e-bulletin: 18th February 2020 - Planning Committee Meeting Postponed Again
The Planning Officer charged with assessing the application for the comprehensive
redevelopment of Hampton Court Station and the 'Boatman' sites is yet to consider
the developer's revised Flood Risk Assessment and publish her recommendations.
The Environment Agency has been consulted over a second set of data/remediation,
but with the recent flooding events uppermost, staffing at the EA is rightly
at full stretch. While the Officer's report awaits the contribution from the
EA, a future date for the Planning Committee to decide the fate of the
Station redevelopment scheme, is yet to be arranged.
Encouragingly, the Committee did convene last week to decide on a related
Planning Application (2019/2005) which HCRC regarded as
'the canary in the mine'. Proposals were submitted for the multi-storey
redevelopment of the light-industrial estate on Hampton Court Way,
that lies next to the Station complex and reaches south to the
Thames Ditton level-crossing. The Officer recommended the scheme
for approval, but throughout the meeting the Members interrogated
the over-development; its height and massing, lack of parking and
safe access, and its inappropriate architectural character. The
result - the Committee defied the Officer's direction and refused
permission. These elements all mimic the flaws of the
Hampton Court Station scheme next door. The unacceptably
low offer of Affordable Housing, Flood mitigation, increased
pollution from stop/start congestion adding to the long list above.
We must hope that the Members will again subject the dominant
and irreversible development at Hampton Court Station and riverside
to the same scrutiny.
Sadly, we are no further forward in discovering the owners and
directors of Alexpo, the offshore shell-company
(registered in the Isle of Man) that owns the land-title of
the 'Boatman' site and is the joint-venture partner of Network Rail.
HCRC has explicitly involved EBC at the highest level with its
concerns about transparency, tax avoidance and money-laundering.
Given the huge sums promised to EBC eg. the Community Infrastructure
Levy, the S106 agreement and the offsite Highways works
estimated at £2.6M alone, we would have expected Elmbridge Borough
Council to have insisted on guarantees and insurances, bearing
in mind that the Boatman's previous developer Gladedale folded
in the 2008 financial crash, just as works began. A project
that may again start but prove unviable and undeliverable
is the worst of all worlds for the historic Station, leading
to more years of dilapidation and decay. Given the history
of this development site, it is essential that Elmbridge
Officers exercise due diligence so Councillors and the
public can be reassured before the application is determined.
So far EBC has received over 1220 letters of opposition
to this application (2018/3810) from both national and
local objectors. You can find these online
https://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/planning/ HCRC's most recent
submission to Planning is
We will of course let supporters know the next Committee
date as soon as we are told.
With our thanks for your continued interest and support.
e-bulletin: 12th January 2020 - Decision date *Announcement*
'BOATMAN' BRACED FOR FEBRUARY JUDGEMENT
The Planning Officer has now cancelled the Planning Committee
meeting conditionally arranged for January 21st, at which the
fate of the 'Boatman' and Hampton Court Station application
(EBC ref 2018/3810) was to be determined. It is now evident
that the Planning Officer is unable to complete her report
and make her recommendations known to Councillors, as she
still waits to review a second Environment Agency consultation.
The EA had previously objected to the planning application as
the developer's Flood Risk Assessment was founded on out-of-date
stats. and modelling and not the current National Planning
policies that embrace climate-change, flooding etc.
HCRC has enjoyed an ongoing dialogue with Planning Officers
and Councillors on this and other significant concerns about
the virtues of this planning application. However, yesterday
in the run-up to the Committee decision, we formally lodged
a robust objection with the Case Officer, laying out questions
that to date have gone unanswered. We have asked the Officer
to interrogate each of the matters raised and to address
them in her published report. It is imperative that her final
recommendations fully inform the Committee Members who will
be responsible for arguably Elmbridge's most weighty and
enduring planning decision. See
HCRC OBJECTION attached.
We can see online https://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/planning/
that EBC has received 1200+ letters of opposition to this
application already and we would kindly urge our supporters
to continue to add your voices to this number ahead of a
February date being published.
With our thanks for your continued interest and support.
e-update: 22nd August 2019 - Christmas?
Decision date postponed again
The imposition of the Railways Act
In mid 19C, the UK rail industry appropriated the
meadows between Hampton Court Station and the Thames.
The land became a rail-head for steam trains to take on
fuel and water and rotate before making the return
journey back to London. This land, later known locally
as the 'Jolly Boatman' after a Cafe on the site, has
retained its strategic importance, forming an important
part of the heritage Thames-side setting opposite
Hampton Court Palace.
Given the close proximity to the Palace, our forebears
put restrictions in place to restrict the scale of
building on the 'Boatman' or any of Network Rail�s
surrounding land. Over 100 years ago an Act of
Parliament was written into statute to protect this
historically sensitive location, limiting the height of
any building in perpetuity to a maximum of 50 feet.
