What residents think

 “Instead of lighting up our skies (except at night!), this Aurora (sic) would cast a mighty shadow. It would be a dreadful blot on our Staines landscape. I want my councillors to represent my views – that’s their responsibility. Everyone I know is against the Arora and other high-rise developments in Staines. Can you imagine George Rennie wanting to see the Arora Monster next to his Glorious ‘Ad Pontes’? What is the Council thinking of?” 
Caroline Copeman, Colnebridge Close.

“What a violent desecration of the Staines waterfront, and in a Conservation Area too! Whatever possessed Spelthorne Council to think this is in any way acceptable to residents who live anywhere near it.”
Maisie McCubbin, The Hythe.

“We must build for a future Staines that is able to rival Kingston and Windsor with it’s riverside location. This plan will ensure that the Staines of Ali G will become a sad reality. The other proposed tower blocks will provide homage to the concrete monoliths thrown up in the 60s and ripped down a couple of decades later.”
David Lewis, Thames Edge Court

“The mass of the hotel tower and buildings will completely overwhelm the character and appearance of our Staines village. I thought Conservation Area status was supposed to protect us from such vandalism.”
Frances Kavanagh, Staines Village

“This development is grossly out of proportion for its location next to Staines Bridge and along the river frontage.  It is totally unsuitable for our Conservation Area, and will put a great strain on the local infrastructure.”
Irene Greatorex, Thames Edge Court

 “Spelthorne Councillors should now take the time to come down here and examine the site on which they think it’s appropriate to build a 14-storey hotel which will completely overwhelm the character and appearance of our Staines village. It will block out the light, cause traffic jams and present to incoming drivers to the town an abomination. Please, Councillors, don’t let this happen!”
Bob McDougall, Colnebridge Close.

 “Where to begin? Loss of light, loss of privacy, increased noise pollution, increased traffic at one of the busiest pinch-points in Staines, with no way to increase road access. A massive structure that defiles its surroundings and destroys views of and from the river. The day a Councillor accepts such a ludicrously over-developed plan is the day they’re unfit for the job they’re elected to undertake. How a project of this scale is even being considered is an embarrassment to the borough and the Councillors that serve it. “
Davika Nair, Thames Edge Court.

“How is something as ridiculous and hideous as a massive 14-storey hotel even being considered for this site? The site is crying out to be developed, and maybe a hotel is a good idea; but only if it doesn’t ruin the appearance and skyline of the town’s river-frontage.”
Jessica Joyce, The Hythe.

“Staines is an old market town with a great deal of history and this development would be within a protected Conservation Area. Only a few months ago the Council said they “value our riverside location highly and want to cherish and improve access to the river for residents and visitors.”  The shock of seeing this enormous building as one approaches over Staines Bridge gives the lie to that and would ruin the idea of Staines having any history at all.”
Lynda Fuller, Staines Village

 “The Arora scheme is totally out of scale and context, far too high compared with surrounding structures and would be an overwhelming and unsightly imposition on the landscape and skyline of Staines. Its high density and mixed use would significantly increase road traffic where there is already a double bottleneck with Staines Bridge and the Two Rivers shopping centre, creating an intolerable level of congestion and pollution.”
Dr John Clarke, The Hythe. ( BSc Hons MSc PHD Sustainable Architecture.) 

 “I hope Runnymede Borough Council gets involved with this. Residents close to the bridge on the south side of the river would be as badly impacted as those on the town side: overlooked, a tower of artificial light at night, and in its context a real eyesore whatever its architectural merits.”
Ronald Shadbolt, Simmons Place

“Although this prestigious riverside location needs to be redeveloped, it needs to be in keeping with the Conservation Area and enhance the Grade II listed Bridge and the iconic River Thames. It should be no taller and be compatible with the Thames Edge apartment building to create an impressive gateway to Staines-upon-Thames.”
Mike Wylie, Staines Village

 “I’ve told the Council that the hotel should be limited to five storeys to fit in with the surrounding area. It is a Conservation Area after all!”
Roy Mitchell, Colnebridge Close.

“Staines has such potential, especially as it has one of the most beautiful Thames riverfronts. This Arora development would destroy Staines riverfront because it simply ignores its surrounding area, let alone the impact on traffic and local infrastructure. I’m fully supportive of making good use of the carpark and our beautiful riverfront, but clearly the Arora complex would achieve exactly the opposite.”
Christos Papanikolaou, Thames Edge Court

“A tower of that size will cast a literal and figurative shadow over both
sides of the river for a long way in each direction.  The literal shadow
will cover a not insignificant portion of the Conservation Area.  What is
the point of having a Conservation Area if there is no consideration for
how new development fits into the existing area.”
Abigail Honeywell, Staines Village

 “What a grotesque proposition, overwhelming the Conservation Areas on both sides of the river. Passers-by will ask ‘Who on earth allowed that to be built?’; but local residents would have to live with it! Not without a fight though!”
Phil Scott, The Hythe

“The proposed monstrosity would tower over everything around it and cut out the light from many flats here at Thames Edge Court. It would look entirely out of place and ruin the Conservation Area. I’m all for something in keeping to replace the car park, but not something HIGHER than the surrounding buildings.”
Linda Abbott, Thames Edge Court.

“The view of St Mary’s Church Tower from Staines Bridge is supposed to be protected, it will be obliterated by the Arora development and we still need car parking available at this point in the Town. Also, the car park side gives disabled and wheeled access to Staines Bridge and is part of the Thames Path National Trail.” – Lesley Hall, Island Close.

John de Pear, Riverside Residents (Staines) Coalition, January 2021.