Kingston Draft Local Plan – ONE PAGE GUIDE

The first stage of engagement on Kingston’s new Local Plan took place from 1 May to 31 July 2019.

Kingston Council is currently running a consultation on the first draft of new Local Plan and asking residents for their comments. The consultation period runs from Monday 28 November 2022 to Tuesday 28 February 2023.

The full information on Draft Local Plan can be found on the Council website.

Please note. This is a very long document (220 pages before the additional material and Maps). You can of course skip some of the links below for specific sections only. You can find Society’s engagement work and critical comments below.

FULL DRAFT

draft policies on design and heritage

draft policies on sustainable development.

neighbourhood in the draft Local Plan

draft policies on climate change and environmental sustainability.

draft policies on housing delivery

draft policies on economy and town centres

draft policies on social infrastructure

draft policies on natural environment and green infrastructure,

Other important evidence based documents:

SITE ALLOCATIONS

Consultation Response Form:

Other important evidence based documents:

We also find the detailed policy map link very useful.

How to respond to the consultation

You can respond to Council by filling a form here: First draft Local Plan consultation response form

If you have difficulty commenting online, please contact them at localplan@kingston.gov.uk or 020 8547 5000.

Please note you do not need to comment on entire document! Choose a section and/or policy you are familiar with. However it is important that you state which specific part of the Plan you agree or object to and why. You should cite the relevant paragraph, page, and figure numbers, and where possible the policy references.

It is also important that you include your name and full postal address in any response.

What happens next?

We understand there will be a ‘Regulation 22’ consultation next year followed by an ‘Examination in Public’ And Inspector’s Report. Adoption is considered in late 2023.

KINGSTON SOCIETY AND DRAFT LOCAL PLAN:

It has been 10 years since the last statutory plan was produced for the Borough as a whole and as long as 14 years since the last statutory plan was produced for Kingston Town Centre. That’s a long time and not having a recent statutory plan in place leaves the Council in a weak position when developers come forward with proposals which it may want to resist but is relying on out of date planning policies to do so. Kingston Society supports the need for a New Local Plan for Kingston and engages with the Council to get the best possible for our borough.

On 16th of November 2022 Kingston Society hosted a presentation and discussion about the progress of the emerging new Local Plan. Officers from the planning department: Tava Walton – Head of Place Making, Emma Crowe – Communication and Engagement Lead, and Hannah Harris- Local Plan Lead – explained this two pronged consultation and answered membership questions.

Also since early January, The Society, together with the Council and other community groups, are running a pilot urban room, “Open Frame”, in the Old Market House, Ancient Market Place, Kingston KT1 1JS. One aspect of this pilot, located on the ground floor of the Market House, is to be part of the public consultation exercise for the Draft Local Plan and ensure honest and open debate can take place during this consultation period.

In 2019, the council carried out early engagement on the content of a new Local Plan but a lot has changed in the last two years. (see our past response here) That is why we are meeting with the Council Officers regularly and discussing draft policies and organising public debates. We are also asking our members and public to attend lunch time talks and help shape the final plan.

Kingston Society is carefully studying the Draft Plan and considering each policy and will submit a response in due course.

SOME OF THE ISSUES KINGSTON SOCIETY IS RAISING:

  1. In its Shaping the Future paper the Council stated that it intended to promote what it and the Mayor of London calls ‘good growth’. But the Mayor of London’s Plan identifies an undefined Opportunity Area in Kingston where new development is to be focussed. Previous documents produced by the Council have suggested that this Opportunity Area would be focussed around the Crossrail 2 route and stations within the borough but, as we know, Crossrail 2 is unfunded and unprogrammed and effectively kicked into the long grass. What is the Local Plan therefore going to say about the Opportunity Area and associated housing targets? There is no allocated funding and no agreed timetable for its delivery. How can Opportunity Area can proceed for Kingston without Crossrail 2?
  2. There is a confusion created around the Kingston Town Centre vision, ie. “Your Vision Our Future: A Plan for Kingston Town Centre”. It appears that this is a ‘vision document’ covering an area which comprises the Kingston Town Centre Area (KTAC) plus the ‘Zone of Influence’. However the consultation on the document does include a question as to whether the boundary should be adjusted so clearly this boundary could change. There is a clear element of risk in the Council taking a full consultation through on an Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) when it is not known how the Local Plan might require to be changed following the Planning Inspector’s report on the statutory Local Plan Examination in Public.
  3. The relationship of the so called Opportunity Areas + KTCA and Zone of Influence vision, plan and delivery document with the draft local plan is currently not fully resolved and confusing to public.
  4. This confusion is further exacerbated by recent government pronouncements about a new class of supplemental planning documents potentially being created which have the same weight as statutory local plans.
  5. The Site allocations: In the past we argued that the RBK’s consultation on the updated site assessments report is of limited value because the context of and purpose and objectives of the consultation have not been properly explained. At this stage we are puzzled with the Council’s over reliance on demolishing of Car Parks including Seven Kings Car park which is relatively a new built.  We think some of these sites are not carefully considered and should be removed from the Site Allocations list.
  6. Much of the new development is proposed within the area of the historically important but now so called “Zone of Importance” area zone. We are aware that there are three Grade I, six Grade II*, and 42 Grade II listed buildings in this particular zone alone. We are very concerned about the Encouragement for tall buildings in this sensitive location with high intensity. (see Tall Buildings notes below)
  7. In the past we also asked what is the Local Plan going to say about a strategy for the Council’s green and open spaces? How can the quality of our Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land be improved? How can areas like Seething Wells Filter Beds be restored to their fulfil their status as MOL or Green Belt? How will the Local Plan ensure that the Arcadian River Thames in our borough is protected from inappropriate development? We are not still not clear.
  8. Much of the new development is proposed within the 4 Town centres. As Society we are working with the Council to create more engagement and discussion within the neighbourhoods and Pilot Urban Room Kingston is created with this vision in mind. We believe the Council should consider outcome of Urban Room discussions to any proposals for development in these Neighbourhood areas.

TALL BUILDINGS POLICY

We understand the consultation on the Draft Local Plan (including Policy KD11 Tall Buildings) will inform the next phase of work to establish if there are locations in the Borough where tall buildings may be an appropriate form of development. The Emerging Tall Buildings Strategy (link) shows where the tall buildings might be located. We know the London Plan defines a ‘tall building’ as anything over 21 metres however tall buildings policy suggests certain areas of Kingston -mainly Kingston town centre -could be targeted for buildings up to 78m high. A comprehensive analysis of heritage and design matters must be an integral part of the Local Plan and any Tall Buildings Policy. In the absence of such document the Plan could give way to an onslaught of speculative Applications which may be difficult to refuse.

Tall Building Locations Interactive policies map .

other links:

Kingston Society Local Plan Public Meeting Page (18 January 2022):

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Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Kingston Society