How many councillors did it take to destroy our Royal Borough?

Written by Caroline Shah – 26th April 2019

We need to act now

How many councillors did it take to destroy our Royal Borough?

The answer: Eight

The Direction of Travel – which will destroy our Borough as we know it – was pushed through by ONLY 8 PEOPLE on 13 October 2016: 

David Cunningham (Tudor, Chair) 
Andrea Craig (Canbury, Vice Chair) 

Ken Smith (St James’) 
Priyen Patel (St James’) 
Gaj Wallooppillai (Coombe Hill) 
Cathy Roberts (Old Malden) 
Raju Pandya (Beverley) and  
Maria Netley (Tudor) 

 
ADD414: 12 April 2016: This decision requests approval for additional expenditure of £3,020.75 incurred by the consultant producing the draft Kingston Opportunity Area Plan. Part way through the project the scope of the document was expanded beyond the existing town centre boundary to include the 10 proposed Crossrail 2 stations in the borough. 
ADD340 approved expenditure up to £25,000 

The “in principle” agreement for the whole of our Borough’s massive large site development target that has been agreed with the Greater London Authority, and for “opportunity area” status that will raise our housing and job targets further, was made by a mere 8 councillors on the council’s Growth Committee, a sub-committee of the Council.  The decision never went to full council for adoption.

How can that be right? 

At the call in of the council’s growth plans as laid out in the draft Issues and Options document for the new Local Plan in December 2018, councillors ignored evidenced claims that The Direction of Travel document, approved in 2016, was unsound and should not be used as a basis for setting large site housing targets for the Borough; nor by the Greater London Authority to create – with the council’s approval – an “opportunity” area for mass development in Kingston 

Current Council Leader, Liz Green, and Malcolm Self, current Deputy Leader and Chair of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee (responsible for the Local Plan and Growth agenda) both voted AGAINST the Direction of Travel but now support both the large sites housing target and the opportunity area which both arise directly from the Direction of Travel.  

The big question is Why? And Why will Liz Green not reply directly to any email from residents on this issue? 

Councillors Christine Stuart (Chessington South) and Yoyan Yoganathan (St Mark’s Ward) vehemently challenged Caroline Shah on her claims and asked why she did not challenge the Direction of Travel at the time. She did and was ignored 

Caroline sent this e-mail: bit.ly/DoTunsound to all councillors two days before the Direction of Travel growth “strategy” was approved. 
 
Kingston will become a City on the back of a document that cost a mere £28,020.75 to produce, with it costing only £3,020.75 to extend the “opportunity area” from Kingston town centre to vast swathes of land across the whole Borough* 
 
Please keep signing and sharing the petition to stop the council’s undemocratic plans: bit.ly/KingstonOA and visit Caroline’s website, Save Royal Kingston, at www.shahscott.com