Planning Application - Police Station Station Road

The planning application for the police station site at 60-68 Station Road was lodged in mid-February (following on from the proposals discussed in Linda's thread from December). All docs and details are on Richmond Borough website under 16/0606/FUL.

There has been some amendment to the plan since the proposal stage, but the basic outline remains:

  • Retention of former police station building with partial demolition of the rear wings.
  • Demolition of the rear garages.
  • Construction of 28 residential units (4 x 1 bed, 7 x 2 bed, 10 x 3 bed and 7 x 4 bed) - details below.
  • Underground car park for 40 cars, plus 3 visitor parking bays (at street level).

The residential units are located as follows:

  • 6 apartments in the former police station
  • 2 courtyard houses at the rear of the police station
  • 6 apartments in a new build apartment block fronting Station Road
  • 14 mews and townhouses around a central courtyard.

Two units (1 x 1 bed, and 1 x 2 bed) will be provided in accordance with the Council's Affordable Housing requirements (see para 6.46 of the Planning Statement.)

There is a very handy 3D image in the Daylight and Sunlight Report which provides overall context. (That report summarises the expected daylight impact on the Queens Bench cottages in paras 6.23 onwards; see also paras 6.83 onwards of the Planning Statement).Here's the street elevation:

There is a shedload of material in the application, and I've tried to keep the above brief and neutral.If you see something interesting in the materials, try to link to or reference it.

I haven't determined this definitively, but comments opened on 22 February and I understand are open for 3 weeks, i.e. Monday March 14 (please correct me if that's wrong).

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Hello Ian

I know that Suzette is keeping a close eye on this - as indeed am I. My personal view is that I would have preferred that we still had the operational police station along with the garage. However we are where we are - are the current proposals perfect? No. Could they have been a lot, lot worse? Absolutely.

The density of the development could have been greater. The developers could have paid less attention to trying to harmonise the design of the building with surrounding areas (unlike those empty units opposite the station, for example) . The decision to site the car parking underground seems to be a sensible approach.

The developers do seem to be genuinely interested in working with the local community to make this work - and to that extent deserve a degree of credit. Could more be achieved through working with them? Very probably.

As you know, I'm always happy to discuss matters further - either through this forum or through others.
 
Ian Cook said:


He appears to be a very helpful person, I think the problem is LBRUT's interests and concerns are not the same as ours, they have perhaps done more than their statutory duties require, however that doesn't mean that's enough.  The worrying thing is (apart from a short note from Gareth) where are our Councillors and what are they doing, all seems a bit quite on that front, wonder why?


Janice Merritt said:

I have just heard back from Mr Graham-Smith who said the Council sent out more letters than was necessary, he also told me that it is on R&T website, not that I could find it, on page 36.  I did have my walk about today and looked for the sign outside the police station.  It is there but very obscure you would walk past it and not see it.  It is just beyond the actual police building by the end of the first dropped curb.  Not many people would see it as it is well past the shops.

Thanks Gareth,

I’ve looked through the Planning Submission and the accompanying materials my initial thought is that this proposed development has been conceived by a developer with very little interest in acknowledging the environment, amenities or the surroundings this high density proposal will impact, imposing and dominating its location like an ugly monolith. 

The formula design appears to be the work of a jobbing architect with little or no understanding, respect or experience of working in a sensitive location, there also appears to be a lack of vision to work sympathetically near historic properties.  Enhancing the village ambience seems not to be of concern or consequence.

The proposed development lacks any architectural significance or noteworthy merit.

Yes I agree it could have been worse, a lot worse, but that thought doesn’t make this any more palatable though.

With regards to Queen’s Bench surely there could be a case for an Exclusion or Buffer Zone of a suitable distance to protect their integrity. 

Much of the statistics and studies are out of date and speculative and understandably slanted to make the case.  A simple reminder, Waitrose wasn’t going to generate any additional traffic, Huh!

 


Gareth Roberts said:

Hello Ian

I know that Suzette is keeping a close eye on this - as indeed am I. My personal view is that I would have preferred that we still had the operational police station along with the garage. However we are where we are - are the current proposals perfect? No. Could they have been a lot, lot worse? Absolutely.

The density of the development could have been greater. The developers could have paid less attention to trying to harmonise the design of the building with surrounding areas (unlike those empty units opposite the station, for example) . The decision to site the car parking underground seems to be a sensible approach.

The developers do seem to be genuinely interested in working with the local community to make this work - and to that extent deserve a degree of credit. Could more be achieved through working with them? Very probably.

As you know, I'm always happy to discuss matters further - either through this forum or through others.
 
