The plan, known as the ‘Spelthorne Local Plan’, is confused and conflicted about Staines. In places it talks about the need to “preserve and enhance” its character, while in others it talks vaguely about “redefining” it. It is precise about how many new dwellings must be built in Staines (more than 5,000). But it is extremely vague about what infrastructure (schools, medical services, roads and parking etc) will be needed to support the planned overdevelopment, how it will be delivered and who will pay for it. It says, for example, that the Council “will support proposals that facilitate new and improved public and sustainable transport links, education facilities, healthcare services, and social and community uses in accessible locations”. Little is defined and even less is presented as a commitment. Furthermore, even sensitive locations in the town (close to the river, the Conservation Area, immediately adjacent to existing residential areas) have little if any real protection from predatory developers.

In many ways the plan, and what those responsible for it say about it, is evidence for why it shouldn’t be allowed to go ahead unamended (see ‘A better alternative’).


This illustration from the 3D digital model is based on information from the Council and other sources relating to the location, height and foot-print of featured buildings. Adjustments will be made as new reliable data becomes available.The reality may be worse than illustrated. Also note: (1) The Arora hotel/apartment development illustrated is smaller than that detailed in the Council’s contract with Arora; but Councillors have been told privately Arora now wants to build a smaller hotel, with the whole development of 8 storeys close to the river and 12 storeys further back . The configuration of the buildings in the illustration above may not be accurate, and will be adjusted when this is announced. (2) The Debenhams building illustrated does not include a high-rise redevelopment. However, an application for twin-towers of 14-storeys was rejected recently by the Planning Committee (and is expected to go to appeal). The Council’s plan assumes a high-rise development of some sort on the site. (3) The Council has yet to announce what it has in mind for the redevelopment of the Elmsleigh Centre, and this may well be bigger than represented above.