Introduction

Foreword

The Borough of Kingston upon Thames was granted a Royal Charter in 1964 by the Queen and is, along with Greenwich and Kensington and Chelsea, one of the three royal boroughs in the capital.

Kingston expanded rapidly during the nineteenth century after the construction of the new bridge across the Thames in 1828, and with the arrival of the railway in 1863, encouraging a ‘housing boom’ at that time. Much of the surrounding land was developed by the 1890s, supporting manufacturing with Hawker Siddeley, Sopwith and Hurricane building planes in the borough, mostly located in North Kingston. The Thames was used as a landing strip for floatplanes.

North Kingston is a mature, generally built out suburban neighbourhood on the fringe of Kingston Town Centre, predominantly residential, punctuated by open spaces and schools, with local shopping parades, business premises and a range of community facilities and places of worship within its well-defined boundaries; the river Thames, Richmond Park, the railway line and the borough boundary.  It encompasses the combined area of Canbury ward and Tudor ward.

Domestic architecture locally is dominated by two-storey homes from three periods, each with its own distinctive style; the late Victorian and Edwardian terraces and villas of much of Canbury ward, the inter-war suburban developments in Tudor ward, interspersed with apartment buildings and a number of post-war developments of mixed quality.

There are 4 Conservation Areas (CA) that are all or in part within the Neighbourhood Area, and 5 Local Areas of Special Character (LASC).  The area is also home to a number of Listed Buildings and Locally Listed Buildings.

However, the pressure and demand for housing in London is huge, with the new London Plan target for Kingston of at least 9640 new homes over the next 10 years, North Kingston will be expected to take its share. 

We believe that planning should be managed locally.  The North Kingston Forum was formally ratified in 2017 with the aim to retain and enhance the local character of North Kingston by developing a Neighbourhood Plan, which will be a vehicle to guide, promote and allow balanced and sustainable change within North Kingston.

Over the past 5 years we have held over 50 semi-open meetings, 4 AGMs, 2 public meetings and 2 major consultations held over a number of months at venues throughout the neighbourhood area.  We asked residents how they would like to see that future change managed, the overwhelming majority considered tight controls essential to protect the residential character of the area they call home.

This report forms the draft North Kingston Neighbourhood Plan 2019-2041and is the result of the extensive community consultation outlined above.  We now ask for your comments and support.

 
 

1.2 The purpose of the Neighbourhood Plan is to set out a series of planning policies that will be used to determine planning applications in the area in the period to 2041. The Plan will form part of the development plan for the Borough Council, alongside the adopted London Plan (2016) and the Core Strategy (2012). The emerging new London Plan and the emerging new Borough Local Plan will in due course replace the adopted London Plan (2016) and Core Strategy (2012), the latter will cover the same period as the neighbourhood plan.

 

1.3 Neighbourhood Plans provide local communities, like North Kingston, with the chance to shape the future development of their areas. A proposed Opportunity Area in our area has been identified by the GLA (Greater London Authority); developers and landowners may come forward with planning proposals for other sites.  Once approved at a referendum, the Plan becomes a statutory part of the development plan for the area and will carry full weight in how planning applications are decided. Plans must therefore contain only land use planning policies that can be used for this purpose. This often means that there are important issues of interest to the local community that cannot be addressed in a Plan through planning policies if they are not directly related to planning. Although there is scope for the local community to decide on its planning policies, Neighbourhood Plans must meet all of the relevant basic conditions (see Figure 1).

 

1.4 In addition, the Forum will need to demonstrate to an independent examiner that it has successfully engaged with the local community and stakeholders in preparing the Plan. If the examiner is satisfied that it has, and considers the Plan meets the above conditions, then the Plan will go to a referendum of the local electorate. If a simple majority of the turnout votes in favour of the Plan, then it becomes adopted as formal planning policy for the area.

 

The ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper

1.5 In August 2020 the Government published for consultation its White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’, which proposes to make significant changes to both the development plan and management system. It indicates that there is a future for neighbourhood planning in that system, but the precise role that plans will play in not yet clear. The expectation is that the new system will be in place in 2021 but unlikely to be before the examination of this Neighbourhood Plan.


1.6 However, the new system will still require local communities to engage in shaping how their settlements will develop and in ensuring their heritage and landscapes are given proper protection. It will also enable communities to define local design standards, and the Neighbourhood Plan contains proposals in all of these respects. It may be that how those proposals are implemented may change and this will be taken into account in its final version for examination. 

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1.Introduction & Background

1.1 North Kingston Forum (hereinafter “the Forum”) is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the area designated (“North Kingston”) by the local planning authority, The Royal Borough of Kingston up-on Thames (hereinafter “the Borough Council”), on 30 March 2017 (see Plan A). The plan is being prepared in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations of 2012 (as amended). The Forum was also formally designated by the Borough Council on 9 August 2017.

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The Pre-Submission Plan

1.7 The Pre-Submission Plan is the opportunity for the Forum to formally consult on the proposed vision, objectives and policies of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan. It has reviewed the relevant national and local planning policies and assessed how they affect this area. It has also gathered its own evidence and its reports are published separately in the evidence base.

Strategic Environmental Assessment & the Habitats Regulations

1.8 The Borough Council confirmed in its screening opinion of 14th February 2020 that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required in accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans & Programmes Regulations 2004. The Borough Council also advised that such an assessment is incorporated into a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) to consider more widely the balance of sustainability objectives and to help ensure the plan meets the basic conditions. The Forum has accessed the government funded technical support package through Locality for the preparation of this evidence and AECOM has been appointed to undertake this technical task.

1.9 A Draft SA/SEA report will therefore be prepared to inform the Plan and to accompany it during the Regulation 14 consultation period. This will follow a scoping exercise that involves consultations with the statutory bodies where a framework of relevant sustainability objectives will be agreed to measure the attributes of the Plan and of any reasonable alternatives. It is anticipated that the final version of the SA/SEA report will be published for the ex-amination alongside the Submission version of the Plan.

1.10 The Borough Council’s screening opinion also confirmed that a Habitats Regulations Assessment will be necessary in accordance with the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended). It is anticipated that AECOM (accessed from the government funded technical support package through Locality) will be supporting the Forum in its preparation of the necessary technical evidence and reports to enable the Borough Council to carry out an Appropriate Assessment, and these will be submitted alongside the Sub-mission Plan in due course.

The Next Steps

1.11 Once the consultation is complete, the Forum will review the comments made, assess where amendments are required and prepare a final version of the Plan, known as the Submission Plan. This will be submitted to the Borough Council for a further consultation and to arrange for its examination by an independent examiner and subsequent referendum, if the examiner is satisfied that the draft plan meets the basic conditions. 

This Consultation

1.12 If you have comments to make on this plan, please do so by 14th June 2021 at the latest in the following ways:

POSTAL ADDRESS: 99 Richmond Park Road, KT2 6AF

EMAIL ADDRESS: northkingstonforum@gmail.com

1.13 Further information on the Plan and its evidence base can be found on the Forum project website at:

https://www.northkingstonforum.org/