Policy consultations by Central Government: National Planning Policy Framework

Revised National Planning Policy Framework

Update 09/05/2018

We have submitted our comments on the Government’s proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework. This is an important document framing planning policies. Amongst a number of issues we have raised, we are seeking to ensure there is improved protection for the setting of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, particularly from insensitive developments which could affect its historic vistas. You can see our comments here: National Planning Policy Framework revision Kew Society comments

House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment

Update 22/02/2016

The Select Committee has now published its report, “Building better places”, which you can see here.

We are pleased to see that the Committee has picked up on several of our points, perhaps most notably recommending that financial viability assessments, often used to argue against the inclusion of affordable housing in schemes, should be published (see paras 324-336 in the report), We hope the Government will implement this recommendation – this is something we have been raising for some time, not least on the Brentford Football Stadium enabling developments where we have achieved partial disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act and appeal to the Information Commissioner.

The report also comments on delays by developers in implementing approved plans for housing development (see paras 312-323) which we raised, on the expertise needed in Council planning departments (see paras 375-376), and on the problems with allowing change of use from employment space to housing introduced by national Government which is causing problems in many parts of the country, including Kew (see paras 131-140).

Update 23/10/2015

We have taken the opportunity to submit evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, drawing on our experience over the last few years. We have commented on the poor location proposed for the Deer Park School on the A316, difficulties in meeting affordable housing targets, the expertise we think is needed within the Council for optimal planning management, problems with loss of employment space because of Government policies on housing,  delays by developers in implementing agreed plans, and a lack of transparency in the evidence used in assessing the financial viability of schemes. You can see details of the Committee here and our submission on the questions most relevant to us here: Evidence for the House of Lords Select Committee.

You can watch the oral evidence given to the Committee by David Tittle, a Trustee of Civic Voice to which we belong here:Oral evidence

This is an important consultation drawn to our attention by the London Forum which will be featuring the Kew Society in its next Newsletter.

Superfast broadband

Update 26/3/2013

Together with the Richmond Society we drafted a response to the Government’s consultation on speeding up the process for roll-out of superfast broadband around the country. The Government proposed relaxing the current restrictions on deployment of overhead infrastructure in protected areas and removing requirements for prior approval of the siting of street cabinets. The Government’s view is that these relaxations in planning law are needed in order to speed up deployment, especially in rural communities. We do not think the relaxations are necessary and are concerned that they could mean unsightly deployment of street cabinets and overhead lines. Commercial providers should engage with communities through local authorities to demonstrate they have given due weight to environmental issues. The process of approval could be speeded up by the development of guidelines and a Code of Practice which Civic Voice, the national body of civic societies, has already offered to help develop. We submitted comments in a joint letter from the Richmond and Kew Societies on 4 March 2013.

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Event Information:

  • Sun
    2pm or 3pmSandycoombe Rd. St Margaret's

    This tour is now sold out - we will be organising more dates soon.

    Turners House has been carefully restored and is now open to the public once more.

    Sandycombe Lodge was built by 1813 to the designs of England’s great landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner; working here as his own architect to create a quiet retreat for himself, away from the pressures of the London art world. It also provided a home for his father, old William, in retirement from his trade as a barber and wigmaker in Covent Garden. With old William’s declining health and changes in his own life, Turner sold the house in 1826.  After an interesting history which includes 'airmens goggles' it was bought by Professor Harold Livermore and his wife Ann in 1947. They were careful custodians of the house and its precious heritage, and well-informed collectors of art relating to Turner and his time. In the 1950s they secured Grade 2* listing for the building. Professor Livermore set up The Sandycombe Lodge Trust, now Turner’s House Trust, in 2005 and on his death at the age of 95 in 2010, the Trust became the owner of Sandycombe.

    Please join us for a guided tour either at 2pm or 3pm.

    Please note that within the house, only the ground floor drawing room is fully accessible for visitors with mobility issues. The garden, and toilet is fully wheelchair accessible.

    Ticket price £6 per person.

    To buy tickets with a cheque (no fees) click here to download the form

    To buy tickets via credit or debit card (with fees via eventbrite) click here