• CarolineShah

Our opportunity to save Royal Kingston is now

Please donate my fundraising to take the London Plan to judicial review here

Our efforts to save our Royal Borough must not be in vain

According to the Mayor of London’s website, the London Plan is likely to be published next week. We then have only six weeks to challenge plans to develop Kingston that have not been properly agreed or publicly scrutinised

I believe that the process by which Kingston has been designated as a so-called "opportunity area" in the London Plan, as well as the massive housing and jobs targets that our council has agreed with the Mayor of London on large sites across the Borough, are open to legal challenge

Many people will probably never know that it is a document known as the Kingston “Direction of Travel” that is the hook for the plans to overdevelop Kingston simply because the document lacked all public scrutiny and has largely been hidden from view

The "Direction of Travel" was rushed through council approval processes in just a few months over the summer holidays in 2016 and was approved by Kingston’s Full Council as an emergency item the day after it had apparently already been approved by the Mayor of London

This document was not accompanied by any environmental, habitats or equalities assessment and was played down and kept quiet by all involved in pushing it through. It presents a confusing mishmash of information about which it is hard to make head or tail

It completely lacks clarity whilst suggesting growth possibilities all over the Borough and, when it was approved, it was impossible to tell the purpose to which it would be put

Shock discovery

We were never given any indication that a document that had no clear purpose and of which few residents were ever aware would be used as the basis of for designating Kingston as a so-called Borough-wide “opportunity area” in the new London Plan, an area that is subject to massive growth of all kinds and with no limit to where the boundary of such an area will be

And we were never given any indication of the scale and form of development that the Mayor of London would assign to Kingston on so-called "large sites" using this flawed document as a planning "hook"

And if Kingston becomes an "opportunity area" in the London Plan, and our large-site housing targets are not challenged, nowhere in the Borough will be safe from developers. This is especially true because, as soon as an area has been designated as an "opportunity area", the council will have the power to extend its boundaries at will

Many huge developments for thousands of flats and jobs are already coming forward all over Kingston, many or all of which are using Kingston’s designation as an “opportunity area” in the new London Plan as justification for their size and scale

A successful legal challenge would help undermine the supposed rationale for all these developments, whether it is Unilever’s “Eden” Campus, the Surrey County Hall development, the building of an additional 1800 flats on the Cambridge Road Estate in Norbiton, or the development of multiple tower blocks in Tolworth for thousands of new residents

I believe there is evidence to support an argument that the whole process by which Kingston’s development targets and designation as an "opportunity area" in the London Plan has come about is legally flawed, including use of the "Direction of Travel" as justification for the plans

I need your help to be able to take a legal challenge forward

Please support my fundraising and let everyone you can know that the time is nearly here for us all to stand together against these flawed plans

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