Hampton Court Rescue Campaign

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The HCRC endeavours to maintain the highest possible profile for the campaign, making use of the valuable publicity from both local and national newspapers. Press releases are sent out routinely, to update and inform all of our supporters. There are now so many articles against the scheme in the press that we are unable to list them individually.

We are also actively looking for companies wishing to advertise, click here for more information.

Press Release: 13th October 2008

Hampton Court Rescue Campaign consolidates support.

Objection to the Gladedale development at Hampton Court Station was bolstered last Thursday evening when the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign asked heads of Societies, leaders of local and national Groups and interested bodies to a private, invitation-only meeting hosted at Hampton Court Palace.

The 60 guests represented substantial local and National organisations. The aim of the meeting, to bring together the numerous and diverse groups collectively opposed to the plans for the huge development planned for the Station and Jolly Boatman riverside sites opposite the world famous Hampton Court Palace .

Beside speakers from the HCRC, Historic Royal Palaces and Molesey Residents Association addressed the meeting which was followed by an open Forum of constructive discussion. Those attending also included delegates from; 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. All of these groups sustain considerable membership numbers and their support swells the thousands of existing endorsements for rejection of the scheme. The evening allowed these individual groups to adopt an agreed course of action in advance of the imminent meeting by the Elmbridge Northern Area Planning Committee, on 28th October 08 which will decide the Applications.

Looking forward to closer collaboration and showing solidarity, the guests signed an open letter expressing support for the HCRC and its objectives.

Brian Rusbridge co-coordinator for the HCRC said

“It has been clear to the HCRC from the outset that this plan must be judged at Public Enquiry, this is not just a local issue. Few Planning Applications are worthy of such scrutiny, but this site is of foremost historic importance and should be assured National and International attention. This meeting has been most fruitful and the ‘meeting of minds’ has helped to reinforce greater unity that will allow us to move forward together”

For comment please contact HCRC co-coordinators
Brian Rusbridge CBE 0208 979 4952 for Molesey
Prof Bryan Woodriff 0208 979 8272 for Hampton

For more information about the Campaign see www.hamptoncourtrescuecampaign.com

Press Release: 4th August 2008


The Hampton Court Rescue Campaign is pressing for a Public Enquiry to decide the future of the important Hampton Court Station site, following submission of yet another Gladedale Planning Application. This has the endorsement of Dr Vince Cable MP for Richmond. Molesey residents have endured the derelict state of the Jolly Boatman for long enough, but this development is not the answer.

A welcome statement was issued to HCRC by HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES on Friday 1st August 2008.


Historic Royal Palaces has for many years been actively involved in discussions about the future of the Jolly Boatman and Hampton Court railway station sites. We responded in opposition to Gladedale’s scheme as proposed during their public consultation in 2007. We formally objected to their first planning application, our opposition being based on the detrimental visual impact the scheme would have on the setting of Hampton Court Palace, its gardens and parkland. These form an historic ensemble of outstanding national and European importance. The proposed development will have a significant impact on – and almost obliterate - key views to and from the palace. We deplore the overall density and scale of the development which would be a major intrusion in the rural landscape of this section of the River Thames.

The recent second application is substantially the same as the original, except that it shows a different architectural treatment of the proposed hotel on the former Jolly Boatman site. The “enveloping” of the hotel with Georgian-style elevations does not, in our view, do anything to make this bulky and dominant building more acceptable visually or sympathetic to its historic context.

In summary, the development shown in both the original and the latest planning applications would have a major detrimental impact on the setting of Hampton Court Palace and on the rural nature of the River Thames at this location. The proposed hotel would seriously damage forever the views to and from the palace and cause harm to the character of the area.

We continue to call on Elmbridge Borough Council to refuse planning consent for the reasons set out above.

If you would like to read more about HRP’s position on the development please visit our website www.hrp.org.uk/aboutus/jollyboatman.aspx

HCRC is campaigning against this development because of its detrimental effect on the community of Molesey. It is easy to be taken in by Gladedale’s recent ‘Newsletter’. The artist’s impression tempts with its low-level, sweeping view of the Station setting, masked by copious tree cover, but this is very misleading. This is a HUGE DEVELOPMENT, the actual height, scale, and dimensions of the Hotel complex will be much more imposing and will overwhelm the Thames riverfront.

