30 Cumberland Road (Richmond Council ref 14/4335/FUL)
Richmond Council’s Planning Committee approved the new application from Kew College at its meeting on 21st January but with an “informative” to the College to liaise with neighbours on a noise management plan and to submit this to the Council.
Kew College have submitted a new application for the change of use of 30 Cumberland Road from flats to educational use. The previous application for change of use had been approved but not the two storey extension proposed. Conditions were also imposed to manage the noise which would affect neighbours, particularly 28 Cumberland Road which will be surrounded by the school as a result of the approval.
The new application for change of use includes a single story rear extension and removal of the previously agreed design conditions to control noise levels. We have objected again to the change of use and to the removal of the conditions which had been agreed by the Appeal Inspectore as necessary. We do not think the evidence provided by the school for removal of these conditions is convincing and we would like to see them retained.
We are pleased that the Inspector turned down the appeal by Kew College for plans to extend 30 Cumberland Road to house 2 additional classrooms and other facilities. This means that the change of use for 30 Cumberland Road from housing to educational use goes ahead, but not the extension which both Richmond Council and we opposed as intrusive to neighbouring properties and not in keeping with adjacent property designs.
We spoke at the Appeal Hearing in support of the Council’s objection to the proposed extension of 30 Cumberland Road to provide additional space for Kew College. The building itself has been approved by the Council for change of use from housing to education, something we had opposed because of the effect on neighbouring properties. We await the Appeal Inspector’s decision on the building extension.
We attended Richmond Council’s Planning Committee meeting on 19th December 2013 to oppose the change of use of 30 Cumberland Road from residential to educational use and proposals for a substantial extension to the building to house additional class-rooms, cloakrooms and other facilities. Given that Kew Ward is not identified in Richmond Council’s plans as needing more primary school provision whilst they do anticipate an increase in housing targets as London’s population is growing faster than anticipated when targets were set, we do not think it sensible to lose 3 residential units. We are also concerned about increased noise and disturbance for neighbours and the impact of the proposed extension on adjacent properties. The Council approved the change of use but turned down the extension and imposed a large number of conditions to reduce adverse impacts on neighbours.
Kew College estimate that the new configuration of the school will lead to a 10% increase in pupil movements in the alleyway by Leyborne Park and along the boundary with 28 Cumberland Road.
The College appealed the turning down of the extension to 30 Cumberland Road. We spoke in support of the Council’s reasons for turning down the extension at the Appeal Hearing on 16th January 2014 and we await the outcome of the Inspector’s review.
We spoke at Richmond Council’s Planning Committee on 10 October 2013 to object to the change of use of 30 Cumberland Road from 3 residential flats to educational use, including 1 flat for College staff, and extension at the rear of the property to create more classroom space. The Council decided that, had the application not gone to appeal, they would have approved the change of use but rejected the extension.
Though the appeal was expected to be held in January, the College have now put in a new application for change of use and the building of a link corridor between the existing Sedum building and 30 Cumberland Road. We have submitted objections for the same reasons as those we had lodged for the appeal. The Council have to weigh up the relative importance of educational needs in the borough compared to the need for housing. We believe the educational benefits of the change do not outweigh the pressing need for housing, especially as London housing targets are likely to be revised upwards. Nor is it clear that the revised application will meet the needs of the College without the planned extension which we agree with the Council is not appropriate. Overall the impact on number 28 Cumberland Road, which would be surrounded on 4 sides by educational use, is unreasonable in our view. You can read our objections on the Council web site under planning applications reference 13/3928/FUL.
Kew College have now lodged an appeal on the grounds that Richmond Council had not made its decision within the time limits specified. We await the date for the appeal hearing but in the meantime Richmond’s Planning Committee will be considering the application for change of use of 30 Cumberland Road from residential to educational use, the building of a new side extension to house new classrooms, and an external corridor to link the building to the existing Kew College premises at their meeting on 10 October 2013. We continue to object to the proposed change of use and loss of residential accommodation in this primarily residential area and we will be attending the Planning Committee meeting.
We have given very careful thought to the new application by Kew College to expand into 30 Cumberland Road. We met with the school and a local resident to hear both sides. On balance we felt that although the College has tried to meet the earlier objections of residents and the Kew Society, some basic problems with expansion in a primarily residential area remain and we have therefore submitted further objections to the development.
The change of use of 30 Cumberland Road from a residential property to educational use, aims to improve the accommodation for the existing school. Our reasons for objecting are shown on the Council web site (Planning reference 12/2039/FUL). They include concerns over loss of residential accommodation, increased educational use in a primarily residential area, the risk that change of use would not preserve the character of the building currently listed as of Townscape Merit, and traffic and parking impacts. We also asked whether consideration had been given to meeting the needs of the school by moving to a new site such as the former Inland Revenue site near Ruskin Avenue. We subsequently accepted an invitation by the College to visit and see in more detail the requirements of the College and the broad plans for 30 Cumberland Road. The consultation period is now ended and we await the decision of the Council.