The second meeting of the Village Forum was held at the newly re-furbished Richmond Adult Community College. It covered several topics including some suggested by members of the Forum. These ranged from an update on the second Phase of Village Planning as it is rolled out across the Borough, the planning system as it applies to shops and offices, the recent Town Opportunities Survey, preparations for the Rugby World Cup, and the revision of the Council’s Tree Management policy. The next meeting in June will focus on our suggestion for a discussion of the planning system to see how it might be improved for better community engagement.
The Village Plan for Kew will be updated through public exhibitions scheduled for the Spring.The Council is also improving its website content to show progress on delivery.
Richmond Council have formed a Village Forum for stakeholders across the Borough to enable a sharing of information on the roll-out of Village Plans throughout the Borough. We are represented on the Forum and have asked that it be used in part as a way of giving feedback on progress with implementation of the priorities identified in the first Village Plans, including Kew, which were pilots for the Village Planning approach. The plan for Kew is now published on the Richmond Council website. It has two aspects – a Supplementary Planning Document defining the characteristics of areas in Kew which should be considered by developers and those adapting their homes as these will guide planning decisions by the Council, and a list of priorities for Kew identified in the Village Planning process by residents.
Kew Village Plan
We submitted our comments on the draft Kew Village Plan, including the Supplementary Planning Guidance which sets out the key features which define different “character areas” in Kew. We welcome this new guidance which will clarify for developers and householders which features in each area should be retained and improved.
Site Allocation Plan and the Kew Village Plan
We had a helpful meeting with Philip Wealthy, Head of Policy and Design at Richmond Council, and members of his team. The Council confirmed they were considering suggestions we had made for the Site Allocations Plan that might be appropriate for the Village Plan. The Plan is now out for consultation, including a Supplementary Planning Document which we will be considering. We discussed other issues, including street furniture and the Council’s design and location guidelines.
Kew Village Plan
Apart from dealing with individual planning applications which we look at only where there is a wider community interest, and guided by our planning policy published on this web site, we are building closer relations with Council officials to understand broader planning policies. We had a very useful meeting with the Head of Policy and Design and discussed amongst several topics, the status of the emerging Village Plan for Kew and the scope of the proposed Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which will be important as a guide to future planning decisions in Kew. The Council will be consulting on the Village Plan again in March.
Several Committee members attended the exhibition and walking tour organised by the Council on the next stage of the Village Plan. We also attended a follow-up event for local interest groups. The Council will be consulting again in March on the Plan and a Supplementary Planning Document associated with it which will have statutory relevance in planning decisions.
Pre-publication Site Allocations Plan
The Council consulted on their plan for how large sites in the Borough should be developed. We were very pleased to see that a number of our ideas for Kew Ward have been included. We have commented on the plan to support the Council’s proposals and will be following up with Council officials on how some of our ideas not included in this plan might be taken forward.
Building relations with Richmond Council
We had a very helpful meeting with Richmond Council planning officials to discuss operational issues and will be following this up in the New Year to discuss more strategic issues. We already have very good relations with our 3 Ward Councillors.
We have been working on a paper pulling together ideas on future developments and improvements that could be made in Kew as a whole. We have now submitted these ideas to the Council to consider within the Site Allocation Plan they will be consulting on later this year, or in other relevant plans for Kew.