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Following on from our July Newsletter, we wanted to let you know that the planning application for the proposed partial demolition of the existing Roupell House to provide 23 Council owned affordable homes has now been submitted and is available to view online.

If you would like to view all the documents associated and submitted with the planning application and if you would like to  make any comments please visit: https://publicaccess.kingston.gov.uk/online-applications and enter the reference number:  20/02213/FUL

Hello! Welcome to our website which aims to provide you with information on our plans to redevelop part of Roupell House and to give you the opportunity to have your say on our emerging proposals.

We will regularly update this website to include any updated design proposals and any other information or news as we progress towards submitting our planning application.  If you would like to be kept up to date on our emerging proposals for Roupell House, please take a couple of minutes to register.

Please note that any visuals or photographs shown on this website are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change.

Introduction

Roupell House is part of the Kingston Small Sites Affordable Housing Programme being delivered by  The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to provide affordable council-owned housing in small sites across Kingston. Homes built under the programme will be some of the first that the Borough has directly commissioned within the last 30 years and will remain in the council’s ownership as part of their general housing stock.

The programme is being funded through the Greater London Assembly (GLA) ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ fund with additional funding from the Council.

Roupell House was formerly sheltered housing managed by the Council and is currently occupied by Property Guardians who manage the building providing low rent accommodation on the Council’s behalf.

The site is located on Lowther Road and Florence Road and lies within a largely residential area with good facilities and transport links. Kingston Town Centre and Kingston Railway Station are situated a short 12min walk to the west of the site, whilst the Kingston Gate entrance to Richmond Park is the same distance to the east. Local schools, nurseries, doctors surgery and local shopping facilities are all located within 5 minutes travel time from the site. 

The replacement development  would repurpose an out-of-use housing site with modern, fit for purpose homes for Kingston, at genuinely affordable rent levels.

Proposals

The proposal is for a combination of a 3 and 4 storey building delivering 23 one and two bedroom homes and will benefit the local street scene by providing an attractive frontage onto Lowther Road and new landscaping around the site.

The scheme will create a small new  park facing onto Lowther Road.  This park will upgrade the existing area of open space with new tree planting and play facilities.  The park will be open to existing residents and those living in the new homes.  A small private garden will be provided for the use of new residents only to the west of the new building.

There will be two separate entrance lobbies, one off Florence Road and the other off Lowther Road.  Each entrance lobby will have a separate bin and bike store.  The refuse collection will take place from Florence Road utilising the existing turning head and off street from Lowther Road.

All homes will be designed to a high standard including dual aspect wherever possible and the provision of private open space for each home.

Aerial View from South East
View of Lowther Road looking West
View of Lowther Road looking West
View of proposed communal space and East elevation
View of proposed communal space and East elevation
View of proposed block from Florence Road looking South
View of proposed block from Florence Road looking South
View of proposed communal entrance from Florence Road
View of proposed communal entrance from Florence Road

Drawings

Roupell House Ground Floor Plan
Proposed Ground Floor Plan
Roupell House Landscape Plan
Proposed Landscape Plan

Public Exhibition

Exhibition presentation with audio

Due to the current circumstances, our Public Exhibition will be held online via webinar on the following days. The project team will present the proposed scheme and will respond to any questions raised:

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://bartonwillmore.zoom.us/j/93809271330?pwd=OHJSYmZranF1MlpsQTlDYnNxWnBDUT09
Password: 021775

Or iPhone one-tap :
United Kingdom: +441314601196,,93809271330#,,1#,021775# or +442034815237,,93809271330#,,1#,021775#

Or Telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
United Kingdom: +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237 or +44 203 481 5240 or +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592 or +44 330 088 5830
Webinar ID: 938 0927 1330
Password: 021775
International numbers available: https://bartonwillmore.zoom.us/u/aehL7bozIN

Or iPhone one-tap :
United Kingdom: +442034815240,,99925939246#,,1#,876170# or +442080806591,,99925939246#,,1#,876170#

Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
United Kingdom: +44 203 481 5240 or +44 208 080 6591 or +44 208 080 6592 or +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196 or +44 203 481 5237
Webinar ID: 999 2593 9246
Password: 876170
International numbers available: https://bartonwillmore.zoom.us/u/adkakn9vxL

If you can’t attend either of these days or times, an audio recording of our presentation is available here.  Alternatively, please email or telephone us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Have Your Say

The consultation period on this scheme has now finished, however there will be a further opportunity for you to comment on the scheme once we have submitted our planning application and the Council start their own consultation period.

