The brief supplements the Kingston Council’s Core Strategy (April 2012) and the Kingston Town Centre Area Action Plan (July 2008). All of which comes under the 'London Plan'. The December 2014 version of the London Plan can be downloaded here
"The brief will become part of the approved planning policy for Kingston and will
function as a material consideration when the Council is considering applications
and development proposals.
As agreed at the Committee in July 2013, the Council will also consider the use of
its legal powers for the acquisition of land to bring forward and guide future
development within the area of the Development Brief."
Section 3.5 HEIGHTS, SCALE AND MASSING:
"Heights generally range from one to eight storeys, with the exact scale informed by a number of factors including the generally low rise nature of the town centre, significant heritage assets, viewing corridors, building
typology and enclosure of spaces."
"where height ranges have been indicated for new development, schemes will be expected to achieve a modulated and articulated roof line to reflect this character, rather than being built out to the maximum permissible height."
"New development should respond to a number of key principles:
• Creating view corridors - development proposals should create internal view corridors that frame local elements (for
example, Memorial Gardens or a heritage asset) or are terminated by an interesting facade of a new building. These views are important in encouraging pedestrians along new routes.
• Protecting important views - The Royal Borough of Kingston has a number of listed views which should be taken into account. In the Town Centre views of All Saints Church spire are important.
• Responding to existing heritage - The Eden Quarter should form a sensitive and attractive backdrop and setting for
• Longer range views from neighbouring boroughs and areas of significant open space."
Who is the Kingston Residents Alliance? We are a non-partisan group of local residents representing a number of residents associations and social groups in Kingston. We have come together to help residents feel more connected with their community, and to create a forum where residents can voice their shared concerns and take action if necessary.
We hope to promote local and community interests, encourage and shape policies that support economic and environmental resilience, and advocate for reasonable and balanced development in Kingston.
We are not about "opposition" in the political or ideological sense… we share the same dream of a beautiful, vibrant, successful town).
We simply believe that what Kingston needs is reasonable, balanced growth on a human scale.
We want a walk-able town that we love to live in, that is safe and healthy for our children, and revitalizes our community and culture.
We speak to the Council in the spirit of support and validation, and trust that you will accept our unified voice as a means for deeper understanding of the concerns, needs, and requests of your constituents. We are speaking today to address a number of concerns and offer suggestions that we feel, as a community, are best for our town.
The Council does seem to have mentioned many of the core issues we are concerned about in the Eden Quarter Consultation document, namely protecting open and green spaces, the impact of tall buildings, and the need for enhancing local culture and heritage - We encourage the Council to pursue these aims not only in theory, but also in policy and practice.
We would like to briefly highlight 4 key concerns today with regard to the Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD.
1) Building heights
We believe that a low to mid-rise town is the healthiest and most sustainable option for development.
It is possible to achieve greater density and meet growth targets without high-rise buildings.
We call on the Council to set a height cap and produce a policy document on tall buildings that has been adequately tested.
We suggest no taller than the current building heights.
2) Heritage and Character
We call on the Council to focus on enhancing our unique 'market town feel', and not to change the centre of Kingston into just another 'inner city'.
For example, the Cattle market forms an important part of our heritage and has great potential to add to the character of the town.
Wouldn't it be great if it visually looked more like a market? Maybe a themed children's play area as part of this leisure zone.
Adding a tower block is not the solution to improve the quality of this the area.
Please explore further options.
3) Fairfield Park
Although we welcome the removal of the hard landscaping proposal from Fairfield Park, we call on the council to remove the Fairfield Park from the development brief altogether.
Its fate does not need to be bound to the Eden Quarter development.
A separate task force could be set up to consider changes and issues specific to this conservation area.
Further to this point, we encourage the Council to find a more adequate home for the Monday Market, such as Old London Road (which has already been used as a market and mini-carnival on various occasions; and by-the-way, we love the tumbling phone booths sculpture: This is a landmark at an important entrance to the town centre! ).
Using the Fairfield for the Monday Market is not acceptable to the community.
4) High quality design
We are collectively disappointed with the low quality of design put forward by the Old Post Office Site proposal.
We are concerned that Kingston will continue to fill up with buildings of low architectural interest and poor design quality.
We call on the Council to explore additional means for ensuring that only the highest quality architecture be allowed in Kingston.
We urge the council to hold architectural design competitions and invite various architects to submit proposals that the town itself can decide upon, rather than accepting mediocre submissions from copy and paste architecture.
For example, Birmingham's international design competition for the regeneration of their centenary square; and the Mayor of London and the London Borough of Newham's recent Royal Docks Ideas Competition.
Royal Kingston is also worthy of design by competitions - run by the RIBA and the Landscape Institute.
The Kingston Residents Alliance calls on the Council to provide a height cap on new buildings in Kingston, similar to or smaller than existing buildings.
We urge the Council to protect and enhance our local culture and heritage.
We ask that you remove the Fairfield from the brief altogether, putting its improvements into the hands of the community.
Finally we encourage the Council to explore a greater variety of options for ensuring only the highest quality of design in Kingston.