The Association was founded in 1972 by Messrs David Martin and the late Frank Burman. Frank, who died in 2005, was a real stalwart and was largely responsible for creating the influential profile of LOSRA which the present Committee seeks to maintain today; with its commitment to environmental and amenity issues.
The issue upon which the Association was founded was the proposal to build a by-pass taking all manner of heavy traffic away from Thames Street but directly through the main residential area of Lower Sunbury.
The proposed scheme, known as TP26, was fiercely opposed by LOSRA and ultimately abandoned. It is now the landmark linear Hawke Park which runs between Oakington Drive across French Street; and The Avenue to Green Street. The Association was intimately involved during the design phase of what is now recognised as a much valued asset for Lower Sunbury. The Association did not of course ignore the impact of heavy traffic in Thames Street and lobbied for the now well established weight restrictions to remove heavy lorries.
In addition, the Association put forward a blueprint for traffic calming measures which, together with a 20 mph speed limit, was largely adopted in the road architecture that exists today.
Since then LOSRA has:
- played the major part in the successful campaign to achieve the abandonment of the Heathrow - Gatwick helicopter link. The link involved 24 flights per day at low height and directly over Lower Sunbury. The noise and vibration of the very large twin-engined, tandem rotor, aircraft was deeply intrusive. The Association gave evidence at two inquiries held by the Civil Aviation Authority and were recognised by the CAA as the most effective residents' association to be affected along the flight path;
- played a major role in promoting the case for a Conservation Area plan and produced its own blueprint; which was an important influence in achieving a comprehensive and definitive official Plan;
- vigorously opposed the plan for a major building development on the unspoilt Rivermead Island, actively pursuing alternative sites. The Scheme was abandoned;
- consistently campaigned for Orchard Meadow to be acquired for use as a village green in the Conservation Area. The idea was supported by two Government inspectors at official public inquiries and was eventually adopted by Spelthorne Borough Council. The Meadow is now a marvellous addition to the townscape;
- a long history of working hard, and appearing at successive public inquiries, to prevent Vicarage Farm - a key part of the Green Belt between Sunbury and Shepperton - from being turned into a gravel extraction site; with the consequence of bringing heavy lorries into the area in vast numbers and for many years to come. This work continues today;
- as part of the Conservation Area Plan implementation, devised and promoted the idea of the Sunbury Trail and produced the official Trail Guidebook;
- given financial support to the Walled Garden project and consistently supported the Spelthorne in Bloom initiative;
- opposed the Council's original decision to demolish the Benwell Community Centre and successfully campaigned for the integration of the new community centre within the replacement building of Mitchison Court on Downside;
- supported individuals and groups within the Area in their successful opposition to the over-development of sites at Park Avenue (Old London Irish RFC site from 300+ proposed units to 194), Lendy Place, Green Street (reduced from 57 to 27 units) the old Environment Agency Works on Fordbridge Road (reduced from 88 to 37 units);
- continued successfully to oppose developments on the Green Belt, most notably at Kempton Park;
- assisted in the formation of the Patients' Participation Group at the Sunbury Health Centre to work with clinicians for improved facilities and service;
- with the help of sponsors, commissioned a feasibility study for the construction of a cycle/footbridge to connect Sunbury to the Thames Path National Trail at Walton.
More generally, whilst the Association has often had to resist unwelcome developments or policies which are considered to be unfriendly to the Lower Sunbury area, it also works closely and constructively with the local Council, ward councillors, Surrey County Council, the Police and other bodies; on issues of mutual interest. The Association has made substantial contributions to successive Local Plans and related Public Inquiries; successfully influencing the content of Plans and Inspector's decisions.