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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A couple of further (less neutral) points I picked up reading through the materials ...

From the Construction Management Statement, para 1.4.1 (bolding mine):

The majority of deliveries will be non-articulated (rigid) 20 ton wagons. For the earthworks they will be rigid body earthworks and for material delivery a mixture of flatbed/curtain-side and box. ... During the mass earthworks excavation of the basement area there will be a higher intensity of vehicle movement. The frequency will be 30-40 loads of spoil going off site daily for a period of 3 weeks. During the normal construction phase it is anticipated there will be approx. 10 deliveries daily. ...

The site occupies a good frontage to Station Road and the proposed site access and egress does not directly cross any adjacent properties driveway or parking access, therefore disruption should be limited. Banksmen at the entry and exit gates will directly manage any interface with local traffic and ensure that local traffic and local business occupiers are prioritised over the site based traffic flow.

I confess I laughed out loud at the thought of #111s and 20 ton wagons facing each other down, with some poor chap in a hi-viz trying to sort it all out. But seriously the traffic management around the build makes for horrific reading. All coming in via Percy Road (optimistically turning right into Station Road before the level crossing), all going out via High Street (see map in Appendix C).

The application also relies on circular logic - the cheerily-named Daylight and Sunlight Report blames the fact that 1 Queens Bench will be thrown into shadow on it having the temerity to be built at an angle inconvenient to the developer's intentions (para 6.34, bolding mine):

The relationship between number 1 Queens Bench Cottages and the application site is somewhat unusual as number 1 sits side on with the main street scene of Station Road and has been extended forward such that it could be considered to be unusually close to the site boundary. As such, any impact upon it is always considered likely to be more significant than within a situation whereby greater existing separation distances exist. It could therefore be considered that the resulting impact is as much a result of this unusual relationship rather than as a result of development on the application site.

Spectacular reasoning, there.

Or from the Planning Statement, the fact that the development has to encroach on other properties within the recommended separations required for adequate privacy (i.e. 20 metres between main facing windows of habitable rooms) because ... this is the only way the police station can be saved? Oh, and it's a gated community, you say?  (Para 6.75, bolding mine):

The scheme would result in a separation distance of 16 to 17 metres from the houses on the east of the Site to the Queen’s Bench Cottages. Whilst the proposed development would not rigidly comply with the prescribed distance by LBRuT in Policy DM DC5, the benefit of this departure is that it enables the prominent Building of Townscape Merit and the proposed houses in the rear wings of the building to be integrated into a high quality scheme that delivers a high quality private courtyard and re-establishes the traditional building line onto Station Road.

And what's this about "[re-establishing] the traditional building line onto Station Road"? The developer's own Heritage Statement says (para 2.2.1) that, prior to the police station, the site was occupied by "a field and orchard, next to a short irregular terrace of houses".

The Affordable Housing provision (1 x 1 bed, and 1 x 2 bed) is obviously parsimonious (the Council asked for 2 and 3 bed units: you know, like a family might live in), and yet the developer has neglected to include (or the Council has forgot to put up) the Financial Viability and Affordable Housing Statement that would justify the developer's profiteering.

But won't somebody think of the children? Well there's a children's "play space", isn't there. From the Planning Statement, para 5.23 (bolding mine):

The 389sqm landscaped central courtyard area would be sensitively designed to include doorstep play provision for children under 5 years old. Natural play features would be integrated into the design of the courtyard thereby encouraging imaginative and diverse play for younger children.

Yes, children, go play outside. On the doorstep. Try not to drown in the water feature.

I wonder what the list prices will be ... ?

An absolute nightmare! The whole of Hampton will grind to a halt. How long is this proposed nightmare expected to take?
The Gantt schedule in Appendix A of the Construction Management Report has it all starting in September 2016 and finishing in February-March 2018.

Thanks for all the above information, I certainly haven't been told of any local consultation, yet it will certainly cause inconvenience and more parking in Avenue road where I live. Which is already overflowing with shops' personnel, cars owned by people in the flats above the shops and of course the shoppers (who normally have a quick turn around), oh for more parking spaces and not more cars.  At least they have appeared to have moved the boundary line back a bit.

I only live about 100 metres from this development and  reading through Matt D's informative discussions above, I am dreading the thought  of 30-40 loads of spoil going off site daily for 3 weeks along with the anticipated 10 daily deliveries.  I do sincerely hope that our local ward councillors are looking into the effects of this major development which is going to take 18 months to complete as it will cause chaos on an already busy road.  How is the developer working with the residents of our lovely village when it appears that he is only looking to impose a massive change "in order to save our Police Station" as well as lining his own pockets.  And as for the future of the pretty Queens Benches cottages, they will be dwarfed into insignificance! 

Isn't it sad that, at the moment, the only support of this horrendous development are local shopkeepers. This will change Hampton forever and not for the better.
I think the key point is to make your concerns known. This is obviously over-development. The developer's architect has designed this to maximise the number of saleable units. It's interesting to contrast this with the proposed Kingsley Motors development: the site is roughly the same size but has half the number of units, none gated, and all parking is above ground. Make your voice heard.

(A note of caution: be careful mentioning the construction chaos, as it's not an applicable consideration for planning permission.)
Touching on this business of a gated development. This is the council's policy on new developments

Policy DM TP 3
Enhancing Transport Links
New developments will be expected to create or improve links with the local and wider
transport networks, including links to the cycle and pedestrian networks.
All new developments must be designed to improve accessibility including:-
1. Maximise permeability, with safe, convenient, accessible and appropriate road,
cycle and pedestrian routes within and in the immediate vicinity of the scheme, as
well as accessible walking and cycling links to the wider transport network including
to public transport nodes and key land uses, taking account of the need to connect
people to jobs, to town centres and to schools.
2. Gated developments will not be permitted.
3. Developments adjoining the River Thames must provide a public riverside walk.

Please note Point 2.

As for a gate to the underground carpark, that would possibly be permitted.
Thanks all for this informative post..it's encouraging to note an increase in comments on the Richmond site since yesterday. Amazed still there aren't more.

What Richmond Site, do you mean the planning application site?

Do you think everyone knows about the development? I have spoken to people who didn't know about it and who do not live that far from it. Perhaps a petition could be an idea? I wonder if the Hampton Society are going to oppose it?

I don't think a lot of people do.  You still hear 'what's happening to the police station'?  As it hasn't been widely broadcast I think a lot of people don't.  As I said before I haven't heard of any local notification as stated on the planning permission website, maybe only a few of the neighbours in Station Road have been notified, I have put my objection on there as did someone in Plevna Road, who also states that he has not heard officially about it. Where is this local notification?

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