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  • CarolineShah

Why YOU need to help stop Kingston Council’s plans to redevelop the Cambridge Road Estate

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

Open Space, Grass, Trees, Sky, Low-rise buildings, One small tower
The estate will be replaced with 85 blocks of flats and almost no ground level green space

There are SIX reasons why YOU should donate to help residents on the Cambridge Road Estate find out if there are legal grounds for challenging Kingston Council's decision to approve current plans to demolish and rebuild the Estate

The new estate will be HUGE. It will increase in size from 831 to 2170 units, an increase of 1,339 units. Most of the extra units will not be for people in need of housing

  • 1339 units at the average borough occupancy of 2.48 people per unit means there will be 5380 residents on the estate, 3320 more people than today

  • 1,229 units will be for private outright sale out of a total of 1,403 units not available for social rent

  • Only 35.3% of units on the new estate will be for social rent, compared to 78.5% currently

  • 3320 new residents visiting Richmond Park an average of three times a week would mean an additional 518,000 visits to the park. Latest visitor numbers were quoted by Sir David Attenborough as 5.4 million people in 2015. This would mark nearly a 10% increase in total visitor numbers from this development alone

Why it matters to you

  • The density of the site will be that of an urban city centre location like Central London. Is this right for Kingston? Kingston is one of the London Boroughs with the least green space and this location has no easy access to appropriate recreational spaces

  • This development will set a precedent for other developments coming forward across Kingston

  • The development is not meeting housing need of people who cannot afford to buy in the private market. This is a scandal given it is being built on publicly-owned land

  • There is already a shortage of GPs, dentists, secondary schools and nurseries around this area of Kingston. Such a huge increase in population will see demand for these services soar

  • Richmond Park is already facing intense pressure from human recreation. The soil around ancient trees is being compacted which means trees will not get the moisture they need to survive, ant hills are being trampled, people are drawing graffiti on tree trunks and the amount of litter in the park has soared

There will be 85 blocks of flats on the site, many of which are high-rise towers

  • There will be 40 blocks of flats over 8 storeys high and 24 blocks of 10 storeys or more

  • There will be 10 blocks that are 12 to 13 storeys high

  • There will be 7 blocks that are 11 storeys high

Why it matters to you

  • 85 blocks of flats do not fit in with predominantly low-rise, Victorian Norbiton

  • 49 tower blocks, over 7 storeys high, are simply not right in this location

There will be very little ground-level open space on the estate, despite the huge increase in population, pushing residents elsewhere for their recreation

  • There will be the same amount of open space as exists now but nearly all this space will be on the roofs of buildings rather than at ground level

  • There will be NO private playspace for 5 to 11 year olds in the first phase of the development

  • The largest green space on the estate, Madingley Gardens, which is currently open and surrounded by low rise buildings will be overshadowed by three tower blocks of 11, 12 and 13 storeys high which comprise “Building C”

  • People living in the three tower blocks of Building C will only have only half the private outdoor space that policy says they should have

  • Communal outdoor space for people in all the tower blocks in Phase One of the development will be at roof level. For ground level green space, these residents will all have to go to Madingley Gardens, a public green space

  • 2km of public rights of way through the Estate that are on Kingston Council’s Definitive Map will be stopped up

Why it matters to you

  • There will be nowhere for residents to go for their recreation and this will lead to overcrowding in other green spaces in and around Kingston

  • Friends will not be able to meet up spontaneously outdoors on the estate and so are likely to meet elsewhere

  • The Fairfield is the only nearby local green space for the development but is similarly designated for many other high rise developments coming forward across Kingston

  • Richmond Park is the nearest decent sized green space but it is already being heavily eroded by increased visitor numbers and suffering increased levels of littering and damage from human recreation

  • The stopping up of rights of way will have a negative impact on access to transport and amenities for people living around the estate and will cut off communities from each other, forcing people to use main roads rather than take quieter footpaths

There will be nowhere for children to play or for teenagers to hang out
  • There is no private playspace for any children in the first phase of the redevelopment

  • Only 32% of playspace required for children will be provided in the communal outdoor areas which are mainly on roof level

  • The remaining 68% of required playspace will be in unspecified public open space ie it does not exist. It seems like all the children on the estate will be expected to play in Madingley Gardens

  • Most 5-11 year olds and all children over 12 years old will have no private outdoor space in which to play

Why it matters to you

  • Children are everybody's responsibility. We should not be building housing that does not give them safe outdoor space to play in

  • The MetPolice say that play areas should be able to be closed off during hours of darkness “to dissuade inappropriate use”

  • Teenagers will have nowhere to hang out in the evenings if ground level space is closed off to them

The transport network will not cope with the huge increase in the number of residents

  • The Cambridge Road Estate has very poor access to public transport

  • There is no guarantee of any improvement in bus services to cater for the soaring population of the estate

  • An additional 3200 residents will add to crowding on already stretched train services

  • Kingston Council has assumed that there will be 6 trains an hour in to London in the morning peak which is not likely to be the case given South West Trains has consulted on cutting peak hour services

  • Richmond Council has expressed significant concerns at the way in which the council has calculated future journeys generated from the estate and of the ability of the transport network to cope with additional journeys

  • Kingston does not have good road connections in any direction

Why it matters to you

  • The redevelopment will add to overcrowding on public transport services

  • Any increase in traffic will lead to increased congestion, slower journeys and more pollution

HGV movements have been underestimated and will continue for 15 years
  • The planning application estimated HGV movements at 24 a day, conveniently just below 25, the threshold at which an environmental assessment would be required. However, experience at other sites suggest 24 is a gross underestimate.

  • HGVs are likely to make use of prohibited roads because Kingston Council does not enforce HGV restrictions,

  • No proper cumulative assessment has been made of the impact of HGVs from this scheme and other large schemes coming forward simultaneously across the Borough on the road network, air and noise pollution and people's health

Why it matters to you

  • HGVs present a danger to life for other road users and to pedestrians

  • HGV movements add to noise and air pollution

  • HGVs cause vibrations that can damage buildings

  • HGVs add to congestion

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