New public square for Hampton Court Station
A major new public square at Hampton Court Station is the centrepiece of the planning application for the station and Jolly Boatman site that has been behind ugly hoardings for years.
With nearly a million visitors to the Hampton Court Palace every year, visitors will exit the station and for the first time and immediately see the Palace, rather than hoardings. Last year, local people told the developers that this square should be predominantly green landscaping.
The square brings with it 97 new homes, an 84 bed hotel, a new road layout that removes the gyratory and eases traffic problems onto the bridge, an upgraded train station, a café and a small foodstore.
Move the slider along below to reveal the public square:
Robert Lane from developers Alexpo said “When we took over this site a few years ago, we were very aware of the war that local people had very sensibly fought against old developers Gladedale. Their scheme was against the community, rather than with it.
“It’s taken us since 2014 to talk with the Palace, Network Rail, local groups and local people and come up with a scheme that we hope will get majority support.
“We removed development on the Jolly Boatman site straight away, paving the way for the public square. We removed a ramp that would have eaten up large sections of the square. We’ve looked at every elevation over the summer, no matter how small a detail. And as a result of discussions with local groups, we’ve narrowed the access road to the car park, taking it away from the river.”
The developers are installing a simplified traffic network outside their site, extending from the bridge to Creek Road, eradicating the gyratory and putting in a traditional signal controlled junction (traffic lights). Cars coming out of Creek Road will benefit from a new right hand turning lane.
The station itself will get a major modern refurbishment, which will only happen as a result of these plans.
The developers also consulted local people about using part of the Cigarette Island park behind the station for a temporary car park during construction, which will reduce construction time by fourteen months. They will use a recycled plastic matting system to reduce damage to the park
The foodstore will be a Tesco Express, a Sainsbury’s Local or maybe some other brand.
James Owens, development and heritage planning director at JLL, said “We’ve raised the height of the homes by about the height of an average man – 5 foot, 10 inches. We had to do this to remove the ramp into the car park, and create more space in the public square. There’s a massive reduction in density and development on the Jolly Boatman site, because the square’s on that section and almost no development.
The density of the overall scheme is comparable with the approved scheme. We’ve kept the same number of floors as before – there’s four floors throughout. Our architects, Allies and Morrison, have produced a first class traditional design, with extensive consideration of the views from the Palace.”
The developers will be paying over £2 million to improve infrastructure in the wider area, as well as planting 31 new trees, adding 180 cycle spaces and extending the cycleway to the station.
The homes, most of which will be one and two bed apartments, will include twelve affordable homes, and reduce pressure on the council to allow building on the green belt.
There will be a dedicated area for buses and taxis, as well as a service road for the new homes. The developers say anywhere between 50 and 125 full time jobs will be created.
Bryan Evans, principal consultant at transports experts Waterman Infrastructure and Environment Ltd said “Transport surveys over the past five years show there will be unused parking places in the car park at all times on a normal day.
“In fact, surveys show that even if typical local parking controls are brought in near the station, there will still be unused parking places in the car park on a normal day.
“The new homes will have more car park permits available than the old Gladedale scheme, and there will be plenty of spaces for the hotel. Station users will benefit from a short free parking period.”
You can still have your say on the scheme here.
We have maintained a record of the public exhibition on the website here.