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Article 4 Direction for Seething Wells Filter Beds

Kingston Council introduces new planning controls for Seething Wells Filter Beds

Kingston Council has moved to protect the biodiversity at Seething Wells Filter Beds in Surbiton from potential harm.

Seething Wells Filter Beds, which is a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), represents a unique habitat within the borough and is a key environment for wintering wildfowl and bat populations. 

The Council has now introduced an Article 4 Direction, which temporarily removes the ability to put up fencing, gates and other means of enclosure on the site without planning permission. 

This is a specific and targeted Article 4 Direction, and will last initially for six months. It has been introduced in response to an application to confirm if the erection of fencing at Seething Wells Filter Beds is permitted development.

Residents will be able to have their say on whether this action should be made permanent during a six-week public consultation, with more details on that announced soon. The Council must decide at the end of six months whether to make the Article 4 Direction permanent.

The move is part of the Council’s commitment to protect the biodiversity and natural resources in the borough.

Councillor Hilary Gander, portfolio holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport, said:

“Seething Wells boasts a rich array of biodiversity and we want to keep it that way.”

“We are committed to protecting the environment and our promises made to the people of Kingston. We aim to become a carbon neutral borough by 2038 and it’s important to do all we can to protect sites like Seething Wells.

“We have monitored activity on the site extremely closely and have previously intervened on plans when we have needed to do so.

Councillor Rebekah Moll, portfolio holder for Planning Policy and Culture, said:

“We remain open-minded about development in the borough but this must always be done in keeping with surrounding areas and complementary to the environment around it. That’s why we have moved to protect Seething Wells in this way for the next six months.

“We would like to invite residents to have their say on whether this should become a permanent fixture in the future, and we’ll be providing more details on how to do that very soon.”