This should have afforded the public some comfort that
any development around Hampton Court Station would be
required to observe the Act, but despite the Council�s
Planning Brief clearly referencing the restriction to
the 50 ft build-height, Elmbridge Council has allowed
the developer to ignore this statute and proceed to
submit proposals that exceed that limit across the
entire scheme. Naturally, HCRC is
objecting to this clear breach of the Act and we intend
to seek out case law and pursue robust legal opinion. If
the scheme is recommended for approval, HCRC
will be taking the well-trodden path to return to the
The Offshore connection
The name of the Company proposing to develop the
Hampton Court Station and Boatman sites is not known in
the property world. The Boatman's land-title has been
registered since 2014 to Alexpo (Isle of Man) Ltd. This
offshore Co. is the chosen joint-venture partner with
Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. and has tabled a scheme
that includes 97 apartments, an 84 bedroom hotel,
caf�s/restaurants, a mini-supermarket and a car park for
However, when the application for this huge scheme was
submitted to Elmbridge, the proposals were attributed to
another entity, Alexpo Ltd. The key detail that the
applicant was offshore-registered had been omitted. The
Company listed on the declaration did not actually exist
at the time.
However, in a clever move to control any unhelpful
confusion, HCRC's Chairman, Ray
Townsend has registered the UK Company in his own name.
It goes without saying that Ray�s company will not be
building anything on the Jolly Boatman site!
There is considerable interest in knowing who is behind
such a high profile development and how it can be
acceptable that a non-transparent Isle of Man offshore
company is allowed to partner with Network Rail, an
accountable publicly-funded Company.
Alexpo I.O.M Ltd's. accounts cannot be accessed. For
their own ends, some businesses find this an attractive
feature of an Isle of Man registration, which provides
total anonymity and a shield to hide its owners, Co.
reports and directors. Officers and Councillors on the
Planning Committee should take great care not to ignore
their responsibilities in regard to money-laundering and
tax avoidance legislation. Particularly in regard to the
applicant's published Viability Assessment that is
impossible to scrutinise given that the Company's
holdings and capitalisation are hidden from view.
Matters such as the unreasonably low number of
affordable homes and the untraceability of taxable
profits should be ringing alarm-bells in Council
corridors and beyond.
Clearly, either Network Rail is complicit in its
agreement with an offshore Co., or it is woefully
incompetent. Certainly both Network Rail and Alexpo
(IOM) Ltd are reluctant to be open and honest with
Elmbridge Council and Molesey residents. HCRC
is exploring the legitimacy of this relationship through
the (ORR) Office of Rail Regulation, the Government body
which superintends the disposal of Network Rail land and
assets. Both the ORR and EBC will be challenged to
Environment Agency's new opposition
- The owners and investors of Alexpo Isle of Man Ltd
are unknown. State-owned Network Rail is in
partnership with an Isle of Man company that will not
pay UK tax on its profits from this development.
- Network Rail and Alexpo IOM Ltd applied for planning
permission from Elmbridge Council using the name of a
company that didn�t exist.
In previous bulletins we have explained in detail the
inadequacy of car parking facilities at the Station and
the impact on Molesey's residential roads. This issue
still remains a major concern, but it is hoped that a
recent consultation from the Environment Agency will
materially affect the car parking plans.
The EA has recently responded to the Planning
consultation by objecting to the scheme on a variety of
grounds. The EA has taken a number of months to appraise
Alexpo's proposals against new empirical flooding
statistics and fresh climate modelling. (EA's
comprehensive response is attached in full) At this time
HCRC is not clear exactly how Alexpo
intends to respond to the EA's recommendations, or how
the car park designs can be reconciled.
HCRC predicts that Alexpo has a lot of
work to attend to before the scheme gets close to a
planning Committee and it appears that the target for
decision is delayed once again - showing now on the
Elmbridge planning portal (Plan no. 2018/3810) as 10th
We will of course pass on more updates as we get them.
e-update: 27th March 2019 - BREAKING NEWS
HCRC has been informed that the 'Special Planning
Committee' meeting on Thursday 4th April, convened to
determine the application for Hampton Court Station
application has been cancelled.
We understand that Elmbridge has not included the
Environment Agency's new Flood-Risk data in its
consultation, and is unable to proceed until this has
been fully examined.
As we hear more details, we will let you know
immediately, but a new date for the Committee to meet is
unknown at this time.
e-bulletin: 25 March 2019: Much Needed -
Richmond Council Rejects Station Scheme
Last Thursday on 21 st March, the period of
consultation for the Hampton Court Station application
was closed. At the last count before its expiry, EBC
recorded over 1,100 letters of objection. HCRC would
like to thank everyone who took the time to lodge their
comments with Elmbridge Planning Dept. However, if you
were unable to make the cut, please do not be deterred.
All of our late submissions will be accepted and will be
included in the Officer's report for the Special
Planning Committee meeting tasked to determine the
THURSDAY 4th APRIL
(Please note: The online
Planning portal is now closed - your correspondence must
be sent using the Planning Dept. email at
quoting this Planning No: 2018/3810)
Along with the public response, EBC invited a long list
of formal Consultees to review the new Station plans
from their differing professional perspectives.
Disappointingly, a small number have yet to file, but of
those published HCRC is very encouraged by one key
response, submitted by our neighbouring borough,
Richmond (LBRUT). The LBRUT Officers have advised
Elmbridge that they oppose the scheme, citing the lack
of consultation. �LBRUT wishes to express extreme regret
that, unlike other interested parties, the applicant has
failed to engage in any pre-application discussions with
(The full London Borough
of Richmond objection to the scheme)
We feel certain that our supporters will be staggered
to learn that Richmond Boro, which shares its border
with Elmbridge on the river Bridge, was not afforded the
courtesy of early pre-application consultations about
this huge and complex scheme situated just over the
Thames. Richmond's comments raise some profound issues.
