Sheer House Latest November 2019

Stephen Tillman from Altitude has this week sent us the following update regarding Sheer House



Thank you for your email and apologies for not getting back sooner. We have taken some time to put together a fuller update from the owner as a number of residents have been asking similar questions.

There are certain critical issues at present that need resolving before a start can be made on the development; of which, the key ones are:

(I) Vacant Possession – the owner has tried over many months to reach agreement with several tenants to vacate the premises prior to their lease expiry. We have been successful in all negotiations except for two. Despite offer for compensation, these tenants have chosen to stay through to lease expiry. As a result, the earliest VP will most likely be August 2020, and, therefore, it is unlikely that demolition will start before Q4 2020.

(II) Brexit – sadly this is beyond our control. The cloud of uncertainty is not conducive to making major investment decisions relating to a multi-million £ development. The level of uncertainty makes it very difficult to plan definitively for the future, as we have no assurance of foreseeable market conditions. Until such time the situation has some resolution in sight, the pace of progress of the development will be at a cautious speed. As you are aware this is a UK business wide problem and not just an issue for West Byfleet.

(iii) The last point, although less contentious, is that under our outline planning permission, we have reserved matters applications to submit to the Council with the detailed design of the various elements of the development. However, it is unrealistic to carry out any major work in this regard until we have clarity on the above issues – at the very least with respect to vacant possession.

Recently, there have been several incidents of anti-social behaviour activities around the district centre. Whilst the centre is not the cause of this behaviour, the site is being used as a focal point. We have been working collaboratively with the Council and the local police to improve matters to make it safer for the community and the on-site staff. As a result we are looking to provide further hoarding to the site and other preventative measures.

Of equal importance is that we all provide support to the police. Therefore, we ask that members of the community who encounter any anti-social behaviour to report it to the police. The number and frequency of reports will enable them to effectively assess the gravity of the situation and provide proactive measures to prevent re-occurrence.

However, please be assured it remains the owners intention to ensure this important piece of regeneration for West Byfleet will be delivered, notwithstanding the difficulties posed by securing VP and the market conditions, and the delay that these may cause.

We appreciate that we are at a sensitive point in the process to re-develop the area and there are matters (some of which are out of our control) that are taking a while to resolve. We want to assure you that we are working as hard as we can to move matters forward.


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