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Village Diary

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HWA Planning round-up May 2017

Village Planning

Over the last year or two, The Hampton Wick Association and its members have been consulted and participated in events relating to the development of the new Village Plan being prepared by Richmond Council and their consultants.
This constitutes a ‘vision’ for the area*, a statement of key issues and – importantly – is accompanied by Supplementary Planning Documents. The latter, once adopted by the Council, will provide guidance (and ‘teeth’) to planners and developers, and will form part of the planning process.
This includes in contentious matters such as appeals. The village process is ongoing, and includes HWA’s involvement in LBR’s Village Forums and related community matters.

*The ‘area’ was discussed at some length. Where exactly are the boundaries to Hampton Wick? We were also concerned that Bushy Park (unlike Home Park) did not appear in any of the Richmond Village Plans. When you consider the impact (and benefits) the park has on Hampton Wick and Teddington (and vice versa) this seemed a mistake and has hopefully been addressed.

Planning Applications

In a typical week there are about five new Planning Applications for Hampton Wick alone. Most of these are for domestic don’t move, improve projects – with Munster Road currently a particular hotspot – and a growing trend for developing basements and for the demolition of existing extensions to be replaced with ones of a similar size but of better quality.

Significant applications

There have also been some significant applications and to focus on a few of those:

The Avenue Centre, Normansfield Avenue

Redevelopment of the site to provide a care home, 4 supported living units and 15 affordable housing units.
Approved October ’16;

59 – 61 High Street

The former Sanho noodle bar and, before that, the Rose & Crown.

Sanho, Hampton Wick

There have been several applications for this site, and we have had a lot of feedback from residents about them;

In June ’16 an application, similar to a lapsed consent, to extend the Ground Floor for restaurant/bar use was approved. The works are currently being carried out. Curiously, this design is separate from other applications for the upper floors of the building. Typically the design of the structure for the lower floor reflects the layout and needs of the floors above.
• In May’15 an application for the addition of a third floor and a rear extension, with nine new flats, was refused. We had objected to the scheme for a host of reasons, including that the application was misleading, would take light and privacy away from neighbours, and represented an overdevelopment of the site and all that means. The applicant went to appeal and, again, we gave our reasons for objecting. The appeal was dismissed in February ’16.
• In June ’16 a fresh application was made-this time for six new apartments. Along with many others, we objected to the scheme for similar reasons to before. Permission was refused and then the, in January this year, their appeal was again dismissed.
• In October ’16 an application was again made – currently it is ‘not validated’ by LBC. This is for ‘Rear extension to first and second floors and internal reconfiguration of existing ancillary accommodation to create ’4 self-contained flats.’ The upper floors were previously used as ancillary accommodation to the use of the building for catering (Use Class A3), as well as theatre space to the earlier pub. We have sought clarification from the Planning Department, as there appears to be substantial building work going on at present to the upper floors.

Along the Thames

Alongside the Thames we can see that the waterfront will become denser. There had already (in 2015) been the approval for 1D Becketts Place to change from office use to residential.

1d-becketts

Then in June ’16 a fresh, well thought out and presented, application was made for the site-this time to demolish the building and construct 8 residential units (7 × 2 bed and 1 × 3 bed units) with associated car and cycle parking, with an under croft. There have been many objections and at the time of writing a decision is still pending.

In January this year it was the turn of Burgoine Quay, on the north side of the railway bridge.

Burgoine Quay

An application was made for a four storey extension to the existing offices there. This will have the effect of almost closing the gap between the building and the railway, also being built with an under croft covering parking and access.

On the Kingston bank of the Thames, opposite Burgoine Quay, we were consulted by Kingston residents over an application for Barge Dock.

Barge Dock

The application is for a restaurant at Ground Floor and for nine ‘contemporary’ apartments, right on the river’s edge and over the existing dock. We have given our opinions in relation to massing, loss of amenity value to Canbury Park, and to parking. In Hampton Wick, now, parking can be the critical issue in considering an application. The Barge Dock scheme has no parking provision, claiming that there would not be demand for any, which feels unconvincing. We will watch with interest.

The Firs

This May in Church Grove there has been an application for the demolition of a house – The Firs – and the erection of nine new flats. This incorporates a substantial underground car park, accessed by a car lift, and significant landscape works – including felling of trees. We have objected to the scheme.
In a Conservation Area we would have expected the choice of materials, finishes etc. to be stated and, ideally, to have been detailed to an extent to indicate quality. These matters should not be left to a Condition within a consent. To us, the design quality reflects that of the adjacent flats (Heron House) rather than that of the pre-war houses in that road.

Unusually, the Design and Access Statement is written by the agent rather than by the architect and we feel it reflects the planning process rather than any design vision or thought. There are plenty of examples of fine, well designed, modern residential developments – in a variety of styles – in Richmond Borough and we would welcome some in Hampton Wick.

Concerns

Over and above the concerns expressed and recorded for the village planning exercises we have two principal concerns;
• New, smaller, private speculative residential schemes in Hampton Wick are frequently, in our view, below standards considered acceptable for habitation. (For larger developments both public and private housing need to comply with The London Plan 2016, so not an issue). That is that they lack adequate daylight (particularly if located in a basement or ‘garden flat’), have very small rooms and are too close to their neighbours. In the height of summer, with windows open, then an occupier will hear and be heard, will smell their neighbour’s activities and will have little privacy.
• Secondly, and particularly in Conservation Areas, the proposals should be detailed to an extent that the quality can be assessed at the time of application. That means detailed drawings stating materials, images of those materials and, perhaps, precedent studies of projects where they have been used. This is normal practice elsewhere in London and, in our experience leads to significantly better quality outcomes. And finally, once approved, the Planning Case officers must strictly enforce the conditions of the consents rather than, retrospectively, allowing a variation.

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