Saturday, 20 October 2012

Clock is ticking on Boatman developer

The Jolly Boatman site at Hampton Court

TIME is running out for the developer Gladedale to build a hotel, retail and care home complex on land around Hampton Court Station.

It has to satisfy Elmbridge Council that it has met 56 pre-conditions before it can start work, and must do so by June 16th 2013 when planning permission is due to expire.

As of late October 10 conditions had been approved, ranging from the types of materials to be used, to the buffer zone between the River Ember and the development, tree retention, a 'green roof' and more.

A further condition will be discussed at a council sub-committee on November 5th, and submissions for 13 other conditions have been received by Elmbridge Council.

Meanwhile an alternative plan for a park at the part of the site where the former Jolly Boatman pub once stood, was submitted by Thames Ditton resident Andrew Roberts and ex-Hampton Court consultant architect Keith Garner. It was supported by hundreds of letters from the public and was granted planning permission by Elmbridge Borough Council without the need for a debate and vote in council chambers.

Elmbridge Council Leader, John O’Reilly, said: "If the application had come before the Planning Committee I would have spoken strongly in favour and would certainly have voted in support. But of course to make it actually happen, the applicants have to own the site and the developer being willing to sell to them. That’s definitely a big challenge."

Steve Bax, Chairman of the Molesey Conservative Residents, added: "The prevailing view in Molesey - and one Molesey Conservatives agree with - is that a landscaped garden would be the best outcome at the Jolly Boatman site. It would preserve the view of the historic Hampton Court Palace from this side of the river.

“Molesey Conservatives were pleased that Elmbridge Council approved the Roberts-Garner design, and we would urge Gladedale to enter into negotiations with residents in good faith, with a view to selling the site to the community if it is unable to meet its planning conditions by the June deadline."