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Village Diary

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Hampton Wick Councillors ask for referral of The Firs to Planning Committee

Sunday 13th February 2022

Hampton Wick Councillors ask for referral of The Firs to Planning Committee

We are pleased to report that in response to our campaign our local councillors have asked that the retrospective planning application for The Firs Church Grove be referred to the full Planning Committee of the Council rather than just being approved by council officers (or their subcontractors).

This reflects the level of public concern over the process and outcomes at this development, as demonstrated by the 28 objections and three public comments (also critical) posted in response to the developers applying for permissions AFTER they had gone ahead and built something contrary to the permissions which they had been granted.

Residents have been outraged by:

- the lack of oversight by council planners to ensure that the development matched the plans which were previously approved

- the utter contempt shown by the developers towards the conservation area, and the lack of any effective policing of that conservation area, and

- the unfairness of a system which seems to allow developers simply to re-apply AFTER they’ve built what they wanted to build all along.

In addition – the HWA has been alerted to what might be an attempt to sneak in a way around the restrictions on parking permits. As planning application has succeeded planning application for this site, developers have eroded their need to provide off-street parking. The quid pro quo was that people living in these flats would not be entitled to apply for residents’ parking permits as parking is already in extremely short supply.

So what is to be made of this statement in the introduction to the Parking Survey dated September 2021 by the developer’s own planning consultant: “The developer is seeking to avoid a legal restriction that future occupants with exception of disabled occupants would be ineligible for on-street parking permits” ??

The HWA has raised this concern with our councillors – The Firs parking HWA email to Councillors. In response to this and to the number and strength of local objections to the retrospective planning application, they have asked for it to be referred to the full Planning Committee of the council if the officers / subcontractors are minded to approve. This request has been formally noted.

It is good to see that the expression of local views, and a sense of fair play, mean that this development should now if necessary be reviewed fully and transparently, rather than just being “nodded through”.