Planning Application 19/02966 11 – 25, Leatherhead Road

This application is to knock down eight good size family homes and build 43 x housing units, 32 x car parking spaces, 2 x motor cycle spaces and 84 x bicycle racks!

The local opposition to this development was immense. It is a huge over development for this area and totally out of keeping with the surrounding homes. We feel particularly sorry for the residents who live at either end of the development.

Despite opposition from residents and our MP Sir Edward Davey who asked  for the decision to be deferred to a time when the meeting could be held in the Guildhall which would allow residents to attend, the Council insisted on the decision being made at the June Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting which due to Covid-19 was being held on-line.Residents could only listen on their phones or computer.  Indeed, the whole committee were at home making their comments. 

At the DCC the resident opposing is allowed only five minutes to speak.  CDRA worked with the resident to prepare his speech.  Councillor Christine Stuart and Councillor Andreas Kirsch both from Chessington South were not on the DCC committee and also spoke to oppose the application. All of these people were excellent. 

Despite these excellent speakers the ‘virtual’meeting was a disaster. The Chairman of the DCC Councillor Malcolm Self seemed uncertain as to what could and could not be allowed.  Another Councillor frequently lost their internet connection which meant we all had to wait for them to return before continuing. Councillor Aurora from Tudor Ward had no idea where the development was and certainly had not visited the location! The whole event was a farce. Councillor Cunningham of who also lives in Tudor Ward said that had the application been made for a site in his ward there were some details that he would like changed. However, it was not for his word so he voted for it!

When it came to the vote the only two Councillors on the DCC who voted against the development were Councillor Patricia Bamford from Chessington South and Councillor Lorraine Dunstone from Tolworth and Hook-rise. The rest of the committee voted to allow the development to go ahead. We were sorry that the two Councillors who opposed were not able to lobby the other Councillors to get them to oppose what is clearly an over development for this site.

It seems that the main reason for Councillors approving this application is that the Planning Officers kept reminding them that we are in ‘tilted balance’, which means that RBK are not meeting the Mayor of London’s housing target which is 964 housing units per annum.  Apparently, Kingston have not met their housing target for many years.  However, they are now told that if they continue to failto achieve their target, the planning decisions will be taken away from Kingston. In the case of this particular application they were also told that if they refused the application, the applicant is likely to appeal.  If we then lost at appeal it could cost the Council £200k or possibly £250k. This threat was enough for the Councillors to approve the application!  Very sad.

There is now a lot of anger by the residents of Chessington who think that they should have been supported in their opposition against this unsuitable application. The applicant should at least have been forced to reduce the height of the buildings and reduce the density by building less units. 

Malden Rushett Residents ‘ Association objection

The local opposition to this development was immense. It is a huge over development for this area and totally out of keeping with the surrounding homes. We feel particularly sorry for the residents who live at either end of the development.

Despite opposition from residents and our MP Sir Edward Davey who asked  for the decision to be deferred to a time when the meeting could be held in the Guildhall which would allow residents to attend, the Council insisted on the decision being made at the June Development Control Committee (DCC) meeting which due to Covid-19 was being held on-line.Residents could only listen on their phones or computer.  Indeed, the whole committee were at home making their comments. 

At the DCC the resident opposing is allowed only five minutes to speak.  CDRA worked with the resident to prepare his speech.  Councillor Christine Stuart and Councillor Andreas Kirsch both from Chessington South were not on the DCC committee and also spoke to oppose the application. All of these people were excellent. 

Despite these excellent speakers the ‘virtual’meeting was a disaster. The Chairman of the DCC Councillor Malcolm Self seemed uncertain as to what could and could not be allowed.  Another Councillor frequently lost their internet connection which meant we all had to wait for them to return before continuing. Councillor Aurora from Tudor Ward had no idea where the development was and certainly had not visited the location! The whole event was a farce. Councillor Cunningham of who also lives in Tudor Ward said that had the application been made for a site in his ward there were some details that he would like changed. However, it was not for his word so he voted for it!

When it came to the vote the only two Councillors on the DCC who voted against the development were Councillor Patricia Bamford from Chessington South and Councillor Lorraine Dunstone from Tolworth and Hook-rise. The rest of the committee voted to allow the development to go ahead. We were sorry that the two Councillors who opposed were not able to lobby the other Councillors to get them to oppose what is clearly an over development for this site.

It seems that the main reason for Councillors approving this application is that the Planning Officers kept reminding them that we are in ‘tilted balance’, which means that RBK are not meeting the Mayor of London’s housing target which is 964 housing units per annum.  Apparently, Kingston have not met their housing target for many years.  However, they are now told that if they continue to failto achieve their target, the planning decisions will be taken away from Kingston. In the case of this particular application they were also told that if they refused the application, the applicant is likely to appeal.  If we then lost at appeal it could cost the Council £200k or possibly £250k. This threat was enough for the Councillors to approve the application!  Very sad.

There is now a lot of anger by the residents of Chessington who think that they should have been supported in their opposition against this unsuitable application. The applicant should at least have been forced to reduce the height of the buildings and reduce the density by building less units.  hec�V�X,(