Surrey CC's new Highways layout for Hampton Court is
only one example of the apparent lack of collaboration
between Local Authorities. The new �2.5M road-designs
have already been loudly condemned as worsening the
existing congestion on all the major routes upto and
over Hampton Court Bridge. HCRC would have expected
exchanges between the Boroughs to have been imperative
from the earliest stage of these proposals, considering
the effects expected to be shared across a very wide
We understand the EBC Case Office will be progressing
her report this week with a view to making her final
recommendations available to the Planning Committee.
HCRC can only hope that LBRUT's remarks will seriously
call into question the advancement of this application
and lead to a review of the implications for EBC and
Surrey CC. HCRC will be looking into this as the
Committee meeting approaches.
In the meantime, if you missed seeing the scope of the
project, these great youtube/clips perfectly illustrate
what Molesey can expect. The images are not impressions,
they are lifted intact from the Planning Application.
Please open the links to see Elmbridge's legacy for
Hampton Court and the Thames riverside.
And remember, you are not too late to comment, please
take a few moments to make your voice heard. With any
other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
With our thanks for your continued interest.
We welcome your replies to this email address if we can
help with anything further, or please don't hesitate to
Tweet us at @HCRCMary https://twitter.com/HCRCMary
or visit us on
e-bulletin: 9 March 2019: Inconsistent Response
from Historic England That Claims to 'Champion Everyone's
�Historic England has no objection to the
application on heritage grounds�
HCRC is utterly baffled by the response from Historic
England, the public body charged with conserving
England's heritage and we challenge how such an opinion
could have been derived from the plans you see below. In
comments lodged with EBC, HE says -
�The proposed development is less impactful
upon heritage than previous applications.....�
Clearly HE has failed to grasp the monstrous scope of
the current plans which add a further 10% to the height
of the roof-line in the previous application, consented
in 2008. Moreover, an increased footprint adds to its
massing, incorporating 97 homes, an 84 bedroom Hotel
along with assorted leisure and retail spaces and a
With the exception of the grand Palace complex itself,
from any other perspective this development dwarfs the
surrounding buildings in scale and subsumes the heritage
Railway Station. The high-density Villa Blocks are
larger than any other building in the Kent Road
Conservation Area and the visual impact of walls of
brickwork, broken only by glass-box balconies is, in the
context of its neighbours, an ill-fitting urban design.
Therefore HE's conclusions are shocking and seem
completely at odds with the clearest of guidelines
expressed in National Policy which serves to ensure that
planning consultees are supported in their protection
and conservation of the nation's heritage.
'Excerpt: National Planning Policy Framework
(July 2018), specifically section 16 �Conserving and
enhancing the historic environment ...' - 'Paragraph
194 notes that �Any harm to, or loss of, the
significance of a designated heritage asset (from its
alteration or destruction, or from development within
its setting�, should require clear and convincing
letter attached in full)
Moreover, if HE needed further certainty, an enduring
Act of Parliament protects the exceptional setting of
Hampton Court Palace. EBC's Planning Brief requires that
any future development should adhere to the South
Western Railways Act of 1913. This prevents buildings on
railway land rising higher than 50 feet, within a radius
of one and a half miles of the Palace. The consented
2008 plans conformed with the Act, whereas Alexpo's
current scheme exceeds this limitation by 5 feet.
EBC has now published the awaited consultation response
from Historic Royal Palaces', the Charity responsible
for managing the region's pre-eminent heritage tourist
attraction. HRP commented on the detail of the Act in
its formal reply, asking EBC for clarification from
Alexpo - �The Railways Act remains the determining
factor for heights in the future and that the proposed
development does not establish a new precedent. HRP
would like to be reassured on this point.�
HRP has examined the impact of Alexpo's scheme on the
Palace's historic environment. It has also made
recommendations in regard to the consequences of the
reduced offer of parking provision at the Station. HCRC
completed a thorough assessment of Alexpo's
survey on parking and 'street-stress' � and tells the
real story of commuter over-spill. A
pdf copy is attached in full.
