Following on from previous entries ........this was circulated 10 September 2018
Fountain pub development
As anticipated, the revised application was approved at Development Control Committee on 5th September. The number of flats is unchanged-45- but the finish and roof line have been altered to make the building somewhat less dominant, particularly in relation to the pub, which will be retained. Both London and national planning policy restrict the number of parking spaces, since the development has good access to public transport; if New Malden eventually gets CPZs, residents in the flats will not be able to get permits. £20,000 will be available from the development levy to improve the roundabout.
National Planning Policy Framework
Councillors on the DCC were then briefed on the new Framework- some of what is reported here may be inaccurate as the acoustics are poor in the council chamber. The new Framework has a ‘tilted balance’, which wasn’t explained but probably means that the system assumes that consent will be given unless there are very powerful reasons why not; Kingston, like the rest of outer London, is under considerable pressure from both Mayoral and government housing targets. The NPPF emphasises pre-application discussion, which should involve not only councillors and officers, but- importantly for NMRA- community groups. There should also be more discussion with neighbouring authorities. The green belt remains protected (as does Metropolitan Open Land) but green belt uses such as recreation and cemeteries are ‘not inappropriate’. The protection of heritage assets has been strengthened by recent court cases.
On 7th September Liz Meerabeau and Frances Marsh met Nicholas Boys-Smith from the consultancy Create Streets, who have been commissioned by the council to engage with people who previously commented on the initial planning document for Cocks Crescent. Our main message was please would the council use and adapt the previous document, engage widely, but move ahead rapidly, as the site has been empty for many years, wasting a valuable resource. A new community centre is still top of our wish list, and it would help to build trust if the council would list which aspects of the site will be non-negotiable in their discussions with developers. We also hope that residents will be included in discussions with developers on this very important site where and when appropriate.
Elm Road Crossing
In July Liz Meerabeau and Frances Marsh met representatives from National Rail to discuss the Elm Road crossing, which is very likely to close if Crossrail 2 goes ahead, since the frequency of trains would mean it was rarely open to traffic. Traffic monitoring has shown that the road is not heavily used by cars, but it is used by pedestrians such as children and their parents going to Christ Church school. A pedestrian bridge may be possible, but the ramp for it would be difficult to design, and the site is also constrained by the presence of the large Thames Water main.