North Kingston Forum asks residents on main roads to take one for the team
Updated: Feb 15
Oppression of the minority in order to facilitate Mayor of London's over-development plans for Kingston?
The Annual General Meeting of the North Kingston Forum, the entity established to set up a Neighbourhood Plan for everyone living in Canbury and Tudor Wards, will be held on Wednesday 24 February 2020. At the AGM, the North Kingston Forum will summarise their policies and outline their implementation. You can contact the Forum here
The thing that struck me most from the announcement of the AGM is that the North Kingston Forum has decided to direct the over-development that Kingston Council wants to happen in the area to "key corridors" and on large sites which largely abut these corridors, and particularly in Canbury Ward
"Key Corridors" seem to consist of the following roads:
1. Acre Road
2. Canbury Park Road
3. Cowleaze Road
4. Elm Road
5. King's Road
6. Latchmere Road
7. Park Road
8. Richmond Road and
9. Tudor Drive
We already know that Kingston Council has secret plans to redevelop Park Road and the surrounding area. It has also allowed a consultancy firm to construct an area that does not exist called "Park Road North" that they separated out from Canbury Ward in the 2018 Views Strategy:
But now it seems that the North Kingston Forum not only supports plans for Park Road redevelopment but wants the over-development planned for our area in the new London Plan to happen exclusively on just a few roads
Many of these roads already suffer from high levels of traffic pollution. For some reason, the council does not measure pollution on them but we know that the whole of the borough is an Air Quality Management Area because of its poor air quality
Pollution levels will increase even further as additional traffic is pushed into these "key corridors" by the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes elsewhere. This traffic will combine with additional commercial vehicles delivering to the large number of construction sites across Kingston and with cars used by a rapidly growing population as people travel through Kingston to the hospital, to massive new office development in the Borough and to the A3, M4, M25 and beyond.
But that is not the worst of it
Pollution from demolition and construction activities that will be concentrated in the unfavoured roads will be a particular threat to people's, and especially to children's, health.
My research shows that there are no legally enforceable measures in place to control pollution related to demolition and construction activity, and none are included in the new London Plan
This is despite the recent landmark ruling that air pollution made a material contribution to the death of a 9 year old child. This leaves no doubt about the deadly effects of poor air quality, particularly for vulnerable people
The North Kingston Forum's decision to direct development along "key corridors" will negatively affect the health of people who live on these roads - and who are thus already exposed to the ill effects of NOx and particulate pollution - so that our fellow North Kingston residents can avoid the impact - that nobody should suffer - of the excessively high development targets agreed to by The Mayor of London and Kingston Council in the new London Plan
This is simply not right
The vast amount of development planned for Kingston in the new London Plan is wrong, and direction of development to a few roads in North Kingston by the Neighbourhood Forum will have a harmful effect on people living on any road considered to be a "key corridor"
The fact that many large sites targeted for development, especially in Canbury Ward, abut roads that may be considered to be "key corridors" is a double whammy for any of us living in those places:
Not only are we facing the decimation of our neighbourhoods and communities, as houses on our roads are pulled down and replaced with dense, ugly and out-of-character flats, we are facing at least two decades - the expected time needed for Kingston's London Plan development targets to be met - of being exposed to worsening air quality from construction activities as well as a permanent increase in traffic on through roads from a vastly increased outer London population
You can read here my analysis of how there is a lack of robust assessment or proposals for mitigation of pollution from demolition and construction related activities even for vast projects such as the demolition and rebuild at three times density (700 odd to over 2300 units) of the Cambridge Road Estate. What hope is there then that pollution from smaller - but still significant - redevelopment projects will be adequately measured and controlled?
This is why we need to challenge the London Plan and also to ensure that the North Kingston Forum represents the interests of all the residents of the area and does not suppress the voice of the minority who it seems are being targeted to suffer the majority, if not all, of development that takes place along roads in Canbury and Tudor Wards
There is not long left to challenge Kingston's housing targets and designation as an "opportunity area" in the new London Plan, or to tell the North Kingston Forum that its objectives are not right