Please click here to see our newsletter which gives you some details on the feedback we received from the consultation.

Please leave us your details if you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of this development

We take data protection seriously. Please only provide your personal details if you are willing for them to be used by Barton Willmore and the project team for the purpose of research in connection with this project and in order to update you on the progress of the project. Your details will be treated as confidential and will not be shared, passed on or used by any third parties and they will only be retained until the end of the planning process for the project, after which time they will be deleted.If you wish to withdraw consent to the processing of your personal data you may do so by emailing: Roupell.House@bartonwillmore.co.uk

FAQs

What will it mean for the current residents/guardians of Roupell House? How long would we have to find another place to live? How have the COVID restrictions been considered if residents need to vacate (i.e. will there be a phased plan for residents to vacate)? Would we be given any priority in being placed in one of these new homes?

The residents living in the part of Roupell House which is not being redeveloped will not be required to move. For those in the part of the building to be regenerated, individual discussions on priority and restrictions will take place with the housing team and move based upon individual circumstances.

How will the buildings, communal areas and landscaping be maintained to ensure safety tidiness and cleanliness?

This, as now, will be undertaken by the Council’s Housing Management function.

How will the small park and children’s play area be maintained, as this is a notoriously tricky area to keep safe and clean?

This, as now, will be undertaken by the Council’s Housing Management function. However, we are aware during consultation that this is of great concern to residents. The development team has asked the Housing Management Team to consider how all communal areas might be managed more effectively, as part of this new build programme.

Will the same caretaker for Dale Court be expected to maintain/clean the new building?

That is yet to be decided. Consultation has shown us that improvements are necessary, and we will look at how we bring this forward.

What is going to happen to the space under Dale Court? Why can’t this be used as parking with a security gate with fob key entrance for residents?

We are actively looking, as a result of the consultation, at how we might improve this parking area. Parking is one use that we will evaluate.

When will the Council start looking after Dale Court? There are current issues with graffiti, leaking gutters, fly-tipping, filthy bins and landscaping which has been vandalised.

The points made about the management of the Dale Court have been received and noted. There is improvement to be made and the comments received during this consultation have been passed to the Housing Management Team

Kingston Community School is closed? Where are new residents’ children meant to go to school?

The proposed homes will be 100% affordable and for Kingston residents on the Council’s housing list. Therefore, prospective tenants would be existing local residents and the proposal would not be adding additional pressures to the local infrastructure and services.

Who will occupy the proposed Roupell House? Roupell House was previously occupied by the elderly and infirm only.

The occupants will be from the Council’s Housing List.

Will the Council own the proposed Roupell House?

The Council will have full ownership of the proposed Roupell House.

Can the proposed Roupell House ever be sold on to the private sector, or are there restrictive covenants to prevent this?

Individual flats can be purchased under Right to Buy, as with all Council stock. The freehold building will however remain in the Council’s ownership. In theory, and like all Councils in England, Council-owned housing stock could be transferred to a registered provider such as a housing association in the future. However, this would require a ballot of tenants and a substantial change in current Council policy. The Council is committed to retaining, investing, and growing the number of Council homes.

How much money for this project is coming from GLA and how much from RBK?

£100,000 per new home is being made by grant from the GLA. the remainder is funding by the Council through its Housing Revenue Account.

How will you enforce non car ownership within the lease terms for the new building?

The council cannot enforce non car ownership within a lease. This is a car free development and car use is discouraged by the Council in favour of sustainable transport. New residents will not be able to apply for a parking permit in the area.

Will occupants of the proposed Roupell House have access to high speed broadband?

Both Virgin Media and Openreach have fibre networks available for Roupell House, offering similar speeds and packages. The building will be wired to accept both Openreach FTTP and Virgin FTTC. Residents will be able to choose the supplier and the speed of the network that they desire.

What plans are envisaged for the other [western] part of Roupell House and on what timescale?

The Council has no plans for the redevelopment of this part of the estate.

Why has the scheme been designed in this way?

We have responded by being complementary to the existing architecture. To do this we have varied the scale and design to best suit the existing Victorian terraces in Lowther Road, and the larger scale of Dale Court. New apartments will be built to the highest quality, to achieve the quality standards which are set out and will meet all planning standards and building regulations.