The MRA has also expressed concern about these plans in its latest newsletter which states “that it is completely against what we see as a total overdevelopment of this sensitive site”.

  • With pressure on developers NOT to build on areas with recognised Flood Risk, why is a double-storey underground car park being considered for this site, an Environment Agency designated ‘ZONE 3 HIGH RISK’ area?

  • How can SAFETY AND SECURITY be guaranteed to users of the sub-surface car-park? At night particularly, anti-social behaviour and vandalism can be expected unless restricted opening hours are adopted.

  • The SCC Traffic plan fits all 3 Applications. This intends to reverse traffic- flow UP Bridge Rd and extend the Gyratory to PREVENT its use as a roundabout. There will be NO RIGHT TURN out of the new Car park, thus requiring a trip to Imber Court roundabout to return to the bridge. There will be a huge increase in parking locally due to there being NO parking provision for hotel visitors.

  • The scheme will ADD 6488 SQ FT of retail and commercial space. Given this new on-site retail opportunity our many thousands of visitors will have no need to cross the busy main road. This will surely threaten the livelihoods and businesses of our local BRIDGE ROAD TRADERS.

  • There are 3 different designs for the Hotel complex. Whichever Hotel plan is favoured, the remaining parts of the original scheme, the urban, contemporary ‘villas’, mews’, Care Home etc, will be GRAFTED ON. Hampton Court Way for example will retain its bland ‘John Lewis’ looks.

Gladedale and the Royal Star and Garter Homes Charity have once again been sending leaflets, far and wide, enclosing Freepost pro-forma postcards of support. These are swamping Elmbridge Planning Dept. This is a new Planning Application and previous letters may not apply, so please, please write again.

The Elmbridge Planning website gives the 8th August 08 as the call-off date for receipt of correspondence but letters sent after this date will still be valid. The HCRC urges everyone to register their rejection of the new scheme by writing to:

Head of Town Planning,
Elmbridge Borough Council,
Civic Centre,
Esher KT10 9SD

quoting the planning numbers 2008/1600 or by email: tplan@elmbridge.gov.uk

Finally, HCRC is very grateful for the continuing support of the many local residents who are concerned about these proposals. We will continue to fight to obtain the best possible outcome for local people and business.

More HCRC info is available on our website www.hamptoncourtrescuecampaign.com


Press Release: 27th June 2008

Hampton Court Rescue Campaign

Gladedale, the developer responsible for the scheme at Hampton Court Railway Station/Jolly Boatman site has put forward a second, new plan for the Hotel building sited on the riverside facing the Palace.

According to its spokesman, Paul Lemar

‘We are willing to build whichever option that is preferred by the Council’

The HCRC and its supporters would like to respond by restating their view, that the riverside plot specifically, should remain an open space, free from Gladedale’s proposed multi-storey development, The new plan allows for the retention of the listed Lutyens embankment, which the HCRC applaud, but this is simply part of a remodelling of the Hotel facade, where its size and scale remain unchanged and as before, will obstruct the setting of the Palace and its historic landscape.

HCRC hopes that the Council will set aside the proposed restyling of the Hotel in favour of more serious and practical issues.

The most recent Flood risk assessment of the site for example, has issued a new designation, that of ‘zone 3 high risk’. The Council’s Development Brief was devised in 1999 and does not take this into account.

Also, the proposed Traffic plan for the area encompassing the development and Hampton Court Bridge, presents very serious questions. The Council will need to study the full impact of the new road layout on both the local and general road user, before considering the aesthetic of the Hotel design.

HCRC will not be sidetracked by the presentation of these Hotel modifications. Work will continue with other local, National and Government Bodies to move this Planning Application up to Public Enquiry where a decision as important as this should be judged.

For further comment, contact

HCRC Joint co-ordinator Brian Rusbridge CBE 0208 979 4952

For further information visit our website www.hamptoncourtrescuecampaign.com or contact Mary Brook 01932 789557

02/01/08 Molesey News and Mail 'English Heritage joins objectors to Boatman plan'

challenges revised Gladedale proposals for development at
Hampton Court

The Hampton Court Rescue Campaign is challenging revised plans submitted by the Gladedale Group for the redevelopment of Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman site.

