Kingston upon Thames Society Committee Meeting was mostly concerned with internal affairs and we made good progress on most of them.
Reviewing Planning Applications
We spent some time discussing my proposed changes to the way that we assess Planning Applications.
The main changes were to send the weekly lists to all Committee members, and some others, to give them a chance to comment on any that interested them and for the Planning Secretary (me!) to co-ordinate the Society's response from all the inputs received. The aim was to get input from people who live across the Borough and also from people with specialist skills and knowledge.
It was already recognised that time would be a constraint as the weekly lists are quite long and it would never be practicable to look at more than a few of them in any detail. The problem was working out which ones these should be.
We will also be tracking committee meetings more closely to see when key applications are coming up for discussion.
Development Control Committee
I gave some feed back in the previous Development Control meeting which had approved both variants of the Latchmere House proposal and also the controversial fortress on the former gas holders site.
I described the meeting as laughably bad as these meetings floundered to make a decision without the key information available, i.e. a map of the new access road for Latchmere House and in-context pictures of the fortress to show the impact of its height.
I will be asking the Society to follow up on this as bad decision making leads to bad decisions.
We discussed a proposed letter to RBK re how some of the mini-Holland money should be spent. As usual when we discuss cycling I was something of a lone voice defending the rights of lycra-clad louts to mow down pensioners, or that is how it seemed.
In the end we got some words that while I did not agree with I was happy for them to be sent under the Society's name.
Our efforts to find a new Chairman were not proceeding that smoothly and every name suggested to date had attracted some strong opposition.
After some discussion it was agree that we would write to all our members asking for their suggestions, which could include nominating themselves.
Public Meetings and Visits
There was a full programme of activities lined up with a visit to the new Quaker Centre in August and the monthly Public Meetings starting again in September. An additional meeting had been scheduled for 10 December because of the number of topics that we wanted to cover.