Last night, experienced Conservative Councillor, David Cunningham, Kingston’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, admitted his mistake in not putting into policy a maximum height allowed for new planning developments in Kingston Town. The mistake directed new developers that they could build at 9+ storeys and this left parts of Kingston Town open to, what many residents have argued is, excessive high rise development.
In response to a question from Liberal Democrat Councillor Malcolm Self, at the Growth Committee, Councillor Cunningham said:
“It is unfortunate, in my view, to have 9+ (storeys) but we learn and that’s why I put in a maximum height in the North Kingston Development Brief.
In February 2015, when the Eden Quarter Development Brief was discussed at Committee, Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, put forward an amendment to the EQD Brief that would have limited buildings in Kingston Town to a maximum of 12 storeys. This amendment was voted down by Councillor Cunningham and his Conservative colleagues.
Councillor Liz Green said:
“I am delighted that Councillor Cunningham has done a U-turn and changed his mind and recognises the advantages of setting a maximum height – it’s just a shame it’s too late for the Town Centre where 2 developments now have planning approval for 16 storeys.”
Minutes of Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts committee from 5th February 2015 regarding the Eden Quarter Development Brief - https://moderngov.kingston.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=24719
Audio recording from Growth Committee on 13th October 2016. Malcolm Self and David Cunningham on maximum heights begins at 2:20:40 - https://soundcloud.com/kingstoncouncil/13-october-2016-growth-committee#t=2:20:40