Your own comments continue to arrive with EBC with more
than 700 hundred eloquent letters of objection filed so
To view the plans in full, use the portal
Plan No 2018/3810
and comment online
until Thursday 21st MARCH 2019
(or see the display available at Molesey Library and at
Elmbridge Civic Centre in Esher)
Other issues will be addressed as we proceed to the end
of the consultation, but if you have queries or require
anything further, please do not hesitate to
email/Tweet/Facebook With our thanks for your continued
e-bulletin: 4 February 2019: ELMBRIDGE EXTENDS
HAMPTON COURT STATION CONSULTATION TO SATURDAY 2ND MARCH
It was to be expected that the level of public interest
in this development would require a longer period of
consultation. Bearing in mind the importance and
complexity of the Hampton Court Station regeneration and
reflecting on the many years of controversy, Elmbridge
Council is wisely giving more time for our
The troubled history of previous planning applications
cannot be dismissed. The failure of the last developer
to deliver on the 2008 project must surely inform how
Elmbridge Councillors approach Network Rail's current
joint venture. Unfortunately, of the 16 Members sitting
on the 'special' Planning Committee on 5th April 19
there is no representation from Councillors with Molesey
Elmbridge Officers and Councillors cannot abdicate
their responsibilities. They must collectively ensure
the public that in preparing for this crucial decision,
some fundamental issues are examined carefully in
- Given the high market-values expected from this
prestigious development of 97 luxury flats, will 12
units sold as shared-equity help to fulfill
Elmbridge's 'Social Housing' obligations across the
- In light of the low yield of 'affordable' housing,
Elmbridge should commission an independent review of
Alexpo's Viability Assessment to reappraise its
contribution to the Community Infrastructure Levy.
- Commercial sensitivity may be restricting the
transparency of Alexpo (Isle of Man) Ltd., the
offshore company that Network Rail has chosen to
partner for this �multi-million project, but with no
available pedigree Elmbridge must seek the necessary
guarantees that the scheme could actually be realised.
We can see from those comments already filed with the
Planning Dept. that HCRC supporters
have a wide range of views on Alexpo's plans beyond the
matters raised here. However, if you missed the chance
to comment so far, please use the extra time available
by going online to
elmbridge.gov.uk/planning ref: number: 2018/3810
SATURDAY 2nd MARCH 2019
With our sincere thanks for your continuing help and
e-bulletin: Jan 21st 2019: ALEXPO'S SCHEME ...
WHAT ARE THE COSTS?
Elmbridge Planning Dept. has been recording resounding
opposition to the new plans for the development of
Hampton Court Station and the riverside.
The comments are arriving from a wide field. Residents
living in the immediate areas and those in neighbouring
Boroughs have been expressing a variety of critical
views of the scheme. This is no surprise as interest has
never waned in trying to secure the right future for
this very sensitive and controversial site, whose
deterioration is a frustration and disgrace. Whilst
Alexpo's public exhibition in June showed us the glossy
versions of its new scheme, Molesey has been here
before. Once again, it has been necessary for HCRC to
fact-check some of the claims made and to breakdown the
issues important to us all.
Link to the plans online elmbridge.gov.uk/planning
number: 2018/3810 - add comments until SATURDAY 9th
The proposed Highway/Hampton Court Station layout
The busy travel hub of today will get a new highways
plan, which will introduce a number of radical changes.
The new layout has been designed to make way for
Alexpo's development and aspires to improve traffic
management. Broadly - a series of multi-way, sequenced
Traffic Signals will be installed, the existing Gyratory
will be removed and 'KEEP CLEAR' road markings to hold
back traffic at the Creek Road junction. Traffic signals
will be installed on Hampton Court Bridge to allow
vehicles to exit/enter the new development and Station
car park safely. A crossroads will be created here to
give the option of right, left turns or onward entry
Travellers of all modes who know the area and use the
Trunk Roads that feed into the Thames-crossing, will
certainly have their own views as to the quality of
Affordable Housing provision
Alexpo's scheme for 97 market-value homes and a 84
bedroom Hotel, offers Elmbridge 12 'affordable' units
set aside as 'shared equity'.
Elmbridge Borough�s policy for affordable housing is
principally set out in the Core Strategy (2011) Policy
CS21. The Strategy establishes that developments of 15
or more units will be required to provide at least 40%
affordable housing, determined by the particular
circumstances and the characteristics of the
development, including financial viability.
However, Alexpo's 'Viability Statement' draws its
comparison from the 7 units that EBC Officers accepted
in the 2008/1600 extant plans, but Councillors will
remember that the prestigious Royal Star and Garter Home
was at the heart of that scheme. The favoured social and
charitable status of the RS&GH was taken into
account when EBC �reluctantly� accepted the unusually
low number of 7 out of Gladedale's 66 units. No such
charitable element is suggested in Alexpo's current
proposals to off-set the low figure of 12% and it is
also clear that this type of intensive development is
not the optimum needed to meet Elmbridge's
The project for the comprehensive redevelopment of the
Hampton Court Station and the 'Boatman' site is
sizeable, with a build cost alone estimated to be
Sensitive to the history of the site and recalling that
its last developer failed to proceed with the scheme
after approval in 2008, it should be obvious to EBC that
a new owner's financial standing should be independently
verified. HCRC would strongly recommend that before
entering into a future agreement, Elmbridge Officers
must seek guarantees that Alexpo (Isle of Man) Ltd., an
offshore shell company, is fully transparent and
complies with Anti-Money Laundering legislation.
Multi-storey car park building
A number of design issues have emerged in the
Architect's drawings submitted to EBC for the
multi-level Car Park. In particular the configuration of
the Car-Park ramps which independently service the Lower
Ground Floor and the Basement floor. As they stand, the
designs may lead to driver-confusion, may reduce safety
and further complicate traffic-fluency on and off the
site. HCRC has alerted the developer to these concerns
and awaits the answers.
