Councillors and committees

Agenda item

Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document

To adopt the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which sets out a planning framework to guide the redevelopment of the open space along the riverside. To note the document responds to the consultation process and provides a clear set of principles, in order to shape future development.

Decision:

Resolved that –

 

1.    the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document, as attached at Annex 1, be formally adopted;

 

2.    prior to adoption, the Head of Planning, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage, be given delegated authority to make factual and minor amendments to the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document.

Minutes:

Members considered a report on the adoption of the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which set out a planning framework to guide the redevelopment of the open space along the riverside. This was to positively shape the future of the Riverside, ensuring it supported the different demands of the community and enhanced the natural setting of the borough, and the economic success of the town centre. Members noted that the document responded to an 8 week consultation process where 141 formal responses had been received.

 

Members noted the comments of the Kingston Town Neighbourhood Committee held on 6 September 2018 which had considered the item. It was suggested that some of the language within the SPD be amended as it was currently inadvertently negative toward cyclists with regards to shared space usage and the management of conflicts. By way of response, officers agreed to better phrase the plan to ensure that the conflicts were managed and the riverside was improved for the benefit of all users.

 

A member of the public questioned the adequacy of the consultation and whether the list and details of consultees was up to date. In reply it was explained that due to the GDPR regulations some of those originally consulted were unable to remain on the database because the Council lacked the required consent.

 

Some concern was expressed by a resident, on behalf of Kingston Centre for Independent Living (KCIL), in relation to safety issues associated with shared cycle and pedestrian spaces and the need to limit these spaces where possible, to avoid unwanted collisions. This was particularly important for those visually impaired or with mobility issues. By way of response it was explained that shared spaces were only present when absolutely necessary, in order to connect cycle highways through pedestrianised town centres. Members considered that a cultural change was required with regards to those spaces and this would come in time as more people became familiar with them. It was suggested that speed limit signs at the entrances of these shared spaces could be placed to encourage cyclists to slow down for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists.

 

A resident raised the importance of protecting the biodiversity at the Seething Wells conservation area and the protection of the bat and bird populations. By way of response it was explained that the preservation of biodiversity of the area was an important consideration which was reflected within the Riverside SPD.

 

A resident, on behalf of the Queen Reach Residents Association, raised concerns with the existing riverside area and problems associated with street-drinking and anti-social behaviour late into the night, as a result of riverside redevelopment in 2009-2010. It was argued that the Council needed to be aware of the unintentional consequences of redevelopment as it could create spaces where people congregate late into the evening. It was explained that riverside lighting and low walls, used for seating, had contributed to attracting street-drinkers into open spaces near his property. By way of response it was explained that the Council was fully aware of the concerns raised and was committed to working alongside police to ‘design out crime’. It was explained that designing out crime was currently embedded within planning policy to avoid such situations.

 

Following considerable debate on the specific words used within the plan, Members were very supportive of the document but amended the motion to allow delegated authority to be made on factual and minor amendments to the Riverside SPD.

 

Resolved that –

 

1.    the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document, as attached at Annex 1, be formally adopted;

 

2.    prior to adoption, the Head of Planning, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage, be given delegated authority to make factual and minor amendments to the Kingston Riverside Public Realm Supplementary Planning Document.

 

Voting:

Unanimous

Supporting documents: