PETITION: Demand better on development in Kingston

Canbury Ward Campaigner, Caroline Shah, has launched a resident petition asking for the Scrutiny Panel to re-evaluate the decision to put out an ‘Issues and Options’ document to consultation, to form the new Local Plan.

The Council propose building over 30,000 new homes in the borough between 2019 and 2041, without providing information on where these homes will be built, with the misleading assumption that a Borough wide Opportunity Area is a foregone conclusion, and without consultation on whether residents agree with this target. This figure is also nearly three times the number of homes needed even for the huge increase in population that the Council is planning

Caroline said: “Many of the questions the Council are asking residents are based on limited and closed or biased information, often focus on meaningless detail, and are biased in issues and content towards jobs and business, overlooking key issues such as CrossRail 2.

She added: “Furthermore, it is unacceptable that the decision to put this incomplete document out to consultation, given the scale and type of growth envisaged, was the penultimate item on a long agenda, with the meeting, and discussion on this decision, being brought to a premature close after nearly five hours. One councillor even abstained because they didn’t feel able to make a reasoned decision past midnight.

“We need your support to take this decision to the Scrutiny Panel, to ensure decision making in Kingston is sound and based on the facts. We demand better for residents on the issue of growth and development in Kingston.”

Sign the petition below:

Call-in of Issues and Options for the Local Plan decision


We, the undersigned, hereby call in the decision number 3 of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee of Kingston Council on Thursday 8 November 2018, Issues and Options for the Local Plan, for the following reasons:

- “The Opportunity Area” referred to on page 6 of the document does not exist
- The Council appears to have agreed with the GLA behind closed doors to merge the creation of a Local Plan with the creation of an Opportunity Area Planning Framework. The nature of the growth strategy that Kingston council is pursuing with the GLA is not made clear in this document
- The possible creation of an Opportunity Area(s) should be conducted as a separate process and residents should be consulted as part of this process. The council’s approach will mean that residents will be deprived of their democratic and statutory right to be consulted on the possible creation of Opportunity Areas in the borough. The council will also fail the requirement to be transparent and to consult fully with residents
- The Direction of Travel referred to on page 7, note 7 did not establish any Opportunity Area(s) or confirm agreement for large scale development in any area of the Borough
- The Direction of Travel is unsound and should be discarded – see Appendix One ( for the reasons supporting this assertion
- The Council gives a figure for growth of new homes in the Borough, taken from the draft London Plan, of 30,008 between 2019 and 2041. The council should ask residents if they believe this target is correct for the Borough and challenge the figure if people believe it is too high
- The figures given do not make sense and need further clarification. Planned population growth is 23,000 people from 2019 to 2041, yet, in the same period, the council intends to build 30,008 new homes. Assuming two people per household, this number of homes would accommodate 60,016 people. The council should provide information that explains why it wants to build nearly treble the number of homes that it needs
- The information presented on sites is unclear, lacks meaningful detail and does not provide a reasonable and clear context for informed consideration by residents to take place. The basis on which the sites came forward is also not explained. It is unclear why these specific sites are being presented, how they compare in size and location with other sites that remain confidential, and no information is presented on which have a viable possibility of development. The exact location of sites is not explained
- The questions that the Council proposes to ask are inadequate, often unclear or based on limited and closed or biased information, often focus on meaningless detail, and are biased in number and content towards business and jobs, overlooking key issues such as CrossRail2 – see Appendix Two (
- This item was the penultimate item on a long agenda. It is unacceptable that discussion about a document about growth on the scale and type being envisaged should happen between 10.35pm and 00.12 and at the end of a meeting that lasted 4 hours 37 minutes in total
- No councillor was in a position to make an informed and intelligent decision at this time of night. One councillor even felt unable to make such a decision because of the late hour and abstained from the vote. Councillor Sharon Young, at 4.32.40, said: “I feel that its getting so late that I know myself I can not contribute anything meaningful at this moment in time”. She also requested that the meeting was “wrapped up” soon which the Chair person promptly did
- The document and proposed consultation makes no attempt to identify the key issues that residents may have about growth in the Borough
- An Issues and Options document is meant to help the council identify the “issues” that exist in the Borough in the context of putting together a new Local Plan so that it can use this information to put together viable and acceptable options to put to residents. Instead, this document presents two basic options and asks residents to choose between them. In addition, only one option presented would bear the growth planned by the Council. This gives a clear impression that the council’s plans have been predetermined
- On the GLA’s website, dated 28/1/16, in the meeting notes of the Opportunity Area Growth Board, it is stated that “we need to do a with and without scenario because of Crossrail”. This document fails not only to present a with and without scenario, it fails to discuss CrossRail2 in any detail whatsoever
- The document presented to Committee was so vague and incomplete and uninformative and confusing that it should not have been approved in its current form. The final consultation draft, with what will doubtless be major changes, should come back to the Strategic Planning and Housing Committee for approval before going out for consultation

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Caroline has produced two supplementary documents regarding this call-in, which can be found below:

Appendix One – Call-In Why the Direction of Travel is unsound

Appendix Two – Call-in, Issues and Options QuestionsT