The HCRC has studied Gladedale's modifications from the original 2005 proposals and would like to contradict their new claims.

  • Gladedale advertises having made significant reductions to the number of residential apartments, from 130 to 66.

This is simply the amalgamation of the Royal Star and Garter Care Home into the site. It has not reduced the overall density of the scheme.

  • The stepping back of development from the riverside.
In real terms the hotel building at the riverside has merely turned on its original axis.
  • The reduction in height from 5 to 4 storeys
The plan for the hotel remains 4 storeys high, the new design integrating its 4th floor into the roof space. This will continue to exceed the Elmbridge 1999 planning brief that allows 3.

Brian Rusbridge Co-ordinator HCRC says "Our response to these plans is that they still take no account of the historical setting of the Hampton Court Station and Jolly Boatman sites opposite the landmark of Hampton Court palace and the impact on the environment will be extremely damaging".

Over the weekend representatives and supporters of the Hampton Court Rescue Campaign attended an exhibition of Gladedale's proposals for the development of Hampton Court Station and the Jolly Boatman site. On display were the full plans that form the Planning Application submission to Elmbridge Borough Council.

In 2005, Gladedale Group and Network Rail held their first public consultation on outline plans for the scheme. It is following 'over 2 years of consultation with local groups and other interested parties' that now in 2007, the public are able to see in detail, the scale and style of the scheme.

Gladedale has produced an unimaginative scheme that insults the historic setting. Using urban styling and contemporary materials, the buildings sit inappropriately in the landscape. Moreover, some elements of the proposals are unworkable, in particular the traffic management of the area that has been naively underestimated.

However, the exhibition offered the public an opportunity to see, for the first time, the potential for a renovated, improved and up-to-date railway station complex. With a much needed tourist information centre, regenerated buildings to provide offices and shops, toilet facilities and weather-proofed walkways. Regretfully, the high price paid for these improvements, being the building of the remainder of this intensive, multi-storey development. After 20 years of intentional dilapidation on the run-down site, it is easy to find any new development seductive, however unsuitable. However the HCRC believes progress in upgrading the station should proceed as a matter of obligation to the public service that Network Rail represents and not be dependant on the revenue provided by a house builder. It must be held to account for its reliance on the commercial viability of a joint-venture. Funded station improvements are possible. In a recent partnership between Royal Borough of Kingston, Surrey County Council, Dept. of Transport and SW Trains improvements have been made across the rail network with benefits to neighbouring Esher, Walton and Thames Ditton stations.

The occasion also gave the public the chance to meet representatives from the Royal Star and Garter Homes Charity, who plan to relocate their Home for disabled ex-service men and women into the development from Richmond Hill. The HCRC supports this worthy organisation but, having seen the plans for the new building, is surprised at its final choice of location. The residents, predominantly wheelchair users, will be challenged by the location of the Home, positioned as it is next to a busy trunk road and train-tracks. The solid, stone terraced riverbank will also present dangerous safety issues, not just for them but for the many thousands of young, possibly unsupervised children who visit the Palace. From the design standpoint, it is important to remember that there is planning guidance for the area, the Elmbridge 1999 planning Brief. The HCRC questions whether the 48.5ft high, 4 storey hotel block and the high build-density of the scheme will fall within its recommendations.

The HCRC and supporters are not satisfied with the new Gladedale plans and will continue to strive for the best possible outcome for the Jolly Boatman/Station redevelopment. The Campaign has a website www.hamptoncourtrescuecampaign.com with an open forum which has begun to receive responses from the public at large, not just from Molesey. This is after all a planning decision of National importance. The decision will carry with it a heavy weight of responsibility for the future of our historic buildings and heritage.

Contacts and further information can be obtained from our website.

