Councillor’s Update

Council Committees Go Virtual

In the Environment Department we are responding to the Coronavirus emergency as best we can, maintaining the waste and recycling service (while suspending the Green waste service and bulky collections and closing Townmead), keeping open our parks (while closing libraries, sports centres and pools) and continuing to process planning applications. Levels of household waste have been in excess of Christmas levels – if the refuse lorry is full before the round is complete we have a problem so please be sparing.

The Government has issued regulations on Council business that requires Committee approval. At the time of writing we were planning for our first virtual Planning Committee in late April including public input. The regulations expire in May 2021 but we must hope for a return to something like normality much before then.

Kneller Hall SPD

One of the longer term projects that was near completion when the Coronavirus crisis struck was the supplementary planning document to guide the Ministry of Defence in establishing future use of Kneller Hall when the Royal Army School of Music moves out. Public consultation had been completed and it only remained to produce the final document which can be found on: kneller_hall_supplementary_planning_document.pdf

As the plan shows, the site has been looked at in four sections, (1) Kneller Hall itself, a Grade II listed building dating from 1848, and its context, (2) the army housing to the west, (3) the Metropolitan Open Land and (4) a Habitat Corridor at the rear of the other three sections. There is a comprehensive Tree Preservation Order protecting all the important trees on the whole site.

Kneller Hall would be thoroughly repaired and refurbished. The original main entrance on the south façade would be reopened. Possible new uses would include residential, a small hotel and employment and/or community uses. The chapel would remain publicly accessible.

The existing army housing on the west of the site would be demolished and replaced by a mix of housing including 50% affordable. Two areas with a concentration of mature trees would remain free of development. A dense development of the area shown on the map as “Kneller Residential Community” is envisaged with height increasing from 2 to 3 storeys on the west and south periphery to up to 5 storeys towards the centre of the site but subservient to Kneller Hall itself.

On the Metropolitan Open Land a new publicly accessible park, Kneller Park, would be created with a range of possible open space uses.

Last Month in the Garden

Lathyrus vernus (Spring vetchling) is a short herbaceous plant with purple flowers fading to greenish-blue. There is also a pink variant. A native of European forests and dies down and disappears by midsummer. Good for bees and modestly spreads by seed.

Martin Elengorn is a long term local resident and Councillor for Teddington Ward

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