Three questions the Lib Dems must answer about Surbiton’s historic filter beds

15 July 2019

Local Surbiton residents have contacted Kingston’s Green Councillor, Sharron Sumner, about rumours that the council is backing development at the Seething Wells filter beds in Surbiton.  This is despite the council funding, fighting and winning an appeal over development plans in March 2014. 

Local Surbiton residents have contacted Kingston’s Green Councillor, Sharron Sumner, about rumours that the council is backing development at the Seething Wells filter beds in Surbiton.

Councillor Sumner has asked the council to reveal any information about discussions or meetings about the site but the council has refused.  This is despite councillors having a right to see all such information granted in law by the local government acts.

Councillor Sharron Sumner said, "I have heard credible information from local people about the Lib Dems giving in to the developers at the Seething Wells Filter Beds.  I have evidence the council has a number of documents but so far they are refusing to release them.  What is the council trying to hide?

“The filter beds were a jewel in Surbiton’s crown – but have been devastated by their current owners who had development plans refused in 2014.  It’s clear they want to come back for more.  And it’s clear the door is open for them at the Guildhall.

“So I have three questions that Cllr Liz Green and the Lib Dems need to answer:

  1. Why have they allowed the habitat to be destroyed at the filter beds and not taken enforcement action?
  2. Why are they considering a new application to effectively redesignate the filter beds as brownfield – making it easier to develop them in future?
  3. Why are they refusing to release the information and documents the council holds about recent plans? Is it because they are scared of what the public will think of their environmental destruction?

“I have a simple challenge for the Lib Dems – will they categorically say they will not allow development of the Seething Wells filter beds – a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation – and the most protected site in our borough? Residents need to know a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’?”