The Number 10 petitions secretary wrote today:
5 October 2007 - We received a petition asking:
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Allow the development of a Families Support Centre at Grays Lane."
On 2 August 2007 Mole Valley District Council granted permission for the planning application MO/2007/0863 that had been submitted by the Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)(new window) Forces Help. The application was for a change of use of a house in Grays Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, in order to provide accommodation for families visiting injured relatives at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court which is nearby.
On behalf of the Government, the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, welcomed the Council's decision and commented that "We are delighted that Mole Valley District Council recently granted permission for SSAFA's proposed development. The Government will continue to work together with SSAFA to make best use of this new facility."
Details of petition:
"The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, Mole Valley Council for change of use to the property at 36 Grays Lane, Ashtead. The development is close to Headley court, a military rehabilitation centre used to treat personnel who may have lost limbs or suffered severe trauma serving their country. Many of these armed forces personnel spend months rebuilding their lives at Headley Court and need the support of their families whilst going through this difficult process. The proposed development is to provide short term accommodation to the families, giving them the opportunity to support their injured relatives. The plan also includes some alterations at the property, including installing a wheelchair ramp. The property is situated within an area of high value properties, and unfortunately there is a very negative response from the neighbours mostly objecting that the change of use will negatively affect their property prices and spoil the neighbourhood."