Make Kingston Fit for a King

 

Please consider voting for me on 5th May if you live in Kingston Gate Ward, where I have lived since 2010

If you do not live in the ward, please encourage people you know who live in Kingston Gate Ward to consider giving me one of their votes

If elected, I will work with the administration to try and ensure the best outcomes for Kingston Gate residents and to ensure sound decision-making across Kingston Gate Ward and the wider Borough

I will meet residents regularly, listen to your concerns and act to put pressure on the council to do what is needed to sustain and improve the environment in which we live

I will fight for a strong new Local Plan for Kingston. This is now years overdue. The lack of a Local Plan is allowing massive developments to be approved on the edge of our Ward with no evidence of the harm that they will cause to the wider area

I will continue to resist the current Neighbourhood Plan from the North Kingston Forum group - a plan which covers the old Canbury and Tudor Wards - and that to-date proposes to allow the majority of over-development to happen across Kingston Gate Ward. I will consult with residents of Kingston Gate about what you consider constitutes appropriate development in the Ward and will strongly represent your views and interests to the council

I will continue to fight for truly sustainable management of, and development in, the Ward and for the Ward to be a safe and pleasant place to live

I will highlight when developments are coming forward that have not taken in to account their effect - either alone or in combination with other developments - on the rare and vulnerable protected habitats in Richmond Park and on the need for investment in local social infrastructure such as schools and health services

I will continue to fight to ensure Kingston Gate residents have access to affordable leisure services, including a local swimming pool, at the earliest possible date. Another five years without a pool, as stated by Swim England in their response to the council's plans for a new leisure centre in Kingston, is simply too long. I will do whatever I can in the time that is left to stop the demolition of The Kingfisher Leisure Centre 

 

I will get Kingston Council to add its name to the councils of Richmond, Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham and Windsor and Maidenhead opposing an increase in night flights. These sometimes continue now until 2 am and start again at 6 am

I will work with you, for you, and for us all

 

The immeasurable harm of a No-Plan

 

The new London Plan has been published, despite all our best efforts to get Sadiq Khan and the Housing minister to reconsider its policies given the effects they will have on the people of London and the environment in which we live and that we must cherish on behalf of future generations

No part of The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames has yet been designated as an Opportunity Area

 

Kingston Council is still relying on The Direction of Travel 2016 for its growth plans, and it is sadly a fact that council officers and our elected representatives alike worked with The Mayor of London to agree the massive housebuilding targets for large sites throughout the Borough that have been assigned to Kingston in the new London Plan

 

The massive developments already starting to coming forward across Kingston are doing so outside of any local plan and are not supported by any local Strategic Environmental Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment or Equalities Impact Assessment that would at least professed to have assessed and mitigated  the harm that development on such a large scale will have on our communities and the environment in and around Kingston

This is incredibly worrying 

Meanwhile high rise towers are being proposed on Canbury Place Car Park that fail to use solar power or allow public access to roof spaces because developers want the roof space on the 21st floor - which will tower over the surrounding area but offer people who can afford the flats wonderful views towards Richmond and Wimbledon and Hampton Court - to be private amenity space for residents; and the redevelopment of the Cambridge Road Estate, among many other issues, will give rise to significant exposure for residents to overheating and pollution. This huge development of 2100 units housing 5,500 people will also put unacceptable pressure on the irreplaceable habitats and protected species in Richmond Park, both on its own and in combination with population growth happening all around, as Richmond Park is the designated recreational green space for new people making millions more visits a year to the park

Meanwhile, Kingston Council officers are now recommending the demolition of the 

historic Victorian Regent's wing of Kingston Hospital, with plans to replace it with an 8 storey tall development of housing with care for the over 55s

What is most shocking is not even the planned overshadowing of existing residents, the destruction of a perfectly sound Victorian building at a time of climate emergency but the fact that - in a high-rise development for the elderly - council officers are recommending the proposal for APPROVAL with NO fire safety measures agreed and without having finalised the materials out of which the building will be built on the outside

All these plans  and others simmering away in the background never were sound and are not now. Individual proposals are being approved time after time when there is clear evidence that they may be breaching policy and legislative requirements. In this situation, the only recourse residents have is legal challenge

 

Leigh Day solicitors have sent a letter to Kingston Council referring, amongst other things, to the decision of the Planning Committee to demolish The Kingfisher Leisure Centre without any firm or funded plans for a new centre. The council has agreed to take this planning application back to committee to be considered again

Individual proposals will cause harm in their own right but even more harm when they are measured alongside the harm caused by all the other proposals that the council is individually asserting will have no effect on the environment around them and people affected by them

The scale of development planned and the no-plan is simply no good. We must challenge it in whatever ways we can

Read Blog Posts about the Effects of the London Plan

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