The development's car parking provision will be
Disregarding Alexpo's picture of Car Park usage, our
number-crunching tells a different story. Of the 207
spaces the developer advertises, scrutiny reveals that
only 169 of the spaces are 'unrestricted' and
available-to-all.* That number must accommodate the
parking needs of rail-users, visitors, the population of
97 flats and the guests of the 84 bedroom Hotel. Not
forgetting the combined staff and customers of the
Retail/Leisure units and the Supermarket. This are 36
fewer spaces than those operating in the Station car
park today - and that is ahead of adding the Alexpo
Alexpo claims that the records taken in the car park at
different times of the year have informed future
provision. However, as we all know well, the unoccupied
spaces are more likely to reflect the high cost of
parking at the Station, which has led quite naturally to
the constant use of Molesey streets, free of tariff.
*Allocated spaces are restricted for Blue-Badge
Holders, Electrically-charged and height restricted
vehicles. 18 spaces are allocated for 'Blue Badge'
holders - of which the 9 on the Lower Ground Floor, 3
assigned for High (Badge) vehicles and 4 for Electric
(Badge) vehicles. Only 2 are unrestricted Badge spaces.
The other 9 spaces are in the Basement floor. 8 are
unrestricted Badge spaces, one space number however is
sited out of range of a 'Disabled'-ready lift, through
an un-widened door. In terms of health and safety, HCRC
questions why these spaces are located on the Basement
Floor? There are 16 spaces for Electric
vehicles/chargers, of which 4 as mentioned above are for
Blue Badge use.
Height and Massing
HCRC must strongly emphasise that the height of the new
scheme exceeds that of the old Gladedale design. We
understand that the developer's starting point was the
financial unviability of Gladedale's double-storey
underground car park and the need to explore
alternatives. The replacement design places all of the
parking in a basement floor and an under-croft. This
translates to Alexpo raising the residential base-line
to a higher level, above which the residential elements
of the scheme are then constructed.
The density of the development has also increased. The
space taken in 2008 for the RS&G Care Home has been
replaced with residential units, 97 in total. The Hotel
too, on Hampton Court way, has increased its number of
bedrooms to 84, with the building itself occupying a
larger footprint than in 2008 to its southernmost end.
Hampton Court Railway Station
HCRC has been unable to uncover any details of the
improvements to the Railway Station. The details of
Network Rail's preparedness for its repair are unknown
at this time and are not referred to in any proposal of
the Planning Application. HCRC will update supporters
when NR decide to publish its intentions.
Finally, we are not ignoring the importance of matters
surrounding heritage, history or the River setting, but
interest in these issues has been fully demonstrated
previously. This bulletin is chiefly to see beyond the
alluring promotional material that Alexpo has and
continues to widely advance.
Please take a closer look at the scheme online and use
the portal to make your views known - before the 9th
Feb. (or see the display available at Molesey Library
and at Elmbridge Civic Centre in Esher)
With our thanks for your support and please do not
hesitate to email if you require anything further.
With our sincere thanks for your continuing help and
e-bulletin: 8 January 2019: NEW PLANS FOR THE
'JOLLY BOATMAN' AND HAMPTON COURT STATION LODGED TODAY AT EBC
The new year has begun with the submission of Alexpo's
plans for the comprehensive redevelopment of the 'Jolly
Boatman' site and Hampton Court Station. The Application
was published on 8 January 2019 and can be examined in
From now until 8th February 2018, the scheme will be
open for your comments, either directly using the portal
provided, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HCRC will provide more analysis in the
coming days, but we would encourage supporters to view
the plans at the earliest opportunity, giving special
consideration to three key issues that will without
doubt impact Molesey, Hampton Court and the wider
Borough in terms of parking, congestion and
- The plans will add 97 new homes - an 84 bedroom
Hotel - leisure and retail units, but provide ONLY
2 additional parking spaces to the present
Station Car Park.
- The new Highways layout introduces multi-way Traffic
signals starting on Hampton Court Bridge, and
relocates the current green Gyratory.
- The height and density of the new development
exceeds still further that of the controversial 2008
plan, dwarfing the Railway Station.
Over a decade on, HCRC continues to
enjoy the collaboration and the shared objectives of
Hampton Court Palace, Molesey residents, interest groups
and National bodies who together support the sensitive
development of the 'Boatman' site and Hampton Court
Station, bringing benefits to all. Alexpo's new scheme
may fall short, or even worsen any chance of satisfying
any of these aims.
Supporters will each have an individual perspective on
the new scheme, but as one of the most important
development sites in Surrey, we would strongly urge you
to review the plans carefully and make your opinion
known to Elmbridge Planners. Naturally, HCRC
will be making its own detailed response to EBC in due
course, which will at the same time be posted on our
We welcome your replies to this email address if we can
help with anything further, or please don't hesitate to
Tweet us at @HCRCMary https://twitter.com/HCRCMary
With our sincere thanks for your continuing help and
e-bulletin: December 2018: The Shape of Things
| In June, Alexpo's public exhibition gave us an
opportunity to see the anticipated new plans for Hampton
Court Station and the riverside 'Boatman' site. Visitors
were encouraged to make comments and believed that their
views would be taken into account. We understood from the
Alexpo team that a formal Planning Application would be
worked-up and lodged in Autumn, 2018.
