Planning inspector dismisses Hydro Properties Seething Wells filter beds appeal

This Is Local London: The plans would have seen 64 floating homes on a pontoon The plans would have seen 64 floating homes on a pontoon

Plans to build 64 floating homes, as part of a 92 berth marina development on the Surbiton filter beds site have been rejected by a planning inspector today.

Cascina Ltd and Hydro Properties would have also built a nature reserve, a restaurant, a riverside walk, and a heritage and education centre, as well as a contribution of £219,000 towards building affordable housing.

Their appeal against Kingston Council's decision to refuse planning permission in January 2013 was rejected today.

Inspector Lesley Coffey returned her verdict today after hearing evidence from the company and campaigners in November.

She wrote: "The benefits that would be delivered by the proposal are considerable, however they must be weighed against the substantial harm to the metropolitan open land and character and appearance of the area.

Whilst the proposal would not harm the setting of the listed buildings in the locality, I attach significant weight to the harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area."

Kingston Council leader Liz Green said: "I'm delighted that the council decision has been upheld.

"We can now, working with the Friends of Seething Wells, work on the plan of what should happen to the site.

"I’m really pleased the Planning Inspectorate has listened to the arguments put forth.

"I think that’s absolutely the right decision."

Comments (7)

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1:14pm Wed 5 Mar 14

DB says...

I think that the important thing is mentioned by Liz Green : "We can now, working with the Friends of Seething Wells, work on the plan of what should happen to the site."

I can definitely understand the arguments against the proposal that has been rejected, but something has to be done about the site as soon as possible.

That might be as little as tidying up what is currently there, but it is a bit ridiculous that we currently have this land that resembles a disused concentration camp with no public access.
I think that the important thing is mentioned by Liz Green : "We can now, working with the Friends of Seething Wells, work on the plan of what should happen to the site." I can definitely understand the arguments against the proposal that has been rejected, but something has to be done about the site as soon as possible. That might be as little as tidying up what is currently there, but it is a bit ridiculous that we currently have this land that resembles a disused concentration camp with no public access. DB
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Bigdai100 says...

The existing site is a problem to the "character and appearance of the area."
The existing site is a problem to the "character and appearance of the area." Bigdai100
  • Score: 0

5:47pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Jim White says...

I too welcome the official decision on the status of this appeal case. The report is long but provides clear guidance on important points of planning law. Therefore it should be read carefully before steps are taken to explore a way ahead, both for the Developer, Council and local residents.

A quick read of the report does reveal that many of the objections put forward by Friends of Seething Wells (FOSW) have proved wrong. It is therefore unwise for the Council Leader to immediately turn to FOSW as her natural partner for an alternative scheme for this site. Poor judgement shouldn't be rewarded by hastily proposed alliances, however politically expedient they may be.

The Council should seek to build bridges to the 'silent majority', not FOSW, as it explores its next steps.
I too welcome the official decision on the status of this appeal case. The report is long but provides clear guidance on important points of planning law. Therefore it should be read carefully before steps are taken to explore a way ahead, both for the Developer, Council and local residents. A quick read of the report does reveal that many of the objections put forward by Friends of Seething Wells (FOSW) have proved wrong. It is therefore unwise for the Council Leader to immediately turn to FOSW as her natural partner for an alternative scheme for this site. Poor judgement shouldn't be rewarded by hastily proposed alliances, however politically expedient they may be. The Council should seek to build bridges to the 'silent majority', not FOSW, as it explores its next steps. Jim White
  • Score: 1

9:24am Thu 6 Mar 14

Beverly RA says...

Whilst all political parties were against this development , we need to move on and decide the best way to use this land. It cannot remain an eyesore.
So any suggestions ?
Whilst all political parties were against this development , we need to move on and decide the best way to use this land. It cannot remain an eyesore. So any suggestions ? Beverly RA
  • Score: 2

9:31am Thu 6 Mar 14

DB says...

Beverly RA wrote:
Whilst all political parties were against this development , we need to move on and decide the best way to use this land. It cannot remain an eyesore. So any suggestions ?
I think that the ideal would just be to open it up as parkland with minimal building, perhaps a small visitors centre/cafe.

The problem is that will not stack up financially with what the current owners want for the site. 64 homes would probably have been worth £50m to the developers so the current owners would have been expecting a significant proportion of that to come back to them.

To put something there that will benefit the community rather than just a developer will generate no upfront income and actually cost money to run, so I can't see the landowner just 'doing the right thing', unless they are forced or incentivised to do that.
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: Whilst all political parties were against this development , we need to move on and decide the best way to use this land. It cannot remain an eyesore. So any suggestions ?[/p][/quote]I think that the ideal would just be to open it up as parkland with minimal building, perhaps a small visitors centre/cafe. The problem is that will not stack up financially with what the current owners want for the site. 64 homes would probably have been worth £50m to the developers so the current owners would have been expecting a significant proportion of that to come back to them. To put something there that will benefit the community rather than just a developer will generate no upfront income and actually cost money to run, so I can't see the landowner just 'doing the right thing', unless they are forced or incentivised to do that. DB
  • Score: 2

4:38pm Fri 7 Mar 14

smorgasbord says...

Jim White wrote:
I too welcome the official decision on the status of this appeal case. The report is long but provides clear guidance on important points of planning law. Therefore it should be read carefully before steps are taken to explore a way ahead, both for the Developer, Council and local residents.

A quick read of the report does reveal that many of the objections put forward by Friends of Seething Wells (FOSW) have proved wrong. It is therefore unwise for the Council Leader to immediately turn to FOSW as her natural partner for an alternative scheme for this site. Poor judgement shouldn't be rewarded by hastily proposed alliances, however politically expedient they may be.

The Council should seek to build bridges to the 'silent majority', not FOSW, as it explores its next steps.
Absolutely, I'm sick of the assumption that FOSW speak for everyone. They really do not.

And who's going to pay the developers for the land and then make it pay?
[quote][p][bold]Jim White[/bold] wrote: I too welcome the official decision on the status of this appeal case. The report is long but provides clear guidance on important points of planning law. Therefore it should be read carefully before steps are taken to explore a way ahead, both for the Developer, Council and local residents. A quick read of the report does reveal that many of the objections put forward by Friends of Seething Wells (FOSW) have proved wrong. It is therefore unwise for the Council Leader to immediately turn to FOSW as her natural partner for an alternative scheme for this site. Poor judgement shouldn't be rewarded by hastily proposed alliances, however politically expedient they may be. The Council should seek to build bridges to the 'silent majority', not FOSW, as it explores its next steps.[/p][/quote]Absolutely, I'm sick of the assumption that FOSW speak for everyone. They really do not. And who's going to pay the developers for the land and then make it pay? smorgasbord
  • Score: 5

1:31pm Wed 26 Mar 14

FOSW sympathiser says...

Jim White's comments are interesting.

This wouldn't be the same Jim White who until recently held the role of deputy chairman of the local Tories? A role which he stepped in to fill about the time its previous occupant, Nick Kilby, became official spokesman for Hydro properties?

Isn't it a small world! Smorgasbord is so right. FOSW definitely don't speak for everyone!!
Jim White's comments are interesting. This wouldn't be the same Jim White who until recently held the role of deputy chairman of the local Tories? A role which he stepped in to fill about the time its previous occupant, Nick Kilby, became official spokesman for Hydro properties? Isn't it a small world! Smorgasbord is so right. FOSW definitely don't speak for everyone!! FOSW sympathiser
  • Score: 0

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