Good afternoon Mary,
Thank you for your message and my apologies for the delay in coming back to you.
The rear car park of Surrey County Hall was one of three potential sites which were considered by the Department for Health and Social Care at the site survey last Thursday.
The car park in front of County Hall was also considered, and was Kingston Council’s preferred option. Unfortunately it does not have sufficient width to accommodate both staff and removal vehicles plus the testing pods in a safe way.
The testing facilities are all self enclosed units and should generate little noise, some will also have a flexible covering which will also help to reduce and absorb any noise from the site. Surrey County Hall operating hours are from 06:30 -18:30, with the building remaining open until 20:00, so the testing site will keep within the normal opening times. The entire site will be surrounded by fencing to make sure it is secure, and we hope to cover the fencing in artwork to make it look a little bit less clinical.
As it currently stands, each person attending the site will have registered and will be given a prearranged time slot for their test. Therefore, long queues are not anticipated, but to address any possible noise from those waiting, we can place signs reminding attendees to respect local residents and keep quiet.
Anyone attending the site will need to walk as there is no vehicular access. When an appointment is booked via the gov.uk booking platform the recipient of the test will be told that they must arrive by foot and wear a face covering. Anyone that does drive will be directed to the Bittoms car park. Access to the site is intended to be along the footpath of Milner Road opposite one of the fire exits from Surrey County Hall.
There will be 24/7 security to maintain an orderly site. In addition contractors will attend the site to clear waste. This will include cleaning of the toilets, clinical waste as well as general waste.
Residents who have been shielding or who are continuing to shield, should follow government guidance when out in public, wear a face covering, avoid close contact, wash your hands frequently. The Council also has a range of support for shielding residents and this can be accessed here.
I do hope this answers your concerns but please do get in touch if you need any more information and I will try to assist.
Neighbourhood and Communities Manager – Kingston Town Healthy & Safe Communities, Communities Directorate