Alexpo's new plans were presented as having improved upon
Gladedale's resoundingly criticised 2008 permitted scheme.
Alexpo engaged with HCRC's primary
objective to remove the Hotel from the riverside, thereby
maintaining the 'Boatman' site as a Thames-side open
space. With this shared aspiration, both HCRC
and Historic Royal Palaces genuinely welcomed Alexpo's
appreciation of the area being of outstanding national and
European importance, to be treated with sensitivity.
However, whilst agreeing to relocate the Hotel, Alexpo has
also maximised the scope of development on the remainder
of the Station site, which is regrettable. HCRC
has had discussions with all the key players over the
summer and has thoroughly explored some tricky features
that have emerged within the new scheme. Standing above
all others, three key issues pose the most serious
concerns: there will be too few car parking
spaces, the new road layout will increase
congestion and the buildings have increased
in height and density.
Too few car parking spaces.
Today, the capacity of the Station Car Park offers 205
spaces for rail-users and visitors. Alexpo's multi-use
development introduces 97 new homes, an 84 bedroom Hotel,
an unspecified number of leisure/commercial units onto the
Station site � and a supermarket. For all of these, Alexpo
will offer a total of 207 parking spaces � only 2
extra spaces. (Gladedale's permitted scheme of
2008, with fewer flats and a smaller Hotel, provided 287
HCRC contends that Alexpo's provision of only 2
additional parking spaces that must accommodate the
demands of the existing shared-use, plus the development�s
new resident and Hotel population - is completely
Commuters using Molesey's Streets for free-parking have
increased year-on-year. Further displacement of cars due
to Alexpo�s inadequate future parking provision at the
Station, will significantly add to this problem and cause
more local frustration and inconvenience. Parking
restrictions (at the very least) must be considered.
HCRC and other resident groups share a
widely held aspiration to improve road-safety and
transport efficiency at this very complex junction at
Hampton Court Station. The 2008 road plans, originally
devised by Watermans, were adopted again as part of the
Alexpo scheme and these same plans were shown to us at the
exhibition for re-examination. Joining many others, HCRC's
highly critical response to these flawed Waterman plans
was repeated for the Alexpo scheme.
Perhaps in the light of negative responses, fresh design
changes to the Highway-layout have emerged over the
summer. The new proposals will include the wholesale
installation of sequenced Traffic Signalling. Alexpo's own
detailed layouts are not available, but the changes have
been explained to us in direct discussions with the Alexpo
team, who have given assurances that Surrey Highways has
agreed to these plans in principle. HCRC
however, believes that the new arrangement is very
The illustration below is Alexpo's latest published plan
The plan is of extremely low visual quality and HCRC
has therefore taken the liberty to overlay the signals,
street names and landmarks etc., simply to help orientate
the picture and aid clarity.
There are many elements of the amended Highway layout that
must be professionally modelled and independently tested.
It is obvious that the new access to/from the Station Car
Park will add to the already slow and congested
traffic-flow, specifically a permitted right-turn-exit
onto the Bridge. This one manoeuvre imposes the
installation of traffic-signals on the Grade 2 listed
Lutyens Bridge. These will be sequenced and connected with
new signalling at Riverbank, Creek Road, the main Trunk
Road and the Station. Furthermore, and not shown on
Alexpo's screen-sized drawing, is a proposed 'yellow-box'
junction placed outside the Petrol Station to hold-back
traffic for Buses leaving the Station. This will
undoubtedly stall the progress of traffic on the main
Local residents who know the Hampton Court Bridge hub will
easily grasp the impact of Alexpo's new proposals. A
series of Traffic-lights will inevitably slow-up the busy
bottle-neck and further impact traffic-flow, congestion
and air-pollution at the Bridge Junction and on the roads
beyond. Waterman's plan is without merit and uses 'a
sledgehammer to crack a nut'.
When the Planning Application is finally tabled, HCRC
will be submitting its full and comprehensive
observations. We assume that the neighbouring Boroughs of
Richmond, Spelthorne and Kingston will be responding to
the consultation with similar concerns.
Addressing the issues laid out above will be challenging
enough, but HCRC must add the increased
height of Alexpo's new proposals to this list of concerns.
The impact on Hampton Court Palace from the height and
density of any development have featured strongly in the
countless objections to the 2008 scheme. So it is very
alarming to report that the roof-line of Alexpo's
development will be still higher than the uppermost
top-line of the 2008 plans.
HCRC has fought for over a decade to
preserve the setting of the Palace and to retain the
architectural scale of the Victorian Station. It has
always been difficult to visualise the imposition of the
2008 scheme on the Station buildings and more now that
Alexpo will exceed the permitted scheme in height/density.
Alexpo's promotional material (see
www.hamptoncourtconsultation.co.uk) does not show any
relevant elevations, excepting the Gladedale/Alexpo
comparison, shown above. However, material to the guidance
in Elmbridge's Planning Policy is the Railways Act
governing Hampton Court Station's height constraints. HCRC
and other local groups will be exploring the application
in this context.
HCRC is prepared and supporters await the
formal submission of Alexpo's Planning Application to
Elmbridge�s Planning Authority. As we go forward, we would
like to again thank; Historic Royal Palaces, our Borough
and Ward Councillors, the Molesey Residents Assoc. and
many other local interest groups who accord with the
delivery of a fitting development for Hampton Court
Station, the Thames riverside and Hampton Court Palace.
