Press Release 21st
For immediate use
Hampton Court riverside
falls victim to Council decision.
Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, Ian Taylor
is exposed as being obstructive and unsupportive
of the request to the Sec. of State for a Public
In a recent letter to Sec. of State Hazel
Blears, Taylor writes:
should not be content if the application was
"Only John Barnes, (Historic Royal Palaces)
remains opposed because he claims damage to the
aspect across the Thames from Hampton Court
Palace. For the life of me I cannot see the
justification for his objections"
*See full text attachment*
Thursday evening 18th Dec, at its
final hearing, Elmbridge Councillors voted to
give the go ahead to the scheme for the
riverside development at Hampton Court.
The motion raised by Molesey Residents
Councillor, Donaldson to reject the plans was
defeated, 33 votes approved the application
and 23 voted against.
All 30 Conservative Councillors
voted for approval of the scheme, without
The issue was debated convincingly, the research
comprehensive and the weight of opposition
undeniable, but the Tories, from Wards far
beyond Molesey had made their minds up from the
outset. Cllr Kapardia (Lib. Dem), herself an
Architect, went to great lengths to explain,
with drawings, that the scheme being tabled was
even greater than the first, previously rejected
'Boathouse' design, but not one Tory Councillor
Even before the meeting, , a site visit was
organised to help Councillors new to the issue,
to familiarise themselves with the physical
layout of the development, only 2 Conservative
The HCRC supporters
are extremely disappointed with the result, but
have a clear conscience, that nothing they,
Historic Royal Palaces, Thames Landscape
Strategy or English Heritage could have said or
done would have made the slightest difference to
Bryan Woodriff, HCRC co-chair said
"Cllr Taylor (Conservative Leader of the
Council) attempted to refute any accusations
that his party voted en bloc, but as the evening
wore on it became evident that the Conservatives
had no intention of listening to any evidence
which might have caused them to rethink the
decision they had already reached on each
previous occasion when the viability of the
GladeDale proposals were meant to be
debated. The majority vote for the GladeDale
plan was steam-rollered through by Councillors
who represent outer wards in Elmbridge but have
no representation in, and little connection
with, Molesey where most concern over the
proposals was being voiced"
Councillor, Roy Taylor, Leader of Elmbridge
Borough Council announced at the planning
"The Jolly Boatman site can hardly be seen from
With this thinking, and as previously mentioned,
a poorly attended site visit, what were
Councilors to think?
Naturally, the many thousands of the scheme's
opponents feel aggrieved that MP Ian Taylor's
opinions, contrary and ill-infomed have misled
Hazel Blears. This has negatively affected her
decision to grant a public inquiry and has left
the planning decision to the mercy of local
The Hampton Court Rescue Campaign can only
speculate as to what the outcome might have
been, had Hazel Blears been properly advised.
resolutions were voted upon. The first called
for refusal of the proposals as they stand. All
Conservatives present voted against refusal,
save for the deputy Mayor (Conservative) who
along with the Mayor (Residents) by
convention, abstained. The Conservatives then
backed a second resolution to approve the
News Flash 29/11/2008
Jolly Boatman planning
accordance with the Council's constitution,
Members exercised the option to refer the
application to an extraordinary meeting of the
Full Council on Thursday, 18th December, 2008 at
meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at
the Elmbridge Civic Centre.
To enable you to vote for the councillor that
best represents your views, here is how the
votes split at the meeting on 26/11/2008:
In favour of the Gladedale Scheme
Against the Gladedale Scheme
R Taylor; Oatlands Park, Con;
D Archer, Esher, Con;
J V Butcher, Cobham & Downside; Con;
M A Courtney, Claygate, LD;
C J Cross, Walton North, Con;
Ian Donaldson, Hersham North, Con;
M Odone, Cobham Fairmile, Con;
D Oliver, Esher, Con;
J G Sheldon, Hersham South, Con;
M C Sheldon, Hersham North, Con;
J Sutton, Esher, Con;
B White, Oatlands Park, Con.
J Barlett, St George's Hill, SGHI;
T C Crowther, Weybridge North, LD;
I T Donaldson, Molesey South, MRA;
V G Eldridge, Molesey South, MRA;
C Gibbons, St George's Hill, SGHI;
D Lowe, Thames Ditton, TD & WGRA;
M MacLeod, Weybridge North, LD;
C Sadler, Walton Central, WS;
L Sharp, Weston Green, TD & WGRA;
J R Turner, Hinchley Wood, HWRA.
