Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Direction of Travel

To adopt the Direction of Travel for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. To note that the Direction of Travel responds to the consultation process and provides a clear direction and joint statement of intent between the Council and the Greater London Authority.


The Committee considered the adoption of the Direction of Travel (as set out in Annex 1 of the report). The Direction of Travel will play a key role in the production of the Local Plan subject to its adoption by the Mayor for London.  Once adopted by the Greater London Authority (GLA), it will provide supplementary planning advice to the London Plan policies by supporting the selective redevelopment of areas within the borough in order to provide new homes, jobs and investment.


The Direction of Travel Consultation Draft was published and circulated for consultation from 24 June 2016 to 29 August 2016. The Council engaged in a comprehensive engagement process during this period, reflecting the requirements of the Council’s revised Statement of Community Involvement. Minor amendments have been made to the document in response to the public consultation and these amendments were reported to the Committee in Annex 4 of the report. A Consultation Statement, setting out the Council’s full approach to the consultation and an analysis of the responses received was attached as Annex 2. 


During their consideration of the report the Committee sought clarification on the role and status of the Direction of Travel in the context of Development Control functions and in particular the determination of planning applications. Officers informed the Committee that once adopted by the GLA the Direction of Travel will provide supplementary planning advice to the current London Plan Policies but that its significance will be minimal in comparison to statutory documents. This is not the document’s role, the Direction of Travel is a high level strategic document. 


Members also questioned the figures given for growth estimates in the draft Direction of Travel and asked why these figures varied from those figures cited in the final version. The Committee were informed that these figures are routinely provided to the Council by the GLA and that the figures in the final version are reflective of the data most recently received.


Some Members expressed concern about some of the proposed infrastructure improvements cited within the Direction of Travel and questioned whether developments such as the proposed Tolworth A3 junction improvements or the introduction of Crossrail 2 will ever be funded and implemented. It was however the view of the majority of the Committee that the Council could not ignore these proposed large-scale infrastructure improvements and that it is prudent for the Council to consider the potential impact of these schemes as part of its long term planning processes. The Committee endorses and encourages infrastructure improvements within the borough.


A number of local residents spoke on this item from the public gallery. A member of the public questioned the development of the Direction of Travel and asked for a timeline of its progress through the Council’s governance processes. The Committee were given an update on the work stream’s progression through the Council’s committee system and given a brief summary of the following reports:


·         ‘The Need for a New Borough-wide Local Plan and new Local Development Scheme’ as considered by the Infrastructure, Projects and Contracts Committee on 25 June 2015.


·         ‘Revisions to the Local Development Scheme’ considered by the Committee at its meeting on 16 March 2016.


Following  a question from the public gallery the Committee briefly discussed Opportunity Areas (OAs), their differing makeups and the processes that OAs go through as they are developed prior to their adoption by the GLA. The Committee noted that they will receive a report on OAs at the relevant stage in the development of the next London Plan. The Committee also noted that a number of issues identified by residents as part of the Direction of Travel consultation will be reflected in the Issues and Options consultation which is being undertaken as part of the development of the New London plan and that these issues will be discussed by the Committee at a future meeting.


Resolved that:


1.    the Committee notes the consultation responses received and the consequential modifications made to the Direction of Travel.


2.    prior to adoption, the Head of Planning and Transport and Regeneration, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, is given delegated authority to make factual amendments to the Direction of Travel.


3.    The Direction of Travel for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is adopted, as set out in Annex 1 of the report, subject to its adoption by the Mayor for London.



Those for: Councillors David Cunningham, Andrea Craig, Ken Smith, Priyen Patel, Gaj Wallooppillai, Cathy Roberts, Raju Pandya and Maria Netley.

Those against: Councillors Sheila Griffin, Malcolm Self, Liz Green and John Ayles.

Abstained: Councillor Bill Brisbane.

Supporting documents: