Critical of Conservative policy that resulted in the Eden Quarter Development Brief, Liberal Democrats will be asking the Full Council, on 15 December, to review the controversial Brief.
Proposing the motion, Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Liz Green said,
“The Conservatives need a Tall Buildings policy which will set a maximum height limit which is a maximum height and not a guideline. What we have at the moment, is a guideline of 9+ stories but that has not stopped developers putting in proposals for buildings over twice the guideline. Ironically the Brief was supposed to provide a clear steer to future developers but clearly it doesn’t so let’s review it but include residents this time in any review.”
"Tories are in a mess and a muddle"
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jon Tolley is seconding the motion and said,
“The Borough needs to have the debate and residents must be involved. At the meeting back in February 2015, the Liberal Democrats made sensible amendments to the Brief in terms of heights, scale, massing and design which were turned down and has now left Kingston exposed. It seems to me that the Tories are in a mess and a muddle, affordability is becoming an increasing problem for more borough working residents and low to middle income households are being priced out of the borough. I want to see the acute shortage of homes addressed for all residents not just the more affluent.”
"A need for balanced and sustainable growth"
In conclusion, Councillor Green said,
“There is a need for balanced and sustainable growth as we cannot ignore the predicted population explosion across London and new homes are going to be needed. The Mayor for London has asked Kingston Borough to identify key sites and say how many homes will be built. Liberal Democrats want to make sure that homes are built but communities are also protected from over development.”
Liberal Democrat Motion on the Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD
15 December 2016
Proposed by: Councillor Liz Green
Seconded by: Councillor Jon Tolley
This Council notes:
1. the Eden Quarter Development Brief SPD, brought forward by the Conservative Administration, on 23 October 2014, failed to set a firm direction in terms of height, scale and massing;
2. Kingston Town has been exposed to potential overdevelopment and policies are now in place that has encouraged developers to build tall buildings on the edge of a Victorian residential conservation area;
3. specifically in relation to heights, scale and massing, the Liberal Democrat Group proposed amendments, to be included in the Eden Quarter Development Brief, were rejected by the Administration; and
4. the Conservative Administration did not progress post May 2014 the Tall Buildings SPD which was tendered for under the previous Liberal Democrat Administration.
This Council believes:
1. Kingston Borough needs reasonable balanced and sustainable growth;
2. residents should have been properly consulted and clearly told the impact that the new policies would have in practice;
3. the lack of any tall buildings strategy has left the Council exposed in terms of planning policies as the guideline of 9+ stories or thereabout should not result in any developments being nearly double that height; and
4. the design brief in terms of ‘exemplar buildings’ remains subjective and is not clear enough.
This Council resolves:
1. to put in place as a matter of urgency, a Tall Buildings SPD and set a maximum height limit which is a maximum height and not a guideline;
2. to set up a review of the Eden Quarter Development Brief, the review team should involve local residents; and
3. to consult with residents before it is approved.