Click here for the full agenda and reports pack - PDF - if you search for your name, you can see the councils response to the points you raised.
Your consultation results
● 172 online respondents, the majority of which were from local residents.
● A further 47 emailed responses were received from both local residents and statutory
All of the online and written responses have been read and analysed. Below is a summary of the key themes and concerns that have been raised by those who responded to the consultation. Full comments and responses are set out in a separate table (Annex 3 - Responses to the Direction of Travel Consultation). A quantitative analysis of all online survey results is also available within Appendix 4 of this report.
Planned growth and density
As one of the key issues raised, there was widespread concern over the scale of growth and density as indicated in the Direction of Travel, and the potential detrimental impact that this could have on Kingston’s character and heritage, traffic congestion and local services due to overcrowding. This concern was often associated to Kingston's potential designation as a London Plan Opportunity Area.
Traffic and congestion
Overall, transport issues featured heavily in the consultation responses with concerns that new growth would have a significant impact on already high levels of traffic and congestion across the borough. This was frequently associated with concerns of increasing air and noise pollution. Better public transport links were generally supported, but new road building had both its supporters and detractors.
There was divided opinion over cycling. Many respondents expressed strong support for recent and future investment in new cycling infrastructure, although there was also concern that new cycle paths would be detrimental to other road users, including cars and pedestrians.
Green spaces and ecology
There was very strong support for the protection of strategic green infrastructure such as Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land. Many of these comments also focused on the protection of the Hogsmill Valley and its ecology.
Character and heritage
There was strong support to protect heritage and the character of district areas within the borough.
Many responses were concerned that new development and increasing population would exacerbate existing community services such as schools and healthcare - and that there was a lack of detail in the Direction of Travel in relation to this issue.
The Direction of Travel document and the consultation itself does come in for some criticism, with some argument that the document was too vague and that more detail is required to make comment.
Whilst in the majority of cases there was an acceptance for the need for new housing, the affordability of new housing was a key issue for many respondents, with a view that the definition of affordable housing was no longer affordable for local people.
Despite overall support for Crossrail 2 and other transport infrastructure investment, there were also concerns that there was too much emphasis on arrival of Crossrail 2 given the uncertainty of its delivery.
Below is a summary of the key issues raised in each area section of the Direction of Travel:
Kingston town centre
Comments for Kingston town centre primarily focused on the impact of growth and development on the unique character and heritage of the town centre. The redevelopment of Kingston Station and bus interchange received a divided response. Whilst many were in favour of its development, respondents were also sceptical of its relevance and benefits. There were also strong calls to fully understand the future role of Kingston’s retail and employment landscape in order to safeguard the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre.
Norbiton, London Road and Cambridge Road Estate
It was widely viewed that the Norbiton area was unable to accommodate new growth. Regarding the London Road, issues of traffic and congestion were raised as well as the need to protect the character of this area. Regarding the Cambridge Road Estate, concerns related to the proposed density and form of the development, impact to local services, the level of proposed affordable housing and whether this would be affordable for local people, as well as the well-being of existing estate residents.
Berrylands and Hogsmill Valley
The key issue for this area focused on the protection and enhancement of Hogsmill Valley as a key ecological resource, particularly regarding new access proposals in the area. There was also widespread concern regarding the loss of Metropolitan Open Land as a result of new growth, as well as issues of odour from the sewage works.
The New Malden Centre featured heavily in responses. There was widespread support for its retention and very strong support for its refurbishment/redevelopment. More generally, respondents were concerned over building heights and density, impact to local character, local traffic and parking issues, and community services such as school places and healthcare. There was strong support for the improvement to the High Street.
Traffic and congestion, and its impact on air quality and noise pollution, was the key issue raised for Tolworth. There was a feeling that proposed infrastructure projects, such as the Tolworth A3 junction improvements and the A3 decking, would exacerbate the issue. There was also strong support to protect Tolworth Court Farm.
Concerns focused on the loss of Green Belt land and increasing congestion issues in the area. The proposed Chessington/Hook Relief Road received divided opinion as to its effectiveness in easing congestion.
Rest of the borough
In regards to the rest of the borough, it was frequently questioned why Surbiton and Malden Manor had been omitted as ‘Areas of Opportunity’.
The Direction of Travel for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has been updated and amended to address the outcomes of the consultation. Once adopted, the document will signal the beginning Local Plan process, as well as providing supplementary planning advice to the London Plan policies by supporting the selective redevelopment of areas within the borough to provide new homes, jobs and investment.
Fundamentally, the structure and overall content of this document has remained largely the same. Nevertheless, consultation responses received have led to amendments being required.
Details of agreed changes are provided within Appendix 3 of this report.
In summary, amendments include:
● Updating information and facts where necessary.
● Providing further detail and clarification where appropriate. This includes further recognition of key issues relating to growth, including heritage and character, employment opportunities, affordable housing, and community/leisure facilities.
● Clearer labelling and colouring on maps.
● Addressing graphical errors.
● Expanding on and updating maps such as ‘Kingston’s Places’, ‘Story So Far’, and ‘Infrastructure Improvements’.