Bringing People Together
My daughter mentioned this to me just the other day and for me it is tough one. I am certainly very aware of the traffic problems around Hampton and generally speaking I think we need to find ways to reduce traffic rather than increase it. On the other hand, we are not building enough houses which is causing a house price bubble and making it really difficult for young people to get on the housing ladder. The easy answer, of course, is to build lots of houses far away from us, but that does seem a rather self-serving approach. So I suppose I would want to see the details ...
The Hampton Society ran a front page article on this in its Spring newsletter (see attached pdf) and has written to all parties involved voicing objections. It is important to note that no official planning application has been submitted to Spelthorne Council yet, but it is clear that discussions have been going on between the council and The Jockey Club for at least 2 years.
Thanks, Sam, that certainly provides some very helpful detail :-)
To help support the campaign to save Green Belt land at Kempton and follow developments, go to Facebook page 'Keep Kempton Green', click 'Like' and share the page with as many local people as you can https://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-Kempton-Green/778091318872594
Also, there is a website linked to the Keep Kempton Green Facebook page. Go to www.keepkemptongreen.com .
There are archives with all the weekly articles since January this year, plus all the documents we have obtained through FOI requests. Whatever the pros and cons of whatever plan is eventually proposed for Kempton Park, there will be profound implication for all the surrounding Green Belt land - not only in Spelthorne, but also in Richmond, Hounslow and Elmbridge.
The Kempton Park estate is entirely Green Belt. If it goes, a big chunk of the Green Belt bordering this part of London will be fragmented into smaller parts not linked to each other - and therefore easier for developers to pick off, one by one.
Also, it is very clear that Spelthorne Council have been wilfully withholding information from their taxpayers for years on this subject, even though dozens of other people and agencies were told in confidence.
This is not just a Sunbury fight.
The map above shows the area (in red) on which they are planning to build 1500 homes. As you can see, it forms part of the continuous Green Belt - if it goes then it thins-out other adjoining Green Belt in Spelthorne and neighbouring Boroughs becomes less easy to defend from developers.
From my point of view, i'm not sure that image could ever be described as 'continuous green belt'. There are so many holes it looks like a toddler has attacked it with some safety scissors!
As far as i'm aware, the piece of land the Jockey Club are considering developing is barely visited by the public and contributes little to the local community.
A sensible residential development could be a useful lever to improve local services, including roads and rail, as well as providing much needed housing.
I'm by no means a supporter of the development, just happy to remain on the fence until a planning application is actually submitted, before I judge it on its merits!
Many of those holes are from previous chiselling away at the Green Belt. It is continuous in a local context - if it goes, the strip of Green Belt at the southern end of Richmond Borough is at risk. Never mind the precedent it will set for everywhere further afield.
I live on the Nurserylands, which was originally green belt, but which was allowed to be developed in the late '70s. Hampton Common (previously Buckingham Fields) is what now remains of this Green Belt area. The Nurserylands is rather over-developed, and the additional development on Buckingham School playing fields (Warner Close) adds to this; I would certainly object to any further development here.
The proposed site at Kempton Park looks as if it includes the rough area at the back of Hatherop Park, which has some sort of pathway which I have always been reluctant to use considering the overgrown nature of the surroundings. I wouldn't object to this area being used for housing; I don't know whether all the proposed 1500 dwellings would fit on that rough area, but if the development were confined to it, then I would tend to view that as an improvement.