, and as far as I understand, the school already has a sports facility on the site, which is open to people outside of the school.

Whether it's a block of flats, a restaurant, a mosque, a school, a pub being replaced, a pub opening, people will always moan. And the most disingenuous argument of all, is this one about parking, and additional traffic congestion. It's generally used to cover up all manner of prejudices.

Sounds as though you want to live in peace and harmony with your neighbours, as long as you don't see them , hear them, and none of them changes anything.
I do live here, and as far as I understand, the school already has a sports facility on the site, which is open to people outside of the school. Whether it's a block of flats, a restaurant, a mosque, a school, a pub being replaced, a pub opening, people will always moan. And the most disingenuous argument of all, is this one about parking, and additional traffic congestion. It's generally used to cover up all manner of prejudices. Sounds as though you want to live in peace and harmony with your neighbours, as long as you don't see them , hear them, and none of them changes anything. Monstermunch17
  • Score: 1

10:41am Mon 14 Apr 14

Neill Denny says...

I am not going to respond to "Monstermunch 17's" facile point other than to say that by his/her logic any and all developments would always be permitted. Goodbye green belt and a century of town plannng then. Drill baby drill, as Sarah Palin memorably put it.
Back in the real world, I am pleased to see Nonsuch have become aware of the opposition to their grandiose plans and are willing to change them. However, if all they are planning to change is the pedestrian access then they are rather missing the point. The point is that they are proposing an enormous and ugly dome sited in such as fashion as to overlook and completely dominate the Warren Farm Woodland Trust land. Where it is proposed this dome is too big and too intrusive. By placing it right against their boundary Nonsuch are utterly overlooking and despoiling the Warren Farm site. The only real change they could make is to relocate the Dome away from the boundary fence, perhaps to swap it with the hard-surface hockey pitch, thus move it 60m or so back from the Warren Farm boundary. The other option would be to leave the Dome where it is but to sink it into the ground and use the soil removed to screen it from Warren Farm with earth banks.
These would be cosmetic changes that would help to some extent, but they don't solve the larger problem of the school urbanising its playing fields, turning them into a sports centre by the back door, and then renting out the facilities (presumably at a profit) to third parties late into the evenings, at the weekends and in the school holidays. They have already build one sports centre on their grounds in the shape of teh David Lloyd centre - do they really need another one? The school and its priorities are increasingly detached from Cheam as this latest episode clearly shows.
I am not going to respond to "Monstermunch 17's" facile point other than to say that by his/her logic any and all developments would always be permitted. Goodbye green belt and a century of town plannng then. Drill baby drill, as Sarah Palin memorably put it. Back in the real world, I am pleased to see Nonsuch have become aware of the opposition to their grandiose plans and are willing to change them. However, if all they are planning to change is the pedestrian access then they are rather missing the point. The point is that they are proposing an enormous and ugly dome sited in such as fashion as to overlook and completely dominate the Warren Farm Woodland Trust land. Where it is proposed this dome is too big and too intrusive. By placing it right against their boundary Nonsuch are utterly overlooking and despoiling the Warren Farm site. The only real change they could make is to relocate the Dome away from the boundary fence, perhaps to swap it with the hard-surface hockey pitch, thus move it 60m or so back from the Warren Farm boundary. The other option would be to leave the Dome where it is but to sink it into the ground and use the soil removed to screen it from Warren Farm with earth banks. These would be cosmetic changes that would help to some extent, but they don't solve the larger problem of the school urbanising its playing fields, turning them into a sports centre by the back door, and then renting out the facilities (presumably at a profit) to third parties late into the evenings, at the weekends and in the school holidays. They have already build one sports centre on their grounds in the shape of teh David Lloyd centre - do they really need another one? The school and its priorities are increasingly detached from Cheam as this latest episode clearly shows. Neill Denny
  • Score: 2

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