Hampton Court Rescue Campaign

 The Development Brief 1999 

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Presented in November 1999 and still in use today, Elmbridge Borough Council delivered the ‘Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman Site’, Development Brief. The Brief in no way constitutes planning permission, but has the purpose of providing useful information and guidance to both planners and developers, ahead of intended planning applications.

On one hand, the brief respects and is extremely sympathetic to the architectural sensitivity of the location, being in the shadow of ‘a scheduled Ancient Monument of international significance’. However, on the other, it profiles the build-potential for the whole site, allowing up to 25% residential development. In spite of acknowledging the Thames riverside frontage, particularly of the Boatman site, a mixed-use development is encouraged, allowing for a 40-room hotel, up to 3 storeys high.

HCRC believe that the Planning Brief should not actively promote development or be held up as a license to build. Unprecedented it may be, but a review of the Brief is urgently recommended, as there have been significant changes to the area since it was approved. Leaving aside the obvious principles of heritage and historical significance, the area has succumbed to greater traffic volumes, increased visitor numbers, new legislation governing the building on flood plains, car parking and concerns over environmental pollution. Careful consideration should be given to the serious impact each of these issues has had on the area of Molesey since 1999, and the Brief revised accordingly.