Our Committee is profoundly grateful for their time and
We invite your comments by email, or on Twitter
e-bulletin: August 24th 2018: HCRC issues formal
response to Alexpo's new plans for Hampton Court Station
In June, Alexpo offered the HCRC Committee the
opportunity to comment on its brand new plans for the
redevelopment of Hampton Court Station and 'Boatman'
sites. We widely circulated our initial assessment at
the time, but have since been able to test the proposals
more carefully and submit our proper response.
In addition, HCRC has had discussions with the
Elmbridge Council Leader, SCC and Ward Councillors to
get perspective of the new development's impact on
community issues. Combining the views of interest groups
with feedback from residents and supporters we are now
able to circulate HCRC's formal, wide-ranging response
to the proposals.
HCRC's consultation response is far-reaching and
comprehensive and evaluates the many elements of the
plans in depth, for example:
- Inadequate Station Car Parking
- Impact of increased height and over-development
- Pedestrian/vehicular conflict on Cigarette Island
Lane and new Highway layout
- Increased obstruction to the cross-river Palace
Consulting with the relevant groups and authorities,
Alexpo expects to table its planning application in the
Autumn. HCRC is pleased to have been allowed to make a
meaningful contribution to this process.
You can read the document in full here
and once again we invite your comments by email, or on
Twitter @HCRCMary https://twitter.com/HCRCMary
e-update 3rd July 2018: HAMPTON COURT RESCUE
CAMPAIGN TALKS TO THE BBC
If you were able to go along to the Public Exhibition
at the Motor Yacht Club, then you had an opportunity to
discuss the new proposals and to record your comments.
Over 500 concerned residents and interested parties
attended the presentation but we know that for some
supporters, the dates of the consultations were
Those who could not attend in person may find today's
BBC Radio's interview with HCRC
helpful (attached below) The coverage was broadcast live
from Hampton Court Palace and a Facebook-live-page was
created to accompany the piece. To see more, open https://www.facebook.com/BBCSurrey/videos/10156118907455412/
Since our last bulletin, the Developer has also
published the new proposals for the regeneration of
Hampton Court Station and the 'Boatman' site on-line at
Car parking numbers and new Highway-signalling in
particular, appear to have exercised a good number of
contributors already, but there will be other issues
which you believe are equally important.
Alexpo invites your comments privately through its
website (above) but there is great value in HCRC
getting to know your views too, as this will help inform
our approach in the months ahead.
HCRC hopes that everyone will have a
say before Alexpo's final plans are put before the
Planning Dept. in the Autumn. We would therefore be very
grateful to hear your opinion on this project, and a
copy returned to us using this email address would be
To those who have already corresponded with us, please
accept our sincerest thanks for your carefully
considered comments and for your kind wishes of support.
On behalf of everyone at HCRC, thank
you for your continued interest.
e-bulletin 22nd June: HAMPTON COURT RESCUE
e-bulletin: 22nd June
COURT RESCUE CAMPAIGN
HCRC previews the
new proposals for Hampton Court Station and the
On Wednesday, the HCRC Committee was invited to attend
a special preview for interested parties of the new
development proposals for Hampton Court Station and the
'Jolly Boatman' sites. The consultations aimed to
provide the developer with preliminary feedback on the
new scheme prior to a full planning application in the
The public consultations were held at the Thames
Motor Yacht Club at Hampton Court on
21st-22nd June and allowed us the opportunity to outline
our initial impressions of the new proposals. We hope
you were able to attend to see and discuss the new
proposals in person but if not, to leave your comments
on the developer's website:
HCRC has welcomed the open and
constructive dialogue with the developer and believes
these proposals could be a step forward from the
ruination that Gladedale's 2008 planning consent would
have caused to Molesey, its heritage and the setting of
Hampton Court Palace.
The new proposals will include 97 apartments, retail,
an 84 bedroom Hotel situated along Hampton Court Way and
a 205 space car park to replace the existing 204 space
car park. The layout of the development broadly aligns
with the approved 2008 scheme, minus the Hotel on the
Jolly Boatman site.
New Scheme Elements
- The majority of the 'Boatman' site is public open
space, this is a significant step forward from the
- The 2008 scheme layout has been superseded by a
series of more evenly spaced apartment blocks. The new
design now includes an extended gable-end to the
northernmost block, closest to the Thames. Additional
residential apartments replace the 2008 scheme's Care
- The 2008 scheme's underground car park has been
replaced with an under-croft arrangement with one and
a half levels of parking, with entry and exit in close
proximity to Hampton Court Bridge.
HCRC comments are as follows:
Extended Gable onto Jolly Boatman Site
The most significant improvement on the 2008 plans is
the removal of the Hotel from the 'Boatman' site. We
would however encourage Alexpo to explore options which
reduce the extent to which the new gable projects onto
the northernmost part of the Boatman site. This could
potentially include reducing the size of the gable
and/or, small reductions in the gaps between the
apartment blocks. This would bring the new building
roughly in-line with the existing Station building and
would significantly enhance the setting of Hampton Court
Palace. Importantly, it would achieve one of HCRC's
core objectives - to provide a seamless connection
between the Boatman site and Cigarette Island Park.
