Mayor of London rejects my 2019 petition for Kingston
Updated: Feb 6, 2021
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I have just received a reply from the Mayor of London's office to the petition against Kingston's growth plans that I submitted on our behalf in September 2019. My constant reminders and prompts for a reply have simply been ignored until after Robert Jenrick has signed off the plan
The reply is a stock response that does not address the considerable procedural and legal failings that have occurred in the designation of Kingston as an "opportunity area" in the new London Plan as well as the calculation of the Borough's housing targets. Current and future planned housing targets, including "opportunity area" targets and huge extra development planned in Kingston and associated with the now defunct CrossRail 2 are simply not sustainable
5 February 2021 - by e-mail
Dear Ms Shah
Thank you for your email of 9 January 2021 seeking a response to the petition you submitted to the Mayor on 5 September 2019. I want to apologise for the substantial delay in responding to both your original correspondence attaching the petition, and your subsequent follow-up queries. Unfortunately, the Mayor was unable to link a response to your petition on the Change.org website. As a result, the Mayor has asked me to respond to you directly on his behalf.
In the period since you submitted the petition, significant progress has been made in the production of the London Plan, and the response below reflects the latest position.
Taking each of the points in the petition in turn:
Please find attached a petition against the council and GLA's undemocratically agreed growth plans for Kingston.
The Plans were approved by democratically elected representatives at local, regional and, now, national level.
There has been complete inadequacy of dissemination of information regarding the council and GLA's growth plans for Kingston Borough from 2016 onwards as well as of the planning content of the "Direction of Travel" document that was used as the basis for the plans. This has
undermined people's ability to challenge the plans and to contribute to the public consultation on either the "Direction of Travel" or the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.
Kingston's Direction of Travel document and the London Plan were subject to public consultation. Details on the consultation and adoption of the Direction of Travel document by Kingston Council can be found here:
Extensive public consultation on the London Plan took place from 1 December 2017 until 2 March 2018. The plan was then subject to an independent examination by a panel of planning inspectors. You were among the many representatives who personally attended and spoke at the Examination. Details of the Examination in Public (EiP), including the report of the Panel, can be found on the Greater London Authority website here:
The Borough's large sites targets and the designation as an "opportunity are" are thus flawed and we demand that they should be removed from the draft London Plan.
Kingston's housing target is predicated on an assessment of the opportunities available for housing capacity in the borough, together with calculations that were applied to all London boroughs. The large sites target was discussed and agreed with officers from the Council. It should be noted that since the petition was submitted, Kingston's 10-year housing target has been reduced from 13,640 (1,360 p.a) to 9,640 (964 p.a) in the Intend to Publish and Publication London Plan and this target has been agreed by the Secretary of State.
The Government has recently published a revised methodology for calculating housing need. Under this new method, Kingston's housing need is 20,380 over 10 years and significantly higher than the figure set out in the Publication London Plan. This new method does not alter the targets in the Publication London Plan, but will be a consideration in the future preparation of a new Plan.
It is important to note that following the submission of the intend to publish version of the Plan to the Secretary of State, there has been no scope for the Mayor to make significant changes to the Plan (such as to amend housing targets) other than to address the Secretary of State's directions.
Publication of the final version of the new London Plan is anticipated before the end of this financial year, at which point it will form part of the Development Plan and contain the most up-to-date policies. The Secretary of State has indicated in his letter to the Mayor of 29 January 2021 that he has no outstanding concerns and is content for the Mayor to formally publish his London Plan.
I hope this addresses the points you raised in your petition.