Thursday, 12 January 2012

Seething Wells: Surbiton Planning Sub-Committee 11.1.12

Lapwing night-roost 2.1.12
Councillors presided over a packed hall at Dysart School, Surbiton to hear the application 11/16502/FUL for the development of filter beds to provide 64 residential homes on floating pontoons, 92 berth marina and lock gate, restaurant, landscaping and car parking; as enabling development to provide publically accessible nature reserve, riverside walk, heritage and education centre, flood storage and river taxi stop.
After a short presentation about the scheme from officers, community voices railed for over an hour, as people spoke passionately about the:



·         wildlife issues, the objections from Natural England and the London Bat Group;
·         the loss of heritage and the failure to recognise the importance of this unique site;
·         the impact on water sports and river safety and the objection from Sport England;
·         the unconvincing community benefits, especially the flood cell, which would be ineffective as a flood mitigation measure;
·         the additional traffic and the impact of car headlights on foraging bats over the water body;
·         the Kingston Core Strategy and the Inspector requiring planning officers to remove development aspirations from any paperwork connected with this site; and
·         it was an elitist residential area and the 1% sum towards affordable housing was derisory.


Our councillors certainly noted the turnout and the strength of feeling  Three councillors spoke (M.H, L. S.  & M.B.), all felt that the case for the "very special circumstances" had not been made.
Notable comments included:
·         In 60 years of bird watching I have never seen 3 green sandpipers from a pavement;
·         People had an appetite for conserving this unique site and local schools were enquiring about speakers;
·         The planning inspector said this was one of the most designated sites in the borough.
http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/search/?search=filter+beds


Kingston Neighbourhood
The application is also going to the Kingston Neighbourhood Committee on Wed 18th Jan at 7.30pm at the Guildhall, Kingston. The agenda is already on the website, the papers are the same as before. http://www.kingston.gov.uk/information/your_council/committeeminutes.htm go to the date in the calendar for the page and papers.


Let your councillors know your views – Councillors on Surbiton and Kingston Neighbourhoods are commenting on the proposals and the Development Control Committee will make its decision 23.2.12 . Please email them your comments. 
Relevant list of councillors can be found at:


Surbiton:
http://www.kingston.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/councillors/mgCouncillors.htm?mgl=mgMemberIndex.asp&VW=TABLE&PIC=1&FN=DISTRICT&id=183


Kingston Town:

http://www.kingston.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/councillors/mgCouncillors.htm?mgl=mgMemberIndex.asp&VW=TABLE&PIC=1&FN=DISTRICT&id=180
Development Control Committee:


http://www.kingston.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/committeeminutes/moderngov.htm?mgl=mgCommitteeDetails.aspx&ID=138

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