DIRECTION OF TRAVEL FOR THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF KINGSTON UPON THAMES CONSULTATION
1. Do you agree with the proposed areas for selective growth in the Direction of Travel?
I do not agree with the proposed areas of selective growth in the Direction of Travel
The most important question has not been asked:
Do we want Kingston to become an Opportunity Area?
Do we want it to become another Vauxhall?
The answer is No.
We do not want excessive development.
We do require more homes, but those homes, as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says, they need to be genuinely affordable to all Londoners. Not the ‘affordable housing’ of the developer speak.
Nor should they be built to become part of an investment portfolio of wealthy speculators.
Clauses should be entered into any planning approvals that ensure that developers do not sell properties merely as investments to clients who leave them empty. This only aggravates the problem of a lack of housing
2. Are there any other areas in the borough we should identify for selective growth?
3. Are there other areas in the borough that we should be seeking to protect and enhance?
The council should seek to protect and enhance the whole borough. With especial reference to all conservation areas, which should be rigorously protected against intrusive and overwhelming developments. It is essential that in future the Council protects ‘the Historic Environment (Listed Buildings, Buildings of Townscape Merit and Conservation Areas)’.
The Council is the only body able to do this, we rely on the council to so do.
Any new building must reflect the scale of the surrounding buildings to maintain the fabric of the town. And whenever any intrusive structure is liable to be edeveloped, the local scale should be restored, and the poor design and excessive height of the existing building must not be used as the excuse for a further monstrosity.
Very strict height levels should be enforced, say 5 storeys in most areas and certainly near any conservation area.
From the 1960s tall residential blocks were built, only to prove to be detrimental to family life. The Cambridge Estate is a prime example where life expectancy is far lower than the rest of the borough. Many tower blocks have been demolished and housing built. We should not make the same mistakes again.
4. What infrastructure do you think the borough needs to support its growing population?
Kingston clearly needs its public transport, traffic flow and parking improved.
If the traffic along Wood Street were put in a tunnel, Kingston Station would be integrated into the pattern of the town.
The Tolworth Roundabout should be lowered and decked over to link the old Tesco site and the Station both visually and practically to Tolworth Broadway and Barnsbury Lane.
5. Any other Comments?
Any lack of public response to The Direction of Travel is not due to public apathy about the future of our town, it can be put down to the fact that the document is so vague and difficult to access. Making the idea of a true consultation highly questionable.
The effectiveness of the ‘Consultation Process’ is deeply questionable.
This is evident from the fact that the Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD, put forward by the experts Allies and Morrison, which went to ‘Consultation’, was adopted by the Council, was then ignored by the Development Control Department and the Planning Committee when the applications for the Old Post Office site and Eden Walk were granted.
The heights were far in excess of those specified in the Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD
The listed buildings will be totally overwhelmed by the new structures.
And indeed the developments will destroy the fabric of the old town centre.
One can only hope that from now on the Council of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will act honourably, and take the views of the people they represent seriously.
A North Kingston Resident