How much bigger is the footprint of the new proposal to the existing property?

The footprint is very similar. The only difference is that the building has been moved slightly to the East, and away from the properties on Lowther Road. The footprint of the existing Roupell House is 632sqm and the proposed footprint of the new building is 642sqm.

How tall is Dale Court?

Dale Court is 11.5 metres to the ridge, stepping down to approximately 11.0 metres at the west elevation (facing the new proposal).

What are the heights of the proposed buildings?

The proposed 4 storey building is 13 metres tall, and the 3 storey building is 9.5 metres tall.

Dale Court is too tall for the area and does not respect the scale of the Victorian terraces. Why has this not been considered in the design?

The proposed buildings have been designed so that they are in keeping with the scale of the surrounding buildings. Although the taller part of the design steps up to meet that of Dale Court, this will help to visually integrate it. The height then steps down to complement the smaller Victorian terraces in Lowther Road, this will visually bring together both scales.

Why does the building appear taller than Dale Court, even though it has the same number of storeys at the tallest part?

Modern regulations require increased floor to ceiling heights compared to past regulations; therefore, the proposed building would be marginally taller than Dale Court despite being the same number of storeys. These regulations help to create more airy and spacious accommodation and a better standard of living for future occupiers.

If Roupell House housed 23 occupants in its current form, why is it necessary to add another floor to house the same number of residents?

The extra space that we have incorporated within each home, requires that an extra floor be included to achieve the best possible living standards for modern life. The homes in the existing Roupell House are much smaller, and the quality of accommodation is poorer. We are proposing home sizes that are required by the London Plan, which is a quality control measure that we use to ensure that adequate space standards are achieved.

If the Roupell House development was kept to 3 storeys how many homes would you lose?

We would lose four homes. This would consist of:
x1 one bed;
x2 two bed; and
x1 three bed home

The proposed alleyway is narrow, and it could be used as a hub for anti-social behaviour, which is already a common problem within the estate. Why hasn’t this been made wider and more exposed in the design?

The alleyway has been increased in width from 2.9 m to 4.0 m. This will improve sightlines from Florence Road through to Lowther Road, making the route safer. In addition, ground floor units will have front doors onto the new space between Roupell House and Dale Court, and there will also be an entrance to the apartment block facing Florence Road. These entrances will encourage passive surveillance and discourage anti-social activity in the area around the building.

How will you ensure that disabled access is provided across the development?

We will make sure that the access is maintained, landscaping and street furniture is placed and that drop kerbs are included, in a way that will allow disabled access.

Where are the new residents expected to park their cars?

This is a car -free development, therefore new residents will be required to sign a tenancy agreement which will contain a clause that they will not own a car which will be parked in the resident area.

New residents will not be entitled to apply for a parking permit.

Will there be an allowance for visitor and disabled parking?

This is a car free development and no disabled parking, or visitor parking is proposed as part of the development.
New residents who require the use of a disabled parking space will be able to apply as a Blue Badge permit holder and park within the existing parking provision on-street.

Visitors to the new development will be expected to arrive by non-car modes, and the existing Controlled Parking Zone on local roads should effectively influence this trend. However, should some visitors arrive by car, they will be expected to park within Pay and Display parking spaces and pay for parking.

Which roads will be affected by construction traffic?

The construction access strategy is to be agreed with the Council as a condition of the planning permission, should this be granted.

A detailed Construction Management Plan will be submitted by the developer for approval by the Council. If parking spaces in surrounding roads are needed to be suspended, this will be agreed with Kingston Council and effort will be made to minimise this impact as far as possible

When will demolition of existing flats be carried out and How long will it last?

Subject to planning, demolition will be carried out from March 2021 and it will last around 8 weeks.

How will the Council ensure that pollution (including asbestos and noise) from demolition does not affect surrounding properties?

Asbestos will be carefully removed by specialists from the building before demolition commences. The building will be dismantled slowly, and with a single piece of plant. Dust suppression methods will be utilised throughout the demolition and clearance period.

How long will construction last in total?

Construction will take about 2 years. This duration is from vacant possession and includes site set up, diversions and demolition to completion of the build process. This timeframe also considers our experiences of operating in the current social distancing requirements.

How does the scheme intend to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB)? This is a huge problem in the area currently.

We are aware of the reports of ASB and will incorporate as far as possible in the designs, so we can avoid concentrations of ASB. However, some aspects of ASB will still need to be considered by the Council’s management and local police.

