"We need to sharpen our game": Soul-searching at Kingston Society after successive planning defeats

Jennifer Butterworth

Jennifer Butterworth

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

The chairman of conservation group the Kingston Society has said the organisation needs to “sharpen its game”, after recent key planning decisions went against members’ wishes.

Jennifer Butterworth made the comments during the society’s February meeting, following two disappointing results for the 50-year-old society.

It had opposed the Thames Side Wharf development of 97 apartments and an arts quarter in Vicarage Road, behind John Lewis in Kingston town centre, which was approved earlier this month.

And it supported a proposal for a student accommodation in High Street and South Lane, which was rejected by councillors in January.

Ms Butterworth said the group now needed to rethink its priorities.

She said: “There’s been a lot of discussion about what we think our remit is.

“I’m always worried that our horsepower is limited and I’m always keen that it should be applied where it can bear the most weight.”

The society’s meeting in April will now discuss how the group operates in the future, including whether or not to provide comments on applications, instead of formerly supporting or objecting to them.

Society member Matthew Rees said: “We found ourselves on the wrong side of two applications and rather than just accept that as one of those things we started a discussion on what we could have done better.

“For example, could we have lobbied councillors more effectively to get the Vicarage Road tower blocks rejected?

“I think that accepting that we could do better is a positive sign.”

Comments (1)

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4:29pm Thu 27 Feb 14

pinky107 says...

would the unwanted rubbish that is Tolworth greenway be included in this topic ?
would the unwanted rubbish that is Tolworth greenway be included in this topic ? pinky107
  • Score: -1

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