13 January 2014

Kingston upon Thames Society Committee: January 2014

This was another Committee Meeting where we spent most of our time discussing our internal affairs, which is what the purpose of these meetings is, and we made some good progress.

Tracking Planning Applications

We continued the discussion from the previous meeting on two planning applications that we had objected to going to a Council Committee Meeting without us being notified. We will pick up the general principle with RBK but also, not relying on this, will monitor committee papers more closely in future.

Tesco (12/10141)

The latest plans for the controversial Tesco scheme at the former Toby Jug site in Tolworth were due to be considered at several RBK committees over the next couple of weeks.

Heritage Open Days (HODs)

Having transitioned to a new team last year, this year we are building on that success and starting early.The first part of this will be to issue a call to members for their ideas on what else to include and to find volunteers for the stewarding roles that are required.

We will also work to improve our relationship with the Council, officers and members, and will contact them soon to try and ease the passage of our grant application in the short-term and to embed HODs and Coombe Conduit in their heritage thinking long-term.

Gas Works Development

RBK having recently presented a vision for the whole area around the former gas works site in North Kingston were now faced with a housing application for just part of it. We were concerned that piecemeal development would prevent the vision being realised.

Out of Order

There were views for and against the seasonal decorations applied to the work of art but we were all opposed to it being used to advertise a commercial organisation. Our opposition was somewhat mollified by the information that the artist, David Mack, had approved the work and that left us with little that we could do.


RBK had submitted their Stage 2 proposal for improving cycling in Kingston. The pontoon remained our biggest concern because of its visual impact on the river for other users.

English Heritage changes

English Heritage planned to become a charity and proposed that each site should be self-funding. We agreed to write to EH to say that we did not think that Coombe Conduit could pay its own way and if it were forced to try then the Society would not be able to be part of that.

Members' Newsletter

The next Newsletter was due in April. We discussed what should be included and it was agreed that we would include a summary of our committee meetings to inform members of the work that is done on their behalf.

I agreed to write a communications process that included the different needs of the Newsletter, website and press.

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