We can only comment in terms of how the design of the scheme has approached this. The scheme has considered ‘passive surveillance’ and ‘positive overlooking’. What this means is that we have designed the scheme so that it always allows for residents to clearly view shared areas, which is widely accepted as a way of preventing areas were antisocial behaviour could take place. The design incorporates elements such as front doors, which overlook shared spaces.

Furthermore, the scheme design will be reviewed by the Metropolitan Police once the application has been submitted. The Metropolitan Police are a Statutory Consultee, whom the Council are required to consult when assessing any planning application. The Police will assess the design and feedback on any improvements which could be made in order to make it as secure and resilient to antisocial behaviour as possible.

What are the development plans for Dale Court, York House and the Council properties on Florence Road?

We cannot comment on the Council’s plans for sites outside of the four small sites that we are working on. We have however taken note of questions and concerns from residents of Dale Court and have passed these onto the Council. We will of course provide any updates we receive back to residents.

Who decides the outcome of the planning application, and how can objections be made?

The application will be decided by the Planning Committee, which consists of elected Members of the Council. The Council Planning Officer, will propose a recommendation to the Members but has no overall say in the decision.

What steps have been taken to ensure this is an environmentally sustainable development?

It is proposed that the developments will comply with the following policy requirements:

1. Sustainable Design and Construction: High standards of sustainable design and construction are to be achieved to improve environmental performance including minimising CO2 emissions, efficient use of resources, minimising pollution, sustainable procurement of materials and protecting biodiversity;

2. Climate Change Adaptation: The development must take into consideration hotter summers and therefore increased cooling demands; warmer, damper winters and increased flood risk; water shortages and drought; urban heat island effect; and subsidence;

3. Biodiversity and Ecology: New planting proposed, green space between proposal and Dale Court;

4. Water Consumption: Water saving measures and equipment to be incorporated to minimise the use of mains water to 105 litres/person/day internal water use;

5. Cycle Storage: Secure, integrated and accessible cycle parking facilities to be provided in life with minimum requirements; and

6. Car free development: To promote use of sustainable public transport.

Does the design consider the long term running costs of a household on a restricted budget? For example: will the building be insulated to maximise heat loss, to ensure energy bills are as low as possible?

An energy strategy will be developed which considers both running costs and carbon emissions. Modern insulation methods will be used so that homes are kept warm and running costs are kept as low as reasonably possible. Methods for optimising and minimising water consumption will also be employed.

Will the proposed buildings include lifts for those who cannot manage the stairs?

Roupell House will not include lifts, due to the building comprising of only four storeys in the tallest block. All accessible homes will be situated on the ground floor.

Why are you carrying out consultation during lockdown?

Due to the current social distancing rules in place, we have not been able to carry out face to face engagement with the community. The initial engagement method was a distribution of leaflets to existing Roupell House residents and other neighbouring residents in the area, which gave a brief overview of the scheme, and outlined available communication methods of; digital, telephone email This ensured that we met the needs of those who did not have access to digital methods and those who might be in digital poverty. All feedback is available online and will be used to inform the final plans for the scheme.

Due to the COVID restrictions, the public engagement exhibition was replaced with two webinars, with open access, allowing anyone to log on and participate in the discussion and ask questions directly to the development team. The first webinar was on 22nd June 2020 and the second on 23rd June 2020.

Why hasn’t more time for consultation been allocated?

There is no statutory guidance on how long pre-application public consultation should be held for. Generally, consultation takes place over a shorter period, on sites of this size, with perhaps a public exhibition over one or two days with about a week given to submit comments. Due to Covid-19, it has not been possible to hold any engagement face to face but we have held 2 live webinars; we have a recording of the presentation on our website with feedback capabilities and we have an email address and telephone number for any residents or interested parties to contact us if they do not feel comfortable accessing webinars or navigating websites. We have given residents 4 weeks to respond and share their thoughts and opinions with us, which is generally longer than face to face consultation. Statutory consultation post submission of a planning application is 21 days for residents to respond. We have had a really good response from residents so far via webinars, telephone, email and our website.

Has everyone on the panel visited the site?

Key members of the design team have all visited the site. One member of the Planning team and Community Engagement team have not yet visited the site, due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, but will do so as soon as they can. The Council’s planning officer will visit the site in due course.

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