22 May 2012

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: May 2012

We had a another busy meeting in May and this is some of what we discussed.

Heritage Open Days

Planning for the Heritage Open Day is in the final stages. Something that is likely to attract a lot of interest is the proposed architectural tour of filter beds.

Kingston Council is being slow in approving (or rejecting) the small grant needed to publish the advertising brochure.

Bishops Palace House

Bishops Palace House pushing for large advertising display this will be on the river and will advertise, er, the river. Not too surprisingly the Committee thought that this was a mad idea.

Bentalls Centre

The Bentalls Centre proposing to replace arched entrance with square fronted cafe. This will continue the classical look with columns.

This small change led to a long discussion in which sanity prevailed, in that we agreed to support the scheme though not as enthusiastically as I would have liked.

The proposal makes little difference to the appearance of the Bentalls Centre but makes a big difference in linking it to the rest of the town, instead of turning its back on it.

Barge Dock

There are some major plans for Barge Dock by the entrance to Canbury Gardens. This uses some Metropolitan Open Land so is not without controversy.

We were quickly against the idea despite the other substantial changes in the area that means that this proposal will have less impact than may be imagined. There was some support for the proposal on the committee, and I was not against it in principle, but we agreed to support the Thames Landscape Strategy's position in opposing the scheme.

The deciding factor was not being seen to support another scheme that built on MOL.

1 Penrhyn Road

There was a lot of discussion about some proposed student housing at 1 Penrhyn Road, which is currently a garage.

We' wee against this for some reason that seemed to be related to over development. I was not convinced by that however I would have liked more to have been made of the Hogsmill River that flows behind the site. Dense student housing would hide it even more than it currently is

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