#DEMOCRACYLIVE: Residents put their views to Council ahead of 21-storey Eden Walk regeneration vote

Catch the latest on the pre-decision Development Control Committee on Eden Walk regeneration live here from 7:30pm. Tweet us using hashtag #EdenWalk and we may feature your views here! Catch our live stream below, and live blog below that.

21.06

That’s all folks!

21.05

That’s all for questioning of officers. That’s the end of the meeting for tonight. Join us again on 23rd March for the decision DCC at Guildhall, as usual at 7:30pm.

166 have been following tonight.

21.04

Some residents calling for Viv Evans, Head of Planning, with the impression that Nicola Smith isn’t answering as thoroughly as Viv.

21.03

21.02

21.02

Nicola Smith: ‘Yes, this is one thing that our urban designers look at.’

21.01

Rebekah Moll on the ‘new central space’… ‘The space between the seats and glass atrium, when looking at the photographs, I’m concerned that if you were sitting with a buggy and someone else walking with a buggy, would there be room?’

20.59

You can of course catch the latest in questioning of officers above in the live stream.

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157 people have been following tonight, based on statistics so far.

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“I live and work in Eden Street – where I eat my dinner is closer to this development than my own back yard. There is a need to give life to that area, and a need to make it a bit more like what we should be having in 2016. Public consultations have been good. But, there are genuine concerns, which include density and scale, impact on heritage, infrastructure support, the impact on the homeless in Kingston and the height of the buildings.

Whilst the number of objections is quite high, I do think it would be higher if it weren’t for ‘development fatigue’ – it is becoming hard to see one development from another.

One of my main criticisms is the lack of affordable housing – continually the response is ‘it is not viable – the figures don’t work’. But, in this case, there has been full transparency on viability assessments – we should welcome this, and it’d be great if we could have a public commitment from developers tonight on transparency of assessments. We need to try and encourage this with other developers. This is a good point. I welcome transparency.” — Cllr Jon Tolley

20.51

Jon Tolley is going to be speaking on behalf of Grove Residents tonight.

20.48

Councillors are now questioning officers.

20.47

“We have these pre-decision meetings – this is a massive application and we are limited to a time for questions that is not adequate for a development of this size.” — Cllr Self

“That’s the system we have at the moment, anyway, questions for officers now” — Cllr Hudson

20.47

20.46

Cllr Tricia Bamford now – “On playspace – I’m particularly interested in this, given the madness of free schools in office buildings. Where is the playspace for children living in these developments?”

“The way in which we develop each buildings – they each have their own private inner courtyard, with their own playspace. This is in accordance with the London Plan.” — British Land/USS

20.45

“Zip Car (Car Club) have said they would only want one space in our car park” — British Land/USS

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“The 171 spaces in the basement will not end up being sold with the flats – they will likely be available for rent, be it an annual or monthly basis. There is provision for disabled parking in that car park.” — British Land/USS

20.39

(from Cllr Self)

20.39

“On disabled parking – one of the hypothetical new residents’ aunts of poor mobility, although not a blue badge holder, comes to visit. Where does she park to visit her family?”

20.38

“There will be a resident concierge with a manned reception for delivery space. Residents will use this as delivery space and get their deliveries later.”

20.37

Councillor Malcolm Self first.

“On parking – the report makes clear what parking for residents is. Firstly, a resident in one of the new flats, not withstanding the fact it is a town centre location, I’d say a good proportion will order online goods and food shopping online – when they go online, what instructions would they leave to delivery companies as to how to get their goods delivered?”

20.36

Councillors are now questioning applicants.

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20.33

View from residents…

20.33

Having a few technical difficulties with Council Wifi tonight – live stream now back up. Questions now from councillors to objectors.

20.31

“Historic England says ‘that protection should be through sensitive control of height and massing through any new development’. I think we must have been reading a different report to that which developers were reading. ‘We believe that the current proposals cause harm to the historic environment, which has not been justified. We cannot support them.’ says Historic England. The developers have shown a lack of any respect for the fabric of our town – this is simply unacceptable.” — Kingston Society

20.28

“This development is even taller than the monstrous Premier Inn and Travelodge opposite the library. Buildings are far taller than the development brief – this is in direct contravention to the council’s own adopted policy.

The applicant states ‘The assessment concludes that there is a minor neutral impact on Grade II listed United Reformed Church'”. This is a ludicrous claim given the development which will dwarf this listed building.

Heritage England says ‘busy facades would over-run these historic buildings’.” — George, Kingston Society

20.27

“We wonder if flats are fit for purpose – the GLA has raised concerns with accessibly deep flats, with only 9% three bedroom or more. This Eden Walk scheme would be the largest in the borough for decades, but at what cost for its history and heritage? In five years, will we simply get a new mecca for shoppers, with less community feel? We urge you, the Council, to reject this proposal and come back with a better and improved scheme.” — Tony Lancaster, Riverside Residents Assoc.

20.25

“1364 sq.m office space, 30% less than current will be lost in the new development.”

20.24

“Like the bookend building in the Old Post Office, the end building has been submitted at 12 storeys, yet the brief states it should be 6-8 storeys. It’s bulk and height compromises the shopping area, blocking its view from Station Quarter.” — Tony Lancaster

20.23

Tony Lancaster speaking next, on behalf of Riverside Residents Assoc. “We now look at the street level view. The tall buildings create an unduly imposing wall onto Eden Street.”

