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Village Diary

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HWA Planning round-up UPDATED August 2017

LBRuT Village Planning Process

Over the last year or two, The HWA has been consulted and has participated in events relating to the new Village Plan being prepared by Richmond Council and their consultants.

The Plan constitutes a ‘vision’ for the area*, a statement of key issues and – importantly – is accompanied by Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). The latter, once adopted by the Council, will form part of the planning process and will be used in contentious matters such as appeals. SPDs have ‘teeth’ so that is important. The Village Planning process is ongoing, so look out for the council’s Village Forums and related community consultations.

*The ‘area’ was discussed at some length. Where exactly are the boundaries to Hampton Wick? In particular, we were concerned that Bushy Park (unlike Home Park) did not appear in any of the Richmond Village Plans. When you consider the impact and benefits the Park has on Hampton Wick and Teddington and vice versa this seemed a mistake and has hopefully been addressed.

Planning Applications

In a typical week there are about five new Planning Applications for Hampton Wick alone.
Most of these are for domestic don’t move, improve projects with a trend for developing basements and extension replacements with ones of a similar size but better quality.

Some of the more significant recent applications are detailed below.

Significant applications

There have also been some significant applications and to focus on a few of those:

The Avenue Centre, Normansfield Avenue

Redevelopment of the site to provide a care home, 4 supported living units and 15 affordable housing units.
Approved October ’16;

59 – 61 High Street

The former Sanho noodle bar and, before that, the Rose & Crown.

Sanho, Hampton Wick

There have been several applications for this site, and we have had a lot of feedback from residents about them:

In June ’16 an application to extend the Ground Floor for restaurant/bar use was approved. The works are currently being carried out.
Curiously, this design is separate from other applications for the upper floors of the building which would more normally form an integrated ‘whole building application’.

In May’15 an application for the addition of a third floor and a rear extension, with nine new flats, was refused. We objected to the scheme for many reasons: the application was misleading, would take light and privacy away from neighbours, and was an overdevelopment of the site . It went to appeal and, again, we gave our reasons for objecting. The appeal was dismissed in Feb ’16.

In June ’16 a fresh application was made, this time for six new apartments. Along with many others, we objected for similar reasons to before. Permission was refused and in January this year, their appeal was again dismissed.

In October ’16 an application was again made – currently it is ‘not validated’ by LBC. This is for ‘Rear extension to first and second floors and internal reconfiguration of existing ancillary accommodation to create ’4 self-contained flats.’

We have sought clarification from the council’s Planning Department, as there appears to be substantial building work going on at present to the upper floors.

Along the Thames

Development along the waterfront is becoming denser.

In 2015, 1D Becketts Place had approval to change from office use to residential.

1d-becketts

Then in June 2016 a fresh, well thought out and presented, application was made for the site-this time to demolish the building and construct eight residential units with car and cycle parking.

There have been many objections and at the time of writing a decision is still pending.

In January this year it was the turn of Burgoine Quay, on the north side of the railway bridge.

Burgoine Quay

An application was made for a four storey extension to the existing offices there. This will have the effect of almost closing the gap between the building and the railway, also being built with an under croft covering parking and access.

On the Kingston bank of the Thames, opposite Burgoine Quay, we were consulted by Kingston residents over an application for Barge Dock.

Barge Dock

The application is for a restaurant and nine ‘contemporary’ apartments, right on the river’s edge and over the existing dock.

We have given our opinions in relation to massing, loss of amenity value to Canbury Park, and to parking. In Hampton Wick, now, parking can be the critical issue in considering an application. The Barge Dock scheme has no parking provision, claiming that there would not be demand for any, which feels unconvincing. Hampton Wick is already enough of an overflow car park for Kingston.

Permission for Barge Dock was refused on 7th June 2017. Reasons given included the loss of the River Thames Boat Project mooring and that the proposals are contrary to the London Plan 2016 and various Kingston Policies, including ‘wholly at odds with the riverside character’ and failure to demonstrate that the proposals would avoid adverse impact on the biodiversity interests of the Green Corridor.

The Firs

This May an application was made for the demolition of a house in Church Grove and the erection of nine new flats, a substantial underground car park and significant landscape works and felling of trees. We have objected to the scheme.

In a Conservation Area we would have expected the choice of materials and finishes to be stated and detailed to an extent sufficient to indicate quality, not left to a Condition within a consent. To us the design quality reflects that of the adjacent flats (Heron House) rather than that of the pre-war houses in Church Grove.

Unusually, the Design and Access Statement with the Application was written by the agent rather than by the architect and we felt it reflected the planning process rather than any design vision or thought. There are many examples of fine, well designed, modern developments in a variety of styles in the borough and we would welcome some in Hampton Wick.

Since our objections, revised proposals have been submitted. These revisions include modifications to the appearance of the front of the building and the materials proposed. A decision is pending ‘minor amendments’ to the parking scheme.

Our Principal Planning Concerns in Hampton Wick

Over and above the concerns expressed and recorded for the Village Planning exercises we have two principal concerns:

New, smaller, private speculative residential schemes in Hampton Wick are frequently, in our view, below standards considered acceptable for habitation. (For larger developments both public and private housing need to comply with The London Plan 2016, so not an issue). That is that they lack adequate daylight (particularly if located in a basement or ‘garden flat’), have very small rooms and are too close to their neighbours. In the height of summer, with windows open, an occupier will hear and be heard, will smell their neighbour’s activities and will have little privacy.

Secondly, and particularly in Conservation Areas, the proposals should be detailed to an extent that the quality can be assessed at the time of application.
This is normal practice elsewhere in London and in our experience leads to significantly better quality outcomes.
Finally, once approved the Planning Case Officers must strictly enforce the conditions of the consents rather than retrospectively allowing a variation.

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