Ian Cook said:


He appears to be a very helpful person, I think the problem is LBRUT's interests and concerns are not the same as ours, they have perhaps done more than their statutory duties require, however that doesn't mean that's enough.  The worrying thing is (apart from a short note from Gareth) where are our Councillors and what are they doing, all seems a bit quite on that front, wonder why?


Janice Merritt said:

I have just heard back from Mr Graham-Smith who said the Council sent out more letters than was necessary, he also told me that it is on R&T website, not that I could find it, on page 36.  I did have my walk about today and looked for the sign outside the police station.  It is there but very obscure you would walk past it and not see it.  It is just beyond the actual police building by the end of the first dropped curb.  Not many people would see it as it is well past the shops.

Ian, so sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

You raise many good points - I can't say I agree with all of them but good points nevertheless. Many of them are exactly the sort of issues which can be addressed within the planning process.

What I would say to anybody reading this is that it is vital to ensure that any concerns you raise regarding the development are sustainable in planning terms. For example, while I know volume of construction traffic will be a disruption, normal movements such as this can't be taken into consideration as a reason for refusal.
 
Ian Cook said:

Thanks Gareth,

I’ve looked through the Planning Submission and the accompanying materials my initial thought is that this proposed development has been conceived by a developer with very little interest in acknowledging the environment, amenities or the surroundings this high density proposal will impact, imposing and dominating its location like an ugly monolith. 

The formula design appears to be the work of a jobbing architect with little or no understanding, respect or experience of working in a sensitive location, there also appears to be a lack of vision to work sympathetically near historic properties.  Enhancing the village ambience seems not to be of concern or consequence.

The proposed development lacks any architectural significance or noteworthy merit.

Yes I agree it could have been worse, a lot worse, but that thought doesn’t make this any more palatable though.

With regards to Queen’s Bench surely there could be a case for an Exclusion or Buffer Zone of a suitable distance to protect their integrity. 

Much of the statistics and studies are out of date and speculative and understandably slanted to make the case.  A simple reminder, Waitrose wasn’t going to generate any additional traffic, Huh!

 


Gareth Roberts said:

Hello Ian

I know that Suzette is keeping a close eye on this - as indeed am I. My personal view is that I would have preferred that we still had the operational police station along with the garage. However we are where we are - are the current proposals perfect? No. Could they have been a lot, lot worse? Absolutely.

The density of the development could have been greater. The developers could have paid less attention to trying to harmonise the design of the building with surrounding areas (unlike those empty units opposite the station, for example) . The decision to site the car parking underground seems to be a sensible approach.

The developers do seem to be genuinely interested in working with the local community to make this work - and to that extent deserve a degree of credit. Could more be achieved through working with them? Very probably.

As you know, I'm always happy to discuss matters further - either through this forum or through others.
 
Ian Cook said:


He appears to be a very helpful person, I think the problem is LBRUT's interests and concerns are not the same as ours, they have perhaps done more than their statutory duties require, however that doesn't mean that's enough.  The worrying thing is (apart from a short note from Gareth) where are our Councillors and what are they doing, all seems a bit quite on that front, wonder why?


Janice Merritt said:

I have just heard back from Mr Graham-Smith who said the Council sent out more letters than was necessary, he also told me that it is on R&T website, not that I could find it, on page 36.  I did have my walk about today and looked for the sign outside the police station.  It is there but very obscure you would walk past it and not see it.  It is just beyond the actual police building by the end of the first dropped curb.  Not many people would see it as it is well past the shops.

The planning application for the police station has been updated recently. The changes to the scheme are summarised in a document titled 'General Design Requirements' (dated 4 November 2016), the sum total of which appears to be to lop the front corner off the block facing the Queens Bench cottages (see picture copied from the statement). 

Among the set of revised drawings, there's this elevation showing the view from the Queens Bench cottages:

... and here's the view from the street.

So not much change and a bit disappointing that the developers appear to think the significant issues with this project can be fixed by tinkering round the edges.

I think is still looks awful.  I feel sorry for those living in Queens Bench looking out at that and from the front gardens which are the only ones they have. I don't like looking at taller houses at the back of me.  The traffic will be horrendous


Thanks Matt - most helpful


Matt D said:

The planning application for the police station has been updated recently. The changes to the scheme are summarised in a document titled 'General Design Requirements' (dated 4 November 2016), the sum total of which appears to be to lop the front corner off the block facing the Queens Bench cottages (see picture copied from the statement). 

Among the set of revised drawings, there's this elevation showing the view from the Queens Bench cottages:

... and here's the view from the street.

So not much change and a bit disappointing that the developers appear to think the significant issues with this project can be fixed by tinkering round the edges.

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