Duty to Cooperate

Kingston's Strategic Matters

Government guidance makes it clear that local planning authorities should identify the strategic matters that need to be addressed through cross-boundary cooperation at the beginning of the Local Plan preparation process and identify those local authorities and prescribed bodies that need to be engaged.

Section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) defines strategic matters as -

"Sustainable development or use of land that has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas, including (in particular) sustainable development or use of land for or in connection with infrastructure that is strategic and has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas'.

Click on the links below to see more information on Kingston's strategic matters (as set out in para 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework):

Strategic matter 1: homes and jobs

Housing delivery, including the provision of sites for Gypsies & Travellers, and the overall assessment of need for employment land and the designation of Strategic Employment Land are key strategic and cross boundary issues, which requires on-going engagement and cooperation.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • deliver more homes to address London's housing needs across the Housing Market Area (HMA)
  • identify and meet the need for student residential accommodation
  • identify and seek to meet the needs of the gypsy and traveller community in the boroughs including the provision of adequate pitches.
  • protect employment land of strategic importance
  • seek to reduce the outflow of residents to higher waged jobs outside the borough
  • provide sufficient employment land to meet business needs and provide jobs
  • ensure that a range of flexible employment space is available in various formats to cater for the full range of business needs from start-ups, through small and medium sized enterprises to large corporate companies
  • optimise the scale of growth appropriate in Kingston and identify growth opportunities elsewhere in the borough.

Strategic matter 2: Provision of retail, leisure and other commercial developments

Kingston Town Centre is the third best performing of London's Metropolitan Centres. In order to maintain and improve its offer, it needs to provide the type of modern retail and leisure facilities visitors expect and provide an attractive visitor experience.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • maintain and sustain Kingston's town centre's role as a Metropolitan Centre to ensure the provision of retail, leisure and other commercial activity to meet identified need taking account of the impact on other centres and future investment plans.
  • review the town centre hierarchy and explore opportunities to fill any gaps in the network.
  • Chessington World of Adventures attracts visitors from across southeast England and development and connectivity of visitor and transport infrastructure needs to take this into consideration.
  • Kingston town centre has a vibrant evening and night time economy that attracts visitors from across London and neighbouring Surrey. Developing London's evening and night time economy is a key part of the Mayor's vision for London moving forward.

Strategic matter 3: Provision of infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, waste management, water supply, wastewater and flood risk, and the provision of energy (including heat)

Transport infrastructure

Transport is a strategic issue at many different levels. The council needs to work with its neighbouring authorities for opportunities to link cycle and footpath links wherever possible to create coherent networks. Public transport in the wider south-west London sub-region is focusses on radial routes in and out of London, and the orbital routes around the region and out into Surrey are poor. There may be opportunities to improve connectivity by all forms of transport between parts of the borough and with areas outside the borough. These would need to be fully explored.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • identify opportunities to consider and promote sustainable transport networks to open up development opportunities.
  • work with Transport for London and partners to form a joined up approach to the promotion, development and implementation of the arrival of Crossrail 2 to the borough.
  • seek sub-regional opportunities to address poor quality orbital public transport linkages
  • consider possible road network improvements to open up development opportunities
  • parking standards in London vary significantly from the standards that apply in Surrey and recent changes by the Mayor of London means that there is scope to address what is a significant factor in business location decision-making.

Waste management, water supply, wastewater and flood risk, and the provision of energy (including heat)

The anticipated increase in the amount of waste material needing to be managed, and the shift to recycling and recovering waste materials has led to a need to find additional facilities for waste management. The council plans to meet its waste management facility needs jointly with neighbouring boroughs.

The risk of flooding is a particular concern in Kingston because of the fluvial risks associated with the Thames and the Hogsmill, but also surface water flooding. River catchments cross borough boundaries and the impact of activity upstream impacts on flood risk in this borough, as development activity here will impact on the river and floodplain downstream.

