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SHOCK NEWS: Has the use of absolute power corrupted democracy in Kingston?


Are the democratic rights of residents in London being squashed by the use of autocratic power?

Tonight I presented our petition to The Council against Kingston Council and the GLA's undemocratic growth plans. I asked for our housing targets and the "opportunity area" status to be removed from the draft new London Plan


The petition has over 2,600 signatures so far


SHOCK NEWS

  • Kingston council acted undemocratically by submitting the "Direction of Travel" ("DofT") to the Mayor for approval on 16 October 2016 before the call-in period for residents to challenge the decision of the Growth Committee decision had expired on 9 November 2016

  • The DofT - a document being used as the basis for the Borough's massive growth targets and designation as an "opportunity area" was never formally adopted by the Mayor on the 17th October 2016, despite assertions to the contrary

  • This highly flawed document that was never "adopted " by the Mayor has been used as the basis of assigning massive large site housing targets to Kingston as well as designating the borough as an "opportunity area"

  • The DofT has no legal status. There is no such things as "supplementary planning ADVICE"

  • There is no original signed copy of the "Adoption Report" for the DofT and a "signed" copy of the Adoption Report only appeared - out of nowhere - in March 2019

  • Publication of The DofT on the GLA’s website was after the stated date of publication of the Development Capacity Study for Royal Kingston (the “DCS”), which is given on the DCS as February 2017. This means that large sites targets for Royal Kingston may have been discussed, modelled and agreed with the GLA before the DofT was posted as “approved” by the Mayor on the GLA website. If this is the case, timing of the posting of the DofT on the GLA website must by definition have precluded any possible knowledge by the residents of Royal Kingston or by any other interested parties that the DofT was being used as justification for vastly elevated large site housing targets for Kingston and to designate Kingston as an “opportunity area” in the draft new London Plan

  • Kingston Council has never had a mandate from residents to pursue growth on the scale it has agreed with the GLA

  • The GLA and the Council have not addressed Human Rights and Equalities Duties or Environmental Considerations in setting housing targets for and designating Royal Kingston as an “opportunity area”. This is a major omission that is not being addressed in the Local Plan as it does not explicitly deal with the characteristics of and issues arising from the proposed "opportunity areas" in Kingston. They are not mentioned in any detail whatsoever

  • The council and the Mayor have not been open and transparent with residents about the process they are following to seek approval for Kingston to become an "opportunity area". The DofT has been referred to regularly by the Mayor as an "Opportunity Area Planning Framework" or "OAPF", but now the Mayor's office say that the Kingston "OAPF" will be progressed through the Local Plan. The Early Engagement for the Local Plan does not mention the term "OAPF" once

  • The process of designating an "opportunity area" in Kingston is opaque, completely lacking in transparency and confusing. There is no discreet consultation on the "opportunity area"


You can read more details under Analysis - SHOCK NEWS

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