Is your home in Kingston council's intended "opportunity areas"?
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Your home could be at risk of redevelopment under the council's Borough-wide growth plans
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9 Apr 2019 —
Now is the time to write to council leader, Liz Green, at email@example.com and ask for her personal opinion on whether the "opportunity area" designation for Kingston is sound and why the proposed boundaries for what have become two "opportunity areas" in the Borough have been massively expanded.
Councillor Green voted AGAINST the Direction of Travel in 2016, which the Tory council approved at the time and which the Mayor has used as the basis of recommending Kingston Borough as an "opportunity area" in the new London Plan.
The council is now proposing to extend the "areas of opportunity" it approved in the Direction of Travel growth strategy in 2016 as formal "opportunity areas". You can see the new and previous proposed boundaries in the hand drawn map. The northern area now extends right up to Richmond Park and across the Borough from Kingston Town to the beyond New Malden. The southern area stretches from north of Tolworth to south of Chessington south. Both areas include large areas of Metropolitan Open Land ("MOL").
The council has also asked for the power to seek to lift protection against development on the Green Belt and MOL as "exceptional circumstances" in order to deliver its massive large site housing and employment targets, which will rise substantially when we become an "opportunity area" and even more if we get Crossrail 2.
The map is derived from the following sources:
COULD COUNCIL OFFICERS USE THEIR NEW POWERS TO BUY UP PROPERTIES IN YOUR ROAD?
In December 2018, the council gave officers the power to purchase and sell without scrutiny any property in the Borough with an individual value of up to £1 million, up from £50,000 for purchases and £250,000 for sales. This is a massive increase. The Director of Sales at a major estate agent in Kingston said this represents more than 90% of properties in the Borough at that time.
In the context of the council's desire to deliver a massive development programme on large sites throughout the Borough, it is reasonable to wonder how extensively these powers may be used to buy up properties in an attempt to free up land on and around "opportunity areas" and other large sites for development.