Use of Kew Green
We were asked by Richmond Council for our views on a proposal for the commercial sale of Christmas trees at Kew Green in the lead up to Christmas. We and Ward Councillors said this should not be permitted. Sales here would have an impact on traffic and parking and this is an inappropriate setting for a commercial operation which could compete with local established sales in Kew Village. Richmond Council confirmed that they had refused the request.
We were asked by Richmond Council for comments on the use of Kew Green for “buggy-fit” fitness classes. We agreed the use by the applicant, Push-a-Bye Baby Ltd, with conditions proposed by the Council including on times and a review in the Spring. We asked for the use to be on the east side and this has been agreed. Due to the small space and to avoid over-use, the provider will move their group exercises around within this area each session.
Approval is being given on a trial period basis, up until the end of March 2017. Should they wish to continue their activities after this date, a new application will be needed.
Local residents have concerns that the Green is already being used for this kind of exercising on a regular basis, possibly by groups unaware that prior authorisation by the Council is needed for organised groups, Richmond Council have confirmed that there are no other authorised users of this kind for Kew Green and that if residents think there is a problem, they should report this to the Parks Department using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main concern is to ensure the Green is not over-used by groups to the detriment of casual visitors and the principle that open spaces should be for use by all. Noise implications can also be an issue with events on the Green which is surrounded by domestic residences. The process agreed seems a good way forward for all.
Benches on Kew Green
Richmond Council have let us know that as part of their memorial bench programme, they will be replacing the non-dedicated bench that is circled on the attached map with a new memorial bench. This will happen in the next 6-8 weeks, once the new bench has been built and delivered ready for installation.
Advertising on Kew Green
We have been pressing the Council to remove the concrete plinth and reinstate the ground where the Work Cup rugby ball advertisement had been placed. This has now been done. We also successfully resisted suggestions for the rugby ball advertisement to be placed here again for the 6 Nations Tournament. The Council found an alternative more appropriate location in Ham.
Advertising on Kew Green (Council ref 15/3370/ADV)
We were notified by Richmond Council of the intention to place a rugby ball on Kew Green, 1 of 5 in the Borough, to advertise the World Cup which starts today. A formal application was made for permission to do this but only after the advertising was in place. We have commented on the poor process and have said that whilst we are not objecting to this advertising which is for a limited period, we would like see the ground reinstated when the rugby ball is removed and would object to future advertising which is not normally permitted in areas adjacent to listed buildings. The Council responded to say they were granting permission with a condition that all the advertising is removed at the end of the World Cup – 14 November – and the ground reinstated, as we suggested. They have also confirmed that every application is considered on its merits so no precedent is set by approval in this case. A good outcome and we wish everyone an enjoyable World Cup.
Use of Kew Green
Richmond Council have confirmed that an updated agreement with Kew Prep School for the use of Kew Green has been agreed. The agreement limits use of the Green by the school to a maximum of 12 hours a week in term time and prohibits competitive Year 6 Rugby and Football. It also includes a plan for the Green, on both sides of the road, to be divided into 5 separate sections, with only 1 used each day in rotation which we reminded the Council had been agreed previously but may not have been enforced. The Council’s contract monitoring officer will be checking compliance with the agreement and monitoring the condition of the grassed areas. The aim of the agreement is to ensure that grassed areas are not over-used, causing too much wear and tear.
Use of Kew Green
The Council have replied to our suggestions on the use of Kew Green for events. Our main concern is that there should not be a proliferation of events here when other more suitable venues further away from residential properties are available elsewhere. We had suggested that there should be a wider Kew consultation on the use of Kew Green for new events. The Council have said they are not able to conduct a Ward survey of this kind but they will continue to consult Ward Councillors and the Kew Society when new events are proposed.
We think there should be a debate in the community on how, in principle, Kew Green should be used for events. We will feed in our thoughts on this to the next iteration of the Village Plan. When we are asked about new events, we will be guided in our response by the following principles: events should be non-commercial, for short periods of time, for organisations which benefit the local community and should be held on the eastern side of the Green only (as happens now) except for the existing Richmond River Run.
The Council have confirmed that the Harvest Moon Festival which took place this year will not be repeated in 2015 and that the application by Chaplin’s Circus has been terminated.
We are also commenting to the Council on the use of Kew Green by the Kew Green Prep School. The agreement for this use is currently being reviewed. It limits use to a maximum of 12 hours a week in term time and prohibits competitive Year 6 Rugby and Football. We also understand the agreement includes a plan for the area of the Green, on both sides of the road, which divides the area into 5 separate sections, with only 1 used each day in rotation. We have asked for this requirement to be confirmed and for the agreement to be monitored and enforced.
Use of Kew Green
Richmond Council consulted the Kew Society about a proposal to use Kew Green for a commercial circus. We have said that it should not be used for this purpose and nor do we think it is right to consult on the use of Kew Green in this way without involving the community as a whole. There should be a general consultation with the residents of Kew on how their Green should be used, in principle. In our view it should only be used for non-commercial events benefiting the local community and only on rare occasions. This is not the right location for commercial events and there are larger sites, further away from residential properties, in the Borough which could be considered.