The first consultation on Kingston Borough's Local Plan will begin early spring 2019.
Liberal Democrat run Kingston Council will soon be asking for your views on the future of Kingston.
The Local Plan is a key document which will eventually become an overarching planning policy document guiding development in our borough. It is vitally important that we get it right and that residents are consulted through the process of building the document and that is why we are asking for you to get involved.
The first stage is often called ‘Issues and Options’ as it looks at what the final plan should contain: the vision, objectives and planning policies. Put another way, it sets out what is desirable, what might be possible and what should be ruled out. This is the most open and crucial stage of consultation, as a local plan must be shaped by early, proportionate and effective engagement — we want everyone to take part.
The consultation will also include a ‘Site Assessments’ document. You will see a very long list of *potential* sites for development. This is a list of sites across the borough which are suggested areas of development — many of these sites have been recommended by developers during a previous section of the process called ‘Call for Sites’ completed last year.
Let it be clear, it is NOT the Council’s intention to allow building on all these sites. They are all listed so that we give you the chance to comment on everything — not exclude some before you have your say.
It has been suggested by some that we plan to build on all these sites — that is definitely not the case.
To provide just one example, in my own ward of St Mark's in Surbiton, I have fought against development on the Seething Wells Filter Bed site for many years — it is a Site of Nature Conservation, considerable heritage value and Metropolitan Open Land. However, I know that some local residents believe some of the site should be developed for housing. It is absolutely right that we allow a consultation process that provides all residents the opportunity to have their say.
The Local Plan covers a wide spectrum of development, not just that of building homes. It also explores employment space, transport infrastructure, town centres, shops, leisure facilities and open spaces. It incorporates well-being into planning, so that we can take an holistic approach to building the homes we need.
To get more details, and a head start, on the document and ‘potential’ site list, please see the agenda: Issues and Options for the Local Plan.
As a Council, we will be promoting the consultation far and wide across the borough when it starts in the new year so please do get involved. We want you to have your say so that together, we can make Kingston better.
Councillor Liz Green
Leader of Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames