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Johnsdale green

26 May 2012

From Johnsdale Residents Association

Residents in Johnsdale are jubilant that Southern Gas Networks (SGN) have today (26 May) started work to remove the gas governor and equipment from the green in Johnsdale. SGN's aim is to complete the work and re-turf the green in time for the Jubilee weekend so that we can go ahead with our celebrations.

We're not yet certain where the equipment is being relocated but we understand that SGN are working closely with Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council to find a new site that will be acceptable to all parties (including Oxted residents) as quickly as possible.

A huge thank you from all the Johnsdale residents to OLRG members for their continued support throughout this long process.

For latest news coverage: click here

To see the Johnsdale residents video about what happened:click here


23 March 2012

From Johnsdale Residents Association:

Residents of Johnsdale would like to say a huge thank you to all the Oxted & Limpsfield Residents Group (OLRG) members who supported us in our campaign to persuade Southern Gas Networks (SGN) to remove the gas governor equipment from our recreational green.

We have now heard officially that SGN are prepared to move the governor at their expense if an alternative location can be found. Obviously the heat is on to find that alternative location in a sensible site, as quickly as possible, so that we can make our green functional again.

Surrey County Council had stated that at no stage did it approve the siting of the equipment on the green. It gave SGN until last Friday (23 March) to produce evidence that they had properly complied with the procedures in the Gas Act 1986 requiring them to obtain the County Council's consent.

The County Council says it did not receive the evidence it sought but, in view of the positive approach being suggested, will assist SGN in seeking an alternative location for the governor.

We were overwhelmed by the response from people whom we have never met, who sympathised with our plight and were prepared to put themselves out to help us.

Most of all, we owe a huge debt to the OLRG team for encouraging us to persevere and helping to guide our campaign.

It's not over yet, of course, but this news has marked a major change in attitude from SGN which we have welcomed.

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To see Johnsdale green before - and after - Southern Gas Networks got hold of it, click on the first headline.

Johnsdale residents have made a video about what's happened which is on this link click here

16 March 2012

JOHNSDALE GREEN DESTROYED

Southern Gas Networks (SGN) have been given until 22 March to produce evidence showing they consulted with Surrey County Council (SCC) before installing a gas governor on Johnsdale Green.

The County Council has said 'at no stage did Surrey County Council approve the siting of the equipment on the green.'

After a crisis meeting on 15 March between SCC and SGN, the County Council said that if the evidence is not supplied, SGN will be 'held as not having conformed with The Gas Act 1986, Schedule 4'

John Morea, Chief Executive of Scotia Gas Networks, of which Southern Gas Networks is a part, said 'The County Council has asked us to clarify a number of matters regarding our gas governor installation. We are working on these now and will be reporting back to the County Council in the next few days.'

In an email to residents, Mr Morea also said 'we are keen to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.'

The only satisfactory conclusion for residents is the complete removal of the gas installation and the reinstatement of the green to its previous condition.

Residents were not allowed to attend the meeting and, despite repeated requests, have not been given any information about the other sites SGN considered before putting the governor on the green. All that is known is that there were 4 other sites.

Johnsdale Residents Association says:

"SGN installed the gas governor without any consultation with residents, ruining our recreational area where generations of our children have played. Would you want your children playing around gas equipment?

What we are left with is a steep bank on one side (in itself dangerous for children), a large pad of concrete, two separate manholes (all loose and rusting already), a green control box and a gas flue pipe over three metres high, right in the middle of the green

Our green space is now completely lost to us in a hideous mass of concrete and gas equipment. In this state it can be neither use nor ornament to the community. Our commemorative bulb display has been destroyed, to the particular dismay of our older residents. Residents, and especially the children, want their green back as it was."

If you would like to support the campaign to have the gas installation removed from the green please email mark.meloy@sgn.co.uk and directorofcorporateservices@sgn.co.uk and copy to kevin.orledge@surreycc.gov.uk saying how inappropriate it is to place this kind of equipment in a children's play area, how it has ruined the green and how it has to be relocated somewhere more suitable.

If you are on Twitter then you can put a comment on SGN's Twitter page click here

11 March 2012

JOHNSDALE GREEN DESTROYED

From Johnsdale Residents Association:

If you have visited Johnsdale recently you will have seen the mess that Southern Gas Networks (SGN) have made of our recreational green. Residents have made a video about what's happened which can be seen on this link click here

SGN laid new gas pipes at the end of last year which included digging up the green. We were continually reassured that the green would be put back. What we are left with is a steep bank on one side (in itself dangerous for children), a large pad of concrete, two separate manholes (all loose and rusting already), a green control box and a gas flue pipe over three metres high, right in the middle of the green. It is called a gas governor and passes gas from the medium pressure network into the low pressure network.

Our complaint is that this equipment was installed, without consultation with residents, on an unsuitable site (being a children's play area and amenity space), and has raised safety concerns among the residents.

Surrey County Council own the green (although residents have maintained it for many years - mowing, planting bulbs and Golden Jubilee tree etc). The government is urging us to protect our urban green spaces. Our green space is now completely lost to us in a hideous mass of concrete and gas equipment. In this state it can be neither use nor ornament to the community. Our commemorative bulb display has been destroyed, to the particular dismay of our older residents. Residents, and especially the children, want their green back as it was.

We are at a loss to understand how a recreational green could at any time have been considered a suitable site for this equipment. We cannot let our children play around a gas flue pipe - no matter how safe SGN insist it is. There is a gas emergency notice attached to it so there has to be some risk! Nor are we completely satisfied that gas equipment should be placed in the centre of a residential cul de sac with only one exit/entrance in case of emergency!

Surrey County Council have just told us that 'at no stage did Surrey County Council approve the siting of the equipment on the green.'

We are particularly interested in why the current gas holder site could not have been used to house this equipment. SGN want to clear the gas holder site of all gas equipment so that they can sell the land. We would all be glad to see the back of that monstrosity but they have been talking about selling that site for as long as anyone can remember (if any part of it is sold for housing, then presumably gas pipes etc will have to go back in anyway). All SGN have told us is: 'A number of locations were considered for the site of the unit including the local car park however there weren't any suitable places and a decision was made to place it in the public green.'

We are aware that this is an important piece of gas equipment and has to go somewhere, but believe a public green is not suitable. There are in fact two similar (smaller) ones along the A25 in the roadside verge where they are not causing a nuisance to anyone. We are anxious to draw as much attention as possible to our plight and to force its removal. If you are able to help in any way then please get in touch via janjeff@talktalk.net particularly if you have any suggestions for an alternative site, or any information that might assist our campaign. Many locals have already contacted us expressing their disgust at the way that our green has been disfigured and about the way this has been handled by SGN and Council officials.

We really appreciate every single message of support.

To see Johnsdale green before - and after - Southern Gas Networks got hold of it, click on the first headline on the front page.