20.19

“We have to consider the cumulative effect, if you include the Old Post Office. These developments provide 723 extra units – a lot of people to fit in to overcrowded trains, buses, roads, schools, doctors, dentists that Kingston already has.” — Andree Frieze

20.18

Andree Frieze, Green Party GLA candidate and local resident speaking now.

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“Another major issue is the complete absence of affordable housing on site – starter homes are not affordable housing. Neither do we know if there will be any contribution to infrastructure, housing, education etc.” — Keith Payne of Fairfield West

20.16

“This proposal will cast a long shadow over Kingston – dwarfing the Old Post Office and All Saints Church – assets we are supposed to be cherishing.

The height guidance in this area is 1-5 and 6-8 storeys, with one landmark building. This development exceeds all height guides from the Eden Quarter Development Brief.”

20.14

“When this committee has refused applications in the past, they have come back better later on. this application should be refused – applicants should come back with something more appropriate. Starting with the consultation process: the applicants skilfully managed this. The proposals were shown to the public, with the images showing convincing artists impressions. The focus again was the inner courtyard, while tall buildings disappeared out of frame. The images shown at the consultations were partial – a true consultation must involve a clear and open understanding. As a result, many thought it was quite pleasing, and many dropped out of the process.

Then they submitted the application on Guy Fawkes Night, the same night as TOPO decision. Had TOPO not taken centre stage, this application would be even more shocking.” — KRA

Weight of opposition:

  • 160 letters of objection
  • Riverside Residents Assoc
  • CPRE
  • Friends of Bushy and Home Parks
  • Kingston Upon Thames Society
  • Kingston Residents’ Alliance
  • Kingston town Conservatory Advisory Commtitee
  • Historic England
  • Housing Services
  • Greater London Authortiy
  • CABE Design Panel

20.10

“There is a lot more to this development than the flattering inner courtyard visuals. We have now seen the eye levels from streets, local parks and bridges. We see flats rising far above Kingston. The developer team are very pleasant, but this does not make their development right. Does the development earn the right to be the tallest in town, even taller than the riverside development? And is it right to breach the Eden Quarter Development Brief by over 50%?

Can we accept so little coming back in regards to affordable housing, infrastructure and contribution to schools from this £400m scheme?

In reality, this is a massive overdevelopment of the site, with far too little give-back. We agree with Historic England, who cannot support this. They can’t support it, neither can we.?” — Kingston Residents Alliance

20.08

The objectors are now voicing their opinion on the Eden Walk Development.

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20.07

Here’s a few more points from the developer’s presentation.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 20.07.03

A few video clips have been shown this evening, which can be found on our live stream.

20.06

“We agree that it is vitally important that as decision makers, you are in possession of the full facts in respect of this scheme’s viability. That is why we were pleased to share the numbers that make up the viability assessment with members. Many shy away from disclosing such information, but right form the outset, we have been open and honest about what this scheme has the financial ability to offer.” — British Land/USS

20.01

“Some viewpoints may be challenging to some – we understand that and would like to explain how we have thought about, and evolved, the design to give what we think is an adequate response. Yes there is an increase in height and density, mass and volume. Eden Street becomes vibrant; there are shop fronts, a space for community use, a strong street edge – providing real benefits for the residents of Kingston.” — British Land / USS

 

19.57

“Our strategy has been very different to other developers”, British Land/USS claim. “When we have consulted, we have listened and responded. We are here for the long term and want to be the best neighbours we can be.” — British Land/USS (Applicants)

19.55

“Our development will generate hundreds of new jobs for Kingston.” — Developer

Eden Walk’s sky restaurant would be the highest public point in Kingston.

19.54

Matthew Secker from British Land and USS is speaking first.

“This long awaited regeneration scheme is an extremely important opportunity for the future of Kingston and the economy. Kingston town centre is a ‘retail powerhouse’ for its catchment. However, the future of the town centre is not guaranteed. It faces real challenges from competing centres and online shopping. Working together, we can address those changes.

“This strategically important, transformational, mixed use scheme, would be one of the largest investments ever made in Kingston and will be the catalyst for regeneration of Eden Quarter.”

19.50

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Live stream back up!

19.44

“Our final consultation received nearly 80% support.”

19.39

“As this is a very complex scheme, we have produced an updated version of our fly view, available now on our livestream.”

19.39

The top of the development will be the “Highest view point in Kingston, and provide spectacular bushy views across to Bushy Park.”

19.38

“Our development will create hundreds of new jobs for Kingston and will also create 380 homes in the heart of the Eden Quarter, playing an important role in providing Kingston’s needs. These will range from studios to three bed units. Residential accommodation has an essential role to play in the viability of the scheme. Without it, the development will be unviable.” — Developer

19.35

Developers are presenting first.

19.34

Views on Eden Walk coming in on Social Media…

19.33

Paul Bedworth has declared an interest in this application, working for John Lewis.

19.32

We’re off with the opening proceedings.

19.30

Councillors are taking their seats for tonight’s DCC meeting.

19.16

Good evening! James Giles here bringing you all the latest from #EdenWalk DCC. Catch the latest tonight from 7:30pm.

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