Lib Dem councillors Rachel Reid and Malcolm Self pen an open letter to Conservative Leader Kevin Davis, appealing for residents voices to be heard before the Conservative Council considers major Tolworth planning applications.
Dear Kevin Davis
Your recent paper to Kingston Council was entitled "Renewing Kingston's Democracy - putting the resident into power" and was aimed at improving resident participation in council decision making. However, the recent decision by Councillor Richard Hudson, Chair of Development Control Committee (DCC), is doing the opposite!
We have been informed that Cllr Hudson has refused our requests that the two major planning applications in Tolworth - Former government offices site and Tolworth Tower - come before our Neighbourhood committees before they proceed to DCC for decision.
Bypassing Neighbourhood committees will limit the opportunity for residents to freely comment on these major developments. Neighbourhoods have no limit on the number of speakers or time constraints placed on residents. DCC, even with the new pre-decision meetings, does impose limits. At the recent old Post Office meeting, only 6 residents were permitted to speak for a maximum of 5 minutes each!
We are writing to ask you, as Council Leader, to intervene and override Cllr Hudson's decision. Please send these planning applications to Surbiton and South of the Borough Neighbourhood committees and give all affected residents a voice.
Rachel Reid, Chair of South of the Borough Neighbourhood committee
Malcolm Self, Chair of Surbiton Neighbourhood committee