  • 20/11/07 Molesey News and Mail 'Mixed reaction to the Jolly Boatman sit proposals'
  • 09/11/07 Walton and Weybridge Informer 'A jolly sight'
  • 27/06/07 Molesey News and Mail 'Councillors criticised over approach to Jolly Boatman'
  • 25/06/07 HCRC Formal Letter of Representation to EBC following the Scoping Report
  • 30/05/07 Molesey News and Mail 'Next phase for Jolly Boatman'
  • 27/04/07 Richmond Informer ‘We’re being hoodwinked’
  • 13/04/07 Richmond Informer ‘Star shooting southwards’
  • 13/04/07 Richmond Informer ‘Restoration project for hidden feature’, Bushy Park cascades
  • 18/04/07 Molesey News and Mail ‘Boatman site plans attacked’
  • 16/04/07 HCRC Press Release- Star and Garter Plans for Jolly Boatman
  • 11/04/07 Molesey News and Mail ‘Star and Garter plans for Jolly Boatman’
  • 04/04/07 Royal Star and Garter Homes, Press Release
  • 19/03/07 Molesey News and Mail
  • 28/02/07 Molesey News and Mail ‘Concern over rate of growth in Borough’s population’
  • 07/02/07 Molesey News and Mail ‘Flood management plan set to protect properties’
  • 29/11/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – ‘Time to look again at planning brief’ from Jenny Belchamber
  • 29/11/06 Molesey News and Mail, ‘Palace slams revised plans for boatman’
  • 23/11/06 Guardian Newspapers ‘New hotel plans a ‘farce’’
  • 22/11/06 Molesey News and Mail ‘Boatman changes promised’
  • 02/11/06 Guardian Newspapers, ‘Website protest at Jolly Boatman plan’
  • 26/10/06 Esher and Cobham Guardian, ‘Campaigners battle Island development’
  • 19/10/06 Guardian Newspapers, Letter – ‘Station site plan must be suitable’ from Ian Taylor MP
  • 18/10/06 Molesey News and Mail, ‘Campaigners unite against plans for Jolly Boatman’
  • 16/10/06 The Daily Telegraph, ‘Battle begins to save majestic View of Henry VIII’s Palace’
  • 12/10/06 Guardian Newspapers, ‘Campaigners fight for Hampton views’
  • 04/10/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter- ‘An amazing response to my letter’ from Jenny Belchamber
  • 01/10/06 Press Release and Flyer- HCRC demands immediate action.
  • 13/09/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter- ‘Suggestion that defies belief’ from Ernest Mallet, County Councillor
  • 06/09/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – ‘Approval raring is not impressive’ from Vera Scott & Nicki Wilson
  • 30/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – ‘ I’d prefer Jolly Boatman site to be left open’ from Kenneth Brown
  • 30/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – No option for Jolly Boatman is preferred’ from Iris Hawkes
  • 30/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, ‘English Heritage will oppose Boatman plans’
  • 24/08/06 Guardian Newspapers ‘No more building at Hampton Court’
  • 24/08/06 Esher & Cobham Guardian Newspapers, ‘Palace slides out of view’
  • 23/08/06 Surrey Comet, ‘Petition launched to secure Palace views’
  • 23/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter –‘Developer should stick to the Planning Brief’ from Cllr Mike Axton
  • 17/08/06 Guardian Newspapers, Letter – ‘Redevelopment must not rape the riverside’ from RH Moore
  • 15/08/06 Molesey News and Mail ‘ Group back to battle Boatman’
  • 10/08/06 Guardian Newspapers, letter – Development will destroy Hampton’ from Robert Wooley
  • 09/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – ‘Jolly Boatman plans should be viewed with dismay’ from Mrs H Cullis
  • 09/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, ‘Application for Boatman next month’
  • 03/08/06 Guardian Newspapers, ‘No need to build on Jolly Boatman site’
  • 02/08/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter- ‘Every Jolly Boatman plan is over developed’ from Jenny Belchamber
  • 27/07/06 Molesey News and Mail, Letter – ‘Such twisted logic is breathtaking’ from Brian Rusbridge CBE
  • 26/07/06 Molesey News and Mail, info piece. ‘Sketches for the regeneration of the Jolly Boatman’
  • 19/07/06 Molesey News and Mail ‘Opposition to Boatman site plans’
  • 29/06/06 Guardian Newspapers, ‘Radical makeover for Station planned’
  • 28/06/06 Molesey News and Mail, ‘New plans for Jolly Boatman’