Oxted gasholder demolition starts January 2019
Work to demolish the gasholder in Oxted will begin in January 2019. This follows the decision of the High Court to refuse a judicial review claim from a resident, in relation to the Council’s decision to grant permission for new housing to be built on the land at the gasholder and Johnsdale car park site.
St William Homes LLP has set a new start date and demolition will start in the New Year. Work to prepare the site including site surveys, ground investigations and hoarding installation will begin in November.
The High Court ordered the applicant to pay the Council’s legal costs, as well as those of St William Homes LLP (referred to below as the Interested Party). In summing up, the Honourable Mr Justice Holgate, said: “It is difficult to see how any such application could stand any chance of succeeding, not least because of the detriment to good administration and to the Interested Party.” The judge added: “Indeed, the challenge comes very close to being certified as totally without merit.”
In June 2018 the Council granted the developer, St William Homes LLP, permission for a planning scheme comprising 111 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, with landscaping and car parking. St William Homes LLP is committed to the purchase of Johnsdale car park from the Council and is expected to complete this in the next few weeks. St William Homes LLP will cover the costs of the remediation of the car park site, which forms part of the gasworks.
The demolition of the gasholder and its replacement with a high quality housing scheme will enhance Oxted town centre and forms part of the Council’s regeneration plans for the area. The Council will be working with key stakeholders to minimise disruption to the town centre, especially as the Ellice Road car park redevelopment will be taking place at the same time.
The Council will support the “Love Oxted Business Improvement District” by publicising a “We’re open for business” initiative to encourage local people to continue to support the shops and businesses in Oxted while the building work takes place.
Councillor Martin Fisher, Leader of the Council, said: “We are pleased this application for a judicial review has been refused. It is frustrating this legal challenge has delayed the start of the project, but we know St William Homes LLP is keen to get demolition underway and we will work with them to achieve this. The demolition of the gasholder has been a long held ambition of the Council and we are pleased the project is back on track. It forms a key part of our RegenOxted programme which will help Oxted remain a vibrant and economically prosperous town for years to come.”
Details of the scheme can be found at www.oxtedgasholder.co.uk. To keep up to date with the RegenOxted project, please sign up for the Council’s e-mail newsletters by visiting www.tandridge.gov.uk/signup.