Cumberland House – Concern at LibDem Council going back on their promises

L to R – Councillors Ian George, Rowena Bass and Ed Fram

As your Conservative ward councillors, we have always opposed the (now approved) plans for a nine-storey block of flats on the car park and playground site. The LibDem-run council took the decision to double the size of the originally planned building in a secret meeting, behind closed doors.

We also complained about the poor-quality consultation of Cumberland House residents that took place. However, it was clear that the LibDem councillors were going to do what they wanted, no matter what residents thought.

We are now determined to ensure that the views of Cumberland House residents are taken notice of during the build-out of the new block of flats.

Car parking spaces closing

You should have now been made aware (by letter from Kingston Council) that as from 14th March parking in the lower garage/parking area or in front of the garages above the car park will be closed. The garages above the car park will also be closed, and no parking will be allowed outside them either.

We do not think it is fair that some residents, including those with disabilities, will struggle to find a space on-site due to the number of spaces being taken. We have questioned why so many parking spaces need to be removed, and have asked that the decision be reviewed.

When the decision was made to proceed with the nine-storey block, your three ward councillors highlighted the fact that future residents of the new building were highly likely to park around Cumberland House, even though they are not supposed to. Although previously Cumberland House residents have refused the option of a controlled parking zone, it may be that once the new residents move in, a parking zone will be the only way that parking spaces can be protected. We have asked that prior to the new building being completed Cumberland House residents are consulted again on whether a controlled parking zone is wanted or not. Your Conservative ward Councillors will always support the views of the majority of Cumberland House residents.

Proposed changes to the play area

Kingston Council and their contractor have advised that the hoardings they will put up will mean that much of the play equipment will need to be moved temporarily. Unfortunately, no detail has yet been given and we have asked for more detail urgently. If play equipment has to be moved it is important that the area is left well maintained and there is plenty of useable space and equipment left for residents to use.

Kingston Council must now give residents more information

We have recently met with Council Officers and Countryside (the building contractor) in the lower car park, in order to find out how residents will be affected by the building works. We have requested the following information urgently:

  • Full details of the proposals for moving items of the play equipment, and in what state the remaining area will be left.
  • The exact location of the hoardings.
  • The timetable for preparing for any changes prior to the starting of the work, and the building work through to completion.
  • Full details of the proposed ‘improvements’ to the play/amenity area.
  • Details of work to be carried out on the trees, bushes, landscaping etc.

Concern that Kingston Council is not going to deliver on its promises

During the planning process both residents and councillors were led to believe that there would be substantial improvements to the remaining playground and green area.

However, it would seem that Kingston Council might be going back on this promise somewhat. As your councillors, we have let the Council Leader know that not would definitely not be acceptable.

We have demanded that Cumberland House are consulted properly prior to starting any building works, or moving any of the play equipment.

As soon as we have any further information, we will let you have it. Keep checking our website for the latest Cumberland House news.

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or to give us your views.

Cllr Rowena Bass — rowena.bass@kingston.gov.uk

Cllr Ed Fram — ed.fram@kingston.gov.uk

Cllr Ian George — ian.george@kingston.gov.uk