The Chairman abstained. The
substitutes were - I Donaldson for
Kopitko, M MacLeod for Kapadia, C R
Sadler for D Walsh, J G Sheldon for
D E Palmer and J Sutton for D
A letter we have just
received expresses one resident's concern
about the voting -
'Assault on Hampton Court Palace'
"Of all the natural wonders of
England none continues to be more
systematically abused than the River
Thames as it passes through London. To
add yet another injury, Elmbridge
District Council now appears to be
poised to approve a large development
opposite Hampton Court Palace, on the
so-called Jolly Boatman site.
The guardians of the Palace, Historic
Royal Palaces, has objected vigorously.
So have the London Borough of Richmond,
Surrey County Council, the Thames
Landscape Strategy (set up to offer
well-researched guidance on just such
issues) and the Campaign to Protect
Despite the contentious issues, Hazel
Blears, Secretary of State for
Communities and Local Government, has
refused to call a public inquiry, saying
this is a matter which can be decided
locally. This is an abdication of
responsibility worthy of Pontius Pilate.
BBC News item on the Jolly Boatman
Watch the video here:
'PLANNING' Magazine 5th December 2008.
Obviously Greater Manchester has a
greater respect for this grade II listed
tollhouse than Elmbridge Council does for
Hampton Court Palace.
News Flash 27/11/2008
reconvened Embridge Planning meeting took
place last night. Its purpose, to present
requested 'new material' to Councillors dealing
with issues of viability, affordable housing and
traffic. The Traffic proposals were presented
again, having been modified only days
before. The viability issue was addressed only
through Martin Parker's own material, and
Councillors were rightly concerned about its
objectivity. Repeatedly Councillors pressed for
an independent review, Councillor Crowther
calling Parker's account 'Fairyland economics'.
This discussion rolled over into Affordable
Housing which was equally unconvincing.
In deciding this planning
consent Councillors were once again asked to
take a leap of faith, which 10 sensibly did
not. The 12 Councillors who opted
for approval of the scheme did not represent
Molesey and led by Roy Taylor, towed the
Conservative Party line.
Because the result was so
close, the decision will now be heard in front
of a special meeting of the full Council, of 60
members, at a future date to be determined and
as soon as the date is confirmed it will be
posted on this website.
warmly thanks its supporters for giving up their
evening to make their presence felt in the
Public Gallery last night, it was again an
Spread the word.
PS: If you haven't already
done so, please ensure you've signed our on-line
News Flash 18/11/2008
HCRC to urgently lobby the
Leader of Elmbridge Council and our Members
of Parliament before the meeting on 26
November. You can
download a letter to email, or send your
own individual letter.
Because Secretary of State, Hazel Blears has
denied the request for a public inquiry, it is
now vital that our Councillors are supported in
reaching the right decision for the Hampton
Court Station site.
Elmbridge Council's full Planning Committee
met on Tues 11th Nov, rightly deciding by 11
votes to 10, to defer judgement on the
application. The majority agreed that the report
by Head of Planning's, Martin Parker,
recommending the scheme, was incomplete and that
too many questions had gone unanswered.
Parker dismissed the importance of the
thousands of 'letters of representation' sent to
his Department and when pressed was unable to
supply figures, either for or against, Over and
above the collective submissions by Residents
Assoc. and community groups, the public should
feel very aggrieved that the 3,845* individual
responses opposing the scheme, has made so
A deeper examination of Surrey County
Council's traffic proposals was made
particularly difficult by the lack of adequate
diagrams. The subject of the absent Traffic
Safety Audit was raised, relevant to the
pedestrian/vehicular conflict across the
Riverfront Square, recognised as 'an accident
waiting to happen' and also the added
mileages/pollution and congestion associated
with the new road layout. Parker's perfunctory
explanations and reliance on the developer's own
uncorroborated statistics made resolution
Gladedale's justification for the
under-provision of affordable housing was
challenged. This, Cllrs stressed, would need
serious scrutiny, setting as it would, a
precedent for other developments in the Borough.
Finally, the developer's interpretation of
the 1999 Planning Brief's guidelines on
build-density was strongly contested, but again
using only Parker's controversial report for
The resolution to defer the decision is
entirely correct. Martin Parker's report is not
an accurate reflection of the facts in this
application and Councillors should not be asked
to compromise themselves by relying on blind
faith. The Councillors' concerns are shared by
The Head of Planning must revise his existing
report and offer it once again for public
scrutiny. The next meeting of the Planning
Committee on the 26th Nov. must be postponed to
allow more time for public consultation.
from calculations in the Full Planning meeting'
Agenda 31st Oct 2008
News Flash 12/11/2008
The 11 November Planning meeting at Elmbridge
to decide the fate of Gladedale's Hampton Court
Station proposals went ahead.