Station Car Parking
HCRC remains concerned with the provision of parking
in and around Molesey. The existing Station car park
includes some 204 spaces whereas the proposed
development will provide 205 spaces. We are aware that
the car park is not only used by rail commuters but
extensively by tourists in the summer months, noting the
significant year-on-year increase in visitor numbers to
Hampton Court Palace which have doubled to 1 million
since the 2008 scheme was approved. We also need to
consider the forthcoming Crossrail2 project which will
generate increased demand for parking - this is yet to
be specified by the Rail Operators.
The need for spaces can draw on the decision by the
Planning Inspector in the 2008/1600 scheme's 'Travel
Plan'. This required significant numbers of bicycle
parking spaces and 287 car park spaces, of which 238
should be set aside for the public. HCRC's
view is that the developer and Elmbridge Council cannot
ignore the Planning Inspector's considered and very
detailed decision and in addition, should take account
of the increased number of apartments and the larger
Hotel introduced into the proposed scheme.
We have always maintained that any increase in demand
for car parking must not be allowed to impact the
residential streets of East Molesey where parking is
already at breaking point.
(NB. The temporary safety-barriers across the entrance
to the current car park; designed to separate
pedestrians, cars and buses, has led to the car park
being under-utilised. Thus the existing car-park data is
unlikely to be representative of actual demand).
Access Road and Pedestrian Crossing
Given the significant and growing number of visitors
to Hampton Court Palace, pedestrian safety at the
Station should be at the forefront of this scheme.
The new car park will be accessed just south of
Hampton Court Bridge, taking vehicles across the
'Boatman' site with a pedestrian crossing located in
very close proximity to and parallel with the highway.
The first section of the car park access will adopt the
existing Cigarette Island Park Access Road presently
being used for occasional grounds maintenance.
The developer is proposing a signalled crossing to
manage the conflict between cars and pedestrians which
appears to be based on an expectation of relatively few
vehicle movements � roughly one per minute at peak time.
However, the majority of pedestrians leaving the trains
at Hampton Court Station move towards Hampton Court
Palace in waves, grouped together. Our view is that
motorists turning sharp left from Hampton Court Bridge
will have limited visibility and insufficient space and
time to avoid pedestrians. We believe, that many
visitors will ignore the signals at this location,
creating a serious conflict with cars. HCRC
encourages the developer to explore alternative road and
pedestrian arrangements to minimise this conflict and
HCRC maintains its key objective to protect the unique
setting of Hampton Court Palace and the Thames corridor
as an open, riverside space for all to enjoy. We would
therefore prefer 'soft edge' landscaping on the
Molesey-side embankment and landing-stage, with the
removal of the current Access Road along the riverbank.
Impact of Construction
The construction project could take three years (to be
confirmed) and during that time the Station car park
will be more or less unavailable with very restricted
parking. We urge the developer and Elmbridge Council to
explore all realistic options to reduce the build-time
and provide substantive, temporary parking during
construction. HCRC will continue to
work with both Elmbridge Council and the developers to
find a solution to reduce the impact of the project on
- In principal the proposed scheme appears to be a
significant step forward.
- We will encourage the developer to increase the
number of available parking spaces to cater for; rail
commuters, casual visitors to the area, tourists to
Hampton Court Palace, occupants of the proposed Hotel
and apartments, and retail customers.
- Our aim is to reduce the impact of the development
on the setting of Hampton Court Palace and East
Molesey and we believe there is scope to improve the
current proposals and to reduce the bulk and mass of
the buildings that surround the historic Station
- The proposed scheme does not deal adequately with
pedestrian safety and in its present form seems
unacceptable. We would encourage the developer to
explore alternatives that will deliver a safer Highway
and road layout.
- We applaud the concept that the Boatman site will be
landscaped and maintained in perpetuity as a public
open space and we encourage every possible effort to
maximise the quantity and quality of the public open
space. This objective is at the centre of HCRC's
foundation in 2006 and it will be a significant
victory for Molesey, the Palace and for our local
heritage if this can be delivered.
To realistically assess this scheme we recommend that
the developer provides vertical elevations of the scheme
from the river Thames etc., together with realistic
computer-generated renders and impressions of the key
vistas. We understand that detailed drawings will be
published online to enable all parties to assess the
scheme. We will make them available to you as soon as we
are able, following which HCRC will
provide a formal response to the developer and
After years of the 'Boatman' being boarded up, we hope
that the public exhibition will have offered you a
chance to express your views. For HCRC
it would be very helpful to have your feedback, so
please return your comments to us, or find us on Twitter
With our thanks for your continued interest and your
views will be much appreciated.
New Plans for Hampton Court Station and the
Jolly Boatman Site
The public has been invited to an exhibition of new
plans for the site on Thursday 21 June, when you can
drop in anytime between 2:30pm and 8:00pm and Friday 22
June when you can drop in anytime between 10:00am and
2:00pm. Both sessions of the exhibition will be held at
the Thames Motor Yacht Club, The Green, Hampton Court,
Surrey KT8 9BW.
More information can be found on the developer's