Hampton Court Rescue Campaign

 Why We Say No 

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On 8 August we handed 3,000 signatures against the development at Hampton Court station to the mayor and submitted a 45 page report (read the complete 45 page Adobe PDF file - if you do not have the Adobe PDF reader click here first) that calls for the rejection of the Planning Proposals in their entirety.

The report points out the massive size of the new development (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 both during and after the three year construction period and East Molesey's 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 is now locked into a scheme that is wholly inappropriate for its needs and it may therefore get hurt in the process. 

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.