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  • CarolineShah

No time left to stop the high rises - unless we act now


Are we about to face 22 years of "accelerated" development?

The Strategic Housing and Planning Committee of Kingston Council approved the Borough’s Housing Delivery Test Action Plan on 19th June 2019


The decision is open to "call-in", a process by which 100 residents of the Borough, acting together, can challenge the decision until Tuesday 2 July 2019


We need 100 people to sign my paper petition by Tuesday afternoon


Contact me on CarolineShah@ShahScott.com if you would like to sign


I will also be outside the Co-Op on King's Road in Canbury Ward from 11 am to 12 noon on Sunday 30 June with the petition


SUMMARY

The Government has introduced a Housing Delivery Test (HDT) to determine whether local areas are building enough homes to meet housing needs. Kingston Council states that its Housing Delivery Test Action Plan (“HDTAP”)[1] analyses current housing delivery in the borough and identifies measures to address the shortfall in delivery over the last three years

However, the HDTAP is also being used to introduce measures to speed up the planning process for Kingston’s future development programme which envisages the building of 55,000 new homes in 22 years[2], a far cry from the 1,381 that was our target over the last three years and which we did not manage to deliver[3]. The council even wants to introduce a "fast track" system as well as other measures to speed up the approval of planning applications

But the HDTAP says nothing about how the council will protect existing homes across the Borough in the face of such large-scale development or about the effect of an accelerated large-scale development programme on existing communities, neighbourhoods or the environment; nor does it say if and how officers’ new delegated powers to buy properties with a individual value of less than £1 million across the Borough will be used to facilitate land assembly for accelerated housing delivery, or what constitutes “exceptional circumstances” for the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders

I believe that the council is moving forward fast with unsound and undemocratically-agreed plans to concrete over the Borough and to bring in 100,000 extra people over and above our natural population growth


It is up to us, as local residents, to make sure what happens in Kingston is in the interests of the residents who have chosen the Borough as their home, that it does not damage our natural and historic environment and that it is not pushed through in hidden and confused agendas


We must act now to bring these plans back to a scrutiny panel for proper investigation.


Please read the full call-in via the link below and let me know if you would like to sign my paper petition:


Link to Call-In: http://bit.ly/Call-InHDTAP


[1] https://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=8695


[2] Base 1364x22 years, plus 16,309 with CR2 or improved infrastructure, plus a minimum 9000 with “opportunity area” status


[3] “When measured against the new Housing Delivery Test, Kingston’s delivery rate is 75% over the three year period 2015/16 to 2017/18: Kingston delivered a total of 1,042 homes during this period against a target of 1,381 units, resulting in a shortfall of 339 units.​” Taken from: https://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/documents/g8704/Public%20reports%20pack%20Wednesday%2019-Jun-2019%2019.30%20Strategic%20Housing%20and%20Planning%20Committee.pdf?T=10


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