To the surprise of those assembled, after
individual addresses by Councillors of the full
Planning Committee to a packed audience, a
motion was carried 11 to 10 to defer the
Application, pending more extensive
investigation. This was specific to the impact
of the traffic proposals, clarification of
building density and affordable housing
provision, details and statistics to be
furnished in full by Gladedale.
The role of the Head of Planning, Martin
Parker is now being strongly questioned, having
failed to ask for clarification of these areas
before making his own recommendations approving
the scheme. Similarly, why he did not quiz
English Heritage about its approval of the
second application, after an apparent 'U turn'
from the first.
Since Martin Parker's recommendations were
published, there have now been two meetings of
the Council's Planning Committee, there will
soon be a third.
HCRC supporters have been
sending letters to Parker in their thousands,
highlighting the very real concerns raised at
last night's meeting. It is extremely
frustrating to admit that he has not heeded our
voices and that much time and money has and will
be spent going 'back to the drawing board'.
HCRC awaits the imminent
decision by the Secretary of State to grant a
public inquiry. It has worked tirelessly,
alongside a long line of other statutory
consultees, to remove this important decision
from local government, and raise it to national
As soon as
HCRC learns of a decision from
the Sec. of State, it will release an e-mail
shot and post on our site.
News Flash 9/11/2008
Following an appeal by Hampton Court Palace
to the Government of the South East an "Article
14" order has been placed on Elmbridge Council.
This allows the Government more time to consider
a case, and stop the Elmbridge from granting
planning permission without the Secretary of
State’s approval. The Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP,
Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government is expected to make a decision in the
next three weeks.
John Barnes, Hampton Royal Palaces'
conservation director, ridiculed the idea of
“plonking down” urban buildings at the site. He
wrote, “Once breached, it’s breached for ever.
[The development’s] dominance and physical
proximity would diminish the importance of the
palace itself. It’s inconceivable to us that
this would be allowed next to Hampton Court
Palace. It would be unthinkable in other
countries. Imagine this outside the gates of
Versailles.” Read more in
News Flash 10/10/2008
Numerous local and national organisations met on
9th October to reject the scheme, these
HCRC, Historic Royal Palaces,
Molesey Residents Association, Thames Landscape
Strategy, Conservation Area Advisory Committee,
the Hampton Society, Thames Ditton/Weston Green
Residents Assoc, Hampton Wick Assoc., Feltham
Avenue Residents Assoc., Hampton Court Assoc.
and the Friends of Bushy Park.
Any representations, objections, support or
comments should be made in writing to the Head
of Town Planning via email:
or by post to Head of Town Planning, Civic
Centre, Esher KT10 9SD.
to Building on Hampton Court Riverside
Over 3,000 signatures against the scheme were
handed to the Mayor on 8 August.
WHY WE SAY NO.
Brian Rusbridge has written a 45 page report
from the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign that
makes it clear why we are calling for the
rejection of the Planning Proposals in their
entirety. In brief, The document points out the
massive size of the new development, which is 20
times the size of the existing station, the
serious flood risk (the site is Flood Zone 3,
the highest risk), the increased air pollution,
the ground contamination from the old railway
shed and turntable, and the failure to protect
the natural and historic environment as the
Campaign to Protect Rural England has also
pointed out to the Council.
In addition, the traffic chaos and danger will
be made worse and during and after the three
year construction period and East Molesey
streets will have to cope with the additional
commuter traffic caused by closure of the
railway car park and its eventual replacement
with an inadequate underground car park.
The report makes it clear that the Hampton Court
Rescue Campaign supports the Royal Star & Garter
Homes but believes it has been "ruthlessly used
as an emotional 'front'" and is concerned that
it locked into a scheme that is wholly
inappropriate for its needs and is worried that
it may get hurt in the process. (Read
the complete 45 page Adobe PDF file - if you
do not have the Adobe PDF reader
click here first).
What is to be done?
the letter from Bryan Woodriff (Professor
Emeritus) Co-coordinator Hampton Court Rescue
Campaign for a well considered answer to this
Hampton Court Rescue Campaign is dedicated to
restoring, preserving and safeguarding the
future of the Hampton Court site:
• As a major tourist venue of national
• As a vital component of the precinct of
Hampton Court Palace.
• As an integral feature of the communities
on both sides of the River Thames.
We were founded in July 2006, to fight off
proposals to build an intensive development on
the Jolly Boatman site directly opposite Hampton
This is the new design for the hotel but
the artists impression gives a
misleading idea of the size of the new
development. This is clearer in the
elevation shown below.
The true scale of the new development is
made clear by this accurate elevation.
The new development has been outlined
using a thick black line.
poster as a PDF file.