A site left empty for more than five years should be turned into an open space park, residents have said.

Surrey Comet:

The site has been cordoned off for the time being while developers deliberate on the future of the site

The Jolly Boatman site, on the riverside opposite Hampton Court Palace and next to Hampton Court station, has remained empty for years, occasionally targeted by fly-tippers.

From June 2013: Jolly Boatman beats planning deadline by six days

Planning applications to build on the grass have been approved – in 2009 and again on appeal in 2013, but no work has begun on the site.

The original planning application, comprising 66 homes, a 46-bedroom hotel, a 61-bedroom care home and a refurbished railway station among other works, was put in place by developer Gladedale Estates.

But the site has now been taken on by new developer Alexpo, which secured the site earlier this year, and is now exploring options for a new scheme.

Molesey resident Michelle Aveson said: “I think the land should be given to the people. We need more open spaces.”

From May 2014: Fly-tipping at Jolly Boatman spoiling palace view, say neighbours

Surrey Comet:

Residents have called for the space to be turned into a park

Molesey East Councillor Peter Szanto said: “I’m pleased that people are exploring options.

“It’s long been a view of Molesey residents that the view in front of the station should be kept as open space for a view to the palace.

“I’d be delighted if that were the case, but I think it will take some time before they can start building.

“The new owners recognise the strength of feeling among residents that if there was a way of keeping the area in front of the station as a public place.

“It would involve new plans, but exactly where that has got to, I don’t know.”

From June 2012: Work underway to improve appearance of Jolly Boatman site ahead of Olympics and Hampton Court Flower Show

On behalf of Alexpo, James Owens from planning consultancy JLL, said the public could “rest assured” that if Alexpo decided to change the current planning application, public consultations to hear residents’ views would be held.

A spokesman from Elmbridge Council said: “The development at the Jolly Boatman and Hampton Court station has technically ‘commenced’, which means the developers can continue to build the permission they got approval for under application reference 2008/1600.

“However, they have not continued to build the development.

“We understand the developers wish to consider a redesigned scheme and discussions are taking place between them and planning officers on the suitability of a revised proposal in advance of a formal application.”