A couple of weeks ago I blogged on a particular scheme in Kingston, which has had a rather rough time through planning. In short the developer Meyer Burgman had revised the plans substantially by completely removing the tallest 15 and 18 storey elements to try and appease objections of over-density. The scheme went back to committee on Wednesday with the new design given the thumbs up.
However, a stumbling block persisted over traffic concerns. In my eyes the expression “first world problems” comes to mind; I mean, imagine the hindrance of having to sit in traffic for an extra 30 seconds when at the traffic lights. Forget about the housing shortage. The extra traffic generated from a development of 700+ homes with 356 car parking spaces would be fairly negligible, especially considering the A3 is literally on the doorstep. It’s not just me saying that, TfL supported the proposal.
Anyway, can you see where this is going?
Councillors voted to refuse the scheme due to the “impact the plans would have on traffic near and around Tolworth roundabout”. Even the Head of planning at Kingston stated during the committee ”councillors would find it hard to defend a refusal“. Therefore an appeal you would think would likely succeed (with any luck). At the very least this is a good example of where the Mayor could intervene and use his ‘call-in’ powers. This is exactly the kind of site London should be building homes on, it’s been vacant for years.
Yes, the scheme is at the upper end of the density matrix within the London Plan, but then it should be, just look at its location. Tolworth is also due to be on the Crossrail 2 route, still it’s only half an hour to get to Waterloo currently.