8 October 2012

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: October 2012

October's Committee Meeting covered some familiar territory with familiar results. It was a productive meeting with broad agreement on most topics.

50 Years of the Society

The booklet celebrating 50 years of the Society is almost ready, thanks almost entirely to Michael Davison.

We have not yet had the funding for this confirmed by the Heritage Lottery Fund but we are going ahead with the publication anyway. The aim is to have it ready for our meeting on the direction of the Society in November.

Relaxation of planning rules

We are disappointed in the response from local politicians on the proposal to allow substantial extensions to houses (up to 8m) to be exempt for planning permission. They do not seem to understand that if planning permission is not required then there is no planning application and so no way for neighbours to learn about the development before it happens.

Shared path across Fairfield

There is a proposal to make the main path across Fairfield a shared path used by pedestrians and cyclists. We are against this as, on principle, we are against such shared paths as it is a poor compromise for both sets of users.

We do support initiatives to improve cycling in Kingston but not at the expense of pedestrians.

This became a longish debate with me taking a rather vociferous stand for cyclists. As a result, cycling will be the subject of a future public meeting.

Heritage Open Days

The Heritage Open Days were seen as a great success. The numbers were similar to last year despite the distraction of the Olympics. The new venues more proved to be particularly popular.

Kingston Riverside

There was a proposal for illuminated signs on Kingston Riverside. We were so against. They looked so cheap and would have a negative impact on the river and the opposite bank.

Being consulted

The Kingston Riverside issue led to a meeting with RBK planners and that brought to our attention that the Society is no longer formally consulted on relevant planning applications. We are sent the weekly notices, which are freely available, but are not formally asked to respond. This is something that we need to address.

Other news

The Bingo Hall in Richmond Road had been resold and new plans are awaited.

Zac Goldsmith has arranged a public meeting on the future of Latchmere House.

The lighting in Canbury Gardens is still a problem.

Sainsbury want to change look of Surbiton Station. Most of the changes are inside, e.g. large colourful fruit. but will be visible from outside. Mixed reaction from the Committee.

The Local History Room at the North Kingston Centre is due to close in Sept 2013 to make way for the new school.

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