Historic England, the body that protects, champions and saves places that define who we are, has said it has no objection to the Hampton Court Station application on heritage grounds.
Historic England are the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England's spectacular historic environment.
In reaching their conclusion, they recognised that the development is in close proximity to many historic assets, the major one being Hampton Court Palace over the river, but also the locally listed railway station, the grade II listed bridge, and the Palace park and garden. "Taken as an ensemble, this is an exceptionally significant and sensitive group of heritage assets."
"In accordance with the NPPF, the impact upon setting will need to be weighted against heritage benefits. The proposed development addresses a complicated site, the current (and long standing) state of which has had an adverse effect on the settings of multiple designated heritage assets. The proposed development is less impactful upon heritage than previous applications and will replace the existing car park and station forecourt/ car dealership and include public realm improvements to remove visually-intrusive elements such as the hoarding around the 'Jolly Boatman' site. In particular, the proposed 'Riverside Gardens' (the public square) will create an area of public realm which will greatly improve the sense of arrival at Hampton Court."
The "no objection" from Historic England comes fast on the heels of a "no objection" from Natural England, the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide.
Natural England have written to the council to state that, based on the plans submitted, they consider the proposed development will not have significant adverse impacts on statutorily protected sites.
The two letters can be downloaded from the Elmbridge council site here: