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Seething Wells Filter Beds

Biodiversity, planning protections and ownership

Location, biodiversity and ownership

The Seething Wells Filter Beds are the site of 19th century waterworks located in Surbiton. At 13 hectares, Seething Wells supports the largest area of standing open water within the borough. This provides habitat for a range of species including wintering wildfowl, bats and reptiles, all which are legally protected within this area. 

To help protect Seething Wells, it is designated as both Metropolitan Open Land and a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation by the planning system (Policy G3 and Policy G6 of the London Plan). 

This site is privately owned. Kingston Council is not the land owner and therefore not able to designate Seething Wells as a Local Nature Reserve.

Planning protections

The council used its planning powers to protect Seething Wells Filter Beds from potential harm to local biodiversity.

A mechanism called an Article 4 Direction was introduced which removes the ability to erect fencing, gates and other means of enclosure on the site without planning permission.

The Article 4 Direction was introduced on 23 October 2020 for a temporary period of six months. On 17 March 2021 the Council's Culture, Housing, Environment and Planning Committee approved the recommendation to make the Article 4 Direction permanent. On 14 April 2021 the Article 4 Direction was made permanent.

The council will continue to protect the site from inappropriate development proposals and, where possible, encourage improvements to local biodiversity.

Wildlife crime

The council is aware that local residents have raised concerns about incidents of wildlife crime in Seething Wells and the surrounding area. Wildlife crime is a matter for the Police and the Metropolitan Police have confirmed the area is within their jurisdiction. 

If you have witnessed wildlife crime this should be reported by calling 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111. 

If a crime is happening or someone is in danger, always call 999.

Last Modified: 22/11/2022 14:22:53