10 June 2013

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: June 2013

June's Committee Meeting spent a lot of time discussing planning applications and sometimes struggled to reach consensus. We also revisited some familiar topics.

Penny Gallery

The listing appeal had been turned turned down for not very convincing reasons. Other listing options will be considered and we will approaching the Conservation Officer at RBK.

Richmond Park Tavern (13/12322)

The proposal is to demolish the existing pub and replace it with 6 town houses, each with 4 beds and 3 baths. We are objecting to the loss of a local amenity, change of use, packed site, and poor design, e.g. square windows. This decision was reached after a rare vote.

Vicarage Road

We decided previously to object to the major application in Vicarage Road, including a 12 storey block, and were interested in speaking at the relevant committee meeting. The RBK website suggested that this will be a delegated decision, i.e. one made by officers, but this seems unlikely given the size of the application. We will be finding out.

Market Place

Having agreed on the new design of the Market Place the debate had moved on to which stalls should be included and the Society had already publicly supported the three stall-holders who had been told that their licences would not be renewed.

The aim seems to be to make the main market food only with other stalls moved to the Monday market.

We spent a long time discussing the role of KingstonFirst in this and their relationship to RBK. We entirely understand that most of what KingstonFirst does is additional to services provided by RBK, and this is perfectly reasonably. The Market is different as this is a RBK responsibility that they have delegated to KingstonFirst and they seem to have abdicated all responsibility in doing so, which does not make any kind of sense.

The end result is that major changes are being made to the way that the historical market operates without any democratic input.

During the discussion I may have likened KingstonFirst to State Communists in wishing to dictate what the market sells rather than letting, er, market forces decide.

There was no specific decision made as a result of this debate but several committee members will be seeking more information about the market to bring to future debates.


Crossrail 2 replaces an earlier scheme known as the Chelsea-Hackney Line. Crossrail 2 would help to relieve congestion on both the national and TfL rail networks.

Two possible routes have been identified: a Metro option offering a high-frequency, underground service across central London and a Regional option connecting central London with areas to the north east and south west.

Both options share a similar route through the centre of London.One option would extend to Kingston (regional), metro option starts from Wimbledon.

Consultation on the scheme was open and we quickly agreed to support the Regional option..

Town Centre Management

The previous meeting had been given a presentation on the work being done on the church. Found coffins had been found when digging foundations. Funding is sufficient for works to the end of October but not yet for all of Phase 1.

RBK were pushing for more free-standing advertising boards. We were concerned that it is more clutter and breaking of sight lines. See applications 13/12314, 13/12317, 13/12318, 13/12360 and 13/12356.

Student accommodation at The Wellington on Kingston Road (13/14358)

Another pub being lost and turned in to accommodation. This time the committee had mixed views; we need to house students but where and how? Could we justify opposing the loss of the Richmond Park Tavern but not the Wellington?

We agreed to take no action, i.e. to neither oppose nor support, after much debate. The deciding factor was the setting of the pub which is alongside medium-height offices and flats so the new development was in keeping with the area.

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