The council is exploring options to introduce heat and energy networks, and there is potential to extend networks into neighbouring authorities.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • The shift to recycling and recovering waste materials has led to a need to find additional facilities for waste management. The council need to work with neighbouring boroughs to ensure sufficient waste management facilities are provided to continue to work towards self-sufficiency.
  • The risk of flooding is a particular concern in Kingston because of the fluvial risks associated with the Thames and the Hogsmill, but also surface water flooding which is more sporadic in nature. River catchments transcend borough boundaries and the impact of activity upstream impacts on flood risk in this Borough, as development activity here will impact on the river and floodplain downstream. The council need to work with partners to consider how river basin catchments can be managed to reduce the threat from flooding in this Borough and elsewhere in the catchment.
  • The council is exploring options to introduce heat and energy networks in locations within the Borough, but there is potential to extend networks into neighbouring authorities, and so the council will need to scope the opportunities for joint heat / energy networks

Strategic matter 4: Provision of health, security, community and cultural infrastructure and other local facilities

Sport, leisure, culture and recreation

The council owns facilities which attract visitors from a wide catchment that extends beyond the borough boundary and that places significant demands on the transport network. Changes to the facilities and user levels could have implications for where visitors are drawn from and visitor numbers.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • to look at whether there is a need to improve and/or provide additional sport and leisure facilities across the borough.
  • to examine the need for cultural facilities across the borough in line with the council's emerging Cultural Strategy.

Schools and health

The council has a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient school places in the borough to meet present and future demand. School place provision, especially for secondary school is something that transcends borough boundaries.

One of the key strategic matters that the council needs to resolve is whether the additional demand on the infrastructure network, as a result of new development, can be accommodated and/or mitigated. This is a key strategic issue as infrastructure capacity and delivery is addressed by many different public and private organisations and the issues surrounding it seldom lay within a single local authority area.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • matching the homes and jobs growth with sufficient provision of social infrastructure such as schools and health centres.
  • ensuring that key sub-regional infrastructure such as Kingston Hospital, Kingston University and Kingston College have sufficient capacity to meet the growth planned in this borough and in neighbouring boroughs.
  • residents from within Kingston and neighbouring local authorities frequently move between boroughs in order to seek education, employment and skills development and training.

Strategic matter 5: Climate change mitigation and adaptation, conservation and enhancement of the natural and historic environment, including landscape

Climate change and the natural environment

Climate change is an issue that is not constrained by local authority boundaries, and is addressed by national standards set out in the Building Regulations. Addressing climate change is therefore a national issue rather than something that needs to be addressed through Duty to Cooperate. New development either individually or cumulatively can have significant impacts on habitats or areas of landscape designation and where developments/impacts extend across boundaries joint efforts are needed to avoid or mitigate.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • to manage the impacts of development on habitats and landscapes.
  • development in one part of a river's catchment area can can adversely impact flood risk in another part of its floodplain in a different administrative boundary - the council will continue to work in partnership with authorities that share river catchments.
  • historic and protected view across London require cross-boundary cooperation to ensure that views of these assets are not blocked by tall buildings in another London borough.

Historic Environment

Growth and development is needed and is necessary to provide homes, jobs and opportunity for existing and future residents and businesses in this Borough, but new development will need to respect local character and heritage assets. Where potential development sites and/or heritage assets are close to the borough boundary this will be a matter for the Duty to Cooperate.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • to manage the impact of new development on heritage assets

Green belt and Metropolitan Open Land

The council intends to meet its growth needs through brownfield redevelopment and regeneration of poorly performing areas in the borough. However, the identified growth needs are expressed in the London Plan as minimums, and there is likely to be pressure from landowners/developers to release some greenfield sites to meet development needs.

The Metropolitan Green Belt is a strategic matter that extends across the London boundary into the Surrey authorities, and the parcels in Kingston cannot be considered in isolation. Green Belt was designated to serve a number of purposes (as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework), and where it is clearly demonstrated that it continues to serve these purposes then development will not be appropriate.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • Review the land designated Metropolitan Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land, and identify if all land continues to meet the five key purposes of Green Belt

Local open space

The council intends to meet its growth needs through brownfield redevelopment and regeneration of poorly performing areas in the borough. However, as stated with the Green Belt, the identified growth needs set out in the London Plan are likely to put pressure on designated Local Open Space to be released to meet such development needs.

Key issues requiring cooperation: 

  • to assess how effective the designated Local Open Space is within the borough and whether there are areas of open space that warrant a designation