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.

Hi all

I thought I'd reopen the original 2017 thread to record that the Old Police Station site has been taken over (bought/leased, I don't know) by Cinnamon Luxury Care, a care home operator. 

The new planning application can be found at 19/2822/FUL, and the operator is proposing to have a 'Public Consultation' on Thursday 10 October, 2-7pm at the Sea Scout Hall on Station Road.

I made some notes on the Transport Assessment in this Twitter thread, but in short:

  • "the development will not generate any overspill demand for parking" (according to the statement)
  • 14 off-street car parking spaces and three electric vehicle bays
  • staff numbers will vary during the day. Typical weekday: 28 care workers + 16 auxiliary staff. Weekend 28 + 13. Care workers on 12 hr shifts (8am/8pm/8am). Auxiliaries 8am-4pm or 9am-5pm
  • the majority of care staff are expected to be based locally and would therefore walk/cycle to the site, receive lifts to work, or use public transport (interesting assumption)
  • site will incorporate the existing driveway to manage onsite access

Still a great big block of brick facing Station Road, but probably less of a transport nightmare than the previous Police Station development.

Different economic profile too: instead of residents, staff and visitors. Not sure what that will mean for local traders.

  HPN re  tweeted some information ie 14 car parking spaces which apparently has one blue badge and 3 electric spaces so taking it down to 10 at most.  New application is on 19/2822/FUL. I cannot see how this will not impact on local residents.  Parking is bad enough already.  If there were 40 parking spaces in the other application what happened to 26 of them?

Hi Janice - The proposal is just a care home. I posted details in the old thread for the police station. You have the right application number.

Hi Matt, thanks I altered it once I realised.  I have indeed got the right number as I have had a letter through the post, and I have looked at all 17 plans lol

Whilst on the face of it this seems a little better than the old idea. The car parking numbers are far to low. Avenue Road and Plevna Road will suffer as usual. My other thoughts are. The latest support for those of us in need of care have had much discussion when it comes to 'Rehabilitation' and the need to encourage one to get out into the fresh air and in particular encouraging gardening as an activity. If you watched last week's Gardeners World on BBC 2 you will see the amazing help this gives patients do watch on catchup if you can. This development doesn't seem to have a large enough facilty for this which seems to me a backward step. Summing up more car park spaces please. And more outdoor space. With close on 90 patients it sound like the usual profit making for the owner and less thought for those requiring care. Presumably the care home will cater for all levels needed and not just end of life situations. Families will want to visit their loved ones and hopefully the home will cater for locals and not just those who can afford it.

Having spoken to a lot of my neighbours, only a couple have received the letter from the council's consultation, not many people got the invite/leaflet about the meeting.  It hasn't been published enough to let residents know what is going on.  If most people in Avenue Road didn't get any notification of what is happening what about the other side roads, Plevna, Belgrade, Warfield and more of Station Road.  As I said before when it was going to be residential there was parking for 40 cars now there are only 14, which anyone in the right minds will recognise the impact it will have on our roads, no point in them saying that it will not affect us.  I personally don't have any objection to a Care Home but only if they have adequate on site parking, not just a few spaces.  There is also the matter of doctors, our local ones are already full and we have to wait for weeks to pre-book an appointment.  If this is allowed to go through with so little parking then those they might be able to get parked in our already over loaded roads would be coming and going at odd hours.  Sleep please

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