• CarolineShah

Richmond Council - unaware of or ignoring the facts?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

Richmond and Kingston - worlds apart

Richmond Council overlooks cumulative impact of Kingston's plans

Read here about Richmond Council's concerns about Kingston's development plans

Remember that only part of massive residential - and none of the commercial - development - that is to be foisted upon Kingston was even mentioned in the Local Plan consultation so Richmond Council does NOT have a complete picture of what is about to be signed off

Here are some of Richmond Council's key points:

Green Belt and MOL

"The protection of existing Green Belt and MOL is considered to be important in terms of maintaining openness, preserving the setting and character of the area, restricting sprawl, providing opportunities for recreation, playing a major role in the provision of and accessibility to open space and the green infrastructure network, supporting biodiversity, mitigating the impacts of climate change and encouraging more sustainable and healthy living options

From a Richmond Council perspective, it is important that MOL associated with the River Thames (such as parks and open spaces), protected views and vistas as well as sites of historic importance (including their settings) such as Hampton Court, are retained and improvements encouraged where possible"

Density and tall buildings

"Officers strongly advocate for a local, evidence-based, definition of a tall building rather than adopting the more general standards outlined within the draft New London Plan (i.e. more than 25m in the Thames Policy Area, and more than 30m in height elsewhere). By defining tall buildings locally, areas of the borough that are (a) appropriate for and (b) sensitive to the location of a tall building should therefore be identified within the Local Plan and on an associated policy map

It is of paramount importance that the potential impact of tall buildings is assessed not only on areas within RB Kingston, but also on neighbouring boroughs. In Richmond, the Local Plan defines ‘taller’ buildings as those that are “significantly taller than neighbourhood buildings, but less than 18m in height (below six storeys)” and ‘tall’ buildings are defined as those which exceed this height. We would, therefore, be opposed to the location of inappropriate tall buildings adjacent to the River Thames in RB Kingston, as we consider that such development could have a negative impact on much of the historic and high-quality character of the areas on the opposite bank, particularly if built out to the standards permissible in the draft London Plan. Given the cross-boundary implications of tall buildings, we request that Officers are kept involved in the development of a local definition and spatial approach to the siting of tall buildings through the duty to cooperate.

In the context of question 6, it should be noted that as part of the Mayor’s minor suggested changes (published July 2018), Policy D6 of the draft London Plan was changes from ‘Optimising housing density’ to ‘Optimising density’."

Visitors and Town centre

"In the past, significant expansion of retail floorspace in Kingston town centre has been envisaged. Should this be the direction of future policies, officers should monitor the potential impact of expansion on other borough centres, in particular Richmond town centre"


LB Richmond is supportive of attempts to promote sustainable transportation, and recognises the many benefits such a modal shift could deliver. It is noted that parking controls are identified as being ‘very effective tools in managing traffic levels and congestion’. Officers recognise the benefits that these can deliver, however where these are implemented it is important that the potential impact of parking displacement to nearby uncontrolled roads is carefully considered, including where this might affect neighbouring boroughs. Officers therefore request that they are kept involved in the development of such policies, and in particular regarding the locations for new parking/amended parking controls particularly where they are close to the borough boundary.

For reference it would also be helpful if it could be clarified, for each of the transportation infrastructure improvements identified in Figure 5 on page 46, the level of certainty of delivery

Specific sites

"Due to their location, size and/or the proposed housing calculation, the following sites are considered very likely to have an impact on the character and setting of Richmond borough:

- Thames Side Wharf, Water Lane

- 1-6 Riverside Walk

- 2 Bishop’s Hall

- 19-31 Thames Street inc. Bishops Palace House and 2 Clarence Street

- The Malthouse and River Reach, 2-35 High Street

- John Lewis (North West), Horse Fair

- The Rose Car Park and Drapers Court, Kent Road

- Riverside Centre and 34-52 High Street

- John Lewis (South East), Horse Fair

- St George’s Industrial Estate, Richmond Road

- Seething Wells Filter Beds, Portsmouth Road

Due to their location, size and/or the proposed housing calculation, the following sites are considered likely to have an impact on the character and setting of Richmond borough:

- Bentall Centre Car Parks A and B, Steadfast Road

- 1-6 Riverside Walk, 2 Bishop’s Hall, 19-31 Thames

- Guildhall, High Street

- Kingston College, Kingston Hall Road"

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