We wanted to thank local people for the ongoing constructive dialogue that has been shown towards the Hampton Court station / Jolly Boatman site, and let you know about some of the issues that we have been considering since the public exhibition in July.
We had 451 visitors to our Summer public exhibition, with around 215 local residents and stakeholders giving their feedback on the new plans.
We recognise that this is a site much loved by local people. That’s why there was such a concerted effort to oppose the Gladedale plans back in 2008, and that’s why we’ve been in contact with some residents groups for over two years, and acted upon their comments.
The public consultation showed how much local people supported the plans for opening up, and landscaping, the Jolly Boatman site. This is one of the most controversial elements of the 2008 Gladedale plans, and we’re really pleased to offer it up as a big win for this development. It would be such a shame if the comprehensive scheme failed, and the Jolly Boatman site either remained behind ugly hoardings or perhaps even built upon as the consent allows. The new public open space presents a new relationship between the river, the station and the Palace – and we know it is major aspiration of local people.
We’re delighted that this scheme reduces the overall bulk and mass – or density – of the scheme. The maximum heights of the proposed buildings go up by a maximum of 1.78m – and of course a majority of the Jolly Boatman site will become green space.
[Please note that a previous iteration of this site said that there was "no development and no building at all on the Jolly Boatman site" - whilst this is largely true, we accept that the gable end of the proposals extends onto the former Jolly Boatman site, as was and is noted elsewhere on the site].
We’ve spent the summer months completely reviewing the traffic and road / pedestrian safety aspects of this scheme – and the comments at the exhibition were a major reason why we reviewed this area, and so people deserve our thanks for this. Our traffic modelling show the new designs to be significantly better and we hope that the new designs find favour. The highway improvements to the arrangement of junctions adjacent to our site do not currently work safely or effectively – and it has been one of our goals to try to rectify that.
We’ve changed some of the designs of the buildings, and kept the station canopies. Again, these changes are in response to the comments that have been made, to achieve a high quality design.
Three robust parking surveys over five years show current demand for car parking spaces in the Network Rail car park to be a maximum of 92 spaces (outside times like the flower show). The proposal allows 64 more spaces, op top of these 92 spaces, to allow for future demand – should Crossrail 2 and / or a CPZ come here. To provide 31% of the total car park for future demand is very significant.
We have worked with the council, local residents groups, local people and the Palace since 2015 and we have made major changes as a result. We will be submitting an application in the coming months and of course we will continue to listen and engage with all parties.
This is a much better scheme than that consented Gladedale 2008 development. We hope local people recognise this and support the project.
THE JOLLY BOATMAN SITE – WHAT WE PROPOSE TO DO
We are very pleased to have removed development from the majority of the Jolly Boatman site. This not only opens up the riverfront area, providing public space between the station and the river, but it is also a key aspiration of local people – and was one of the main elements of antagonism with the Gladedale scheme.
It also presents a new relationship between the station and Hampton Court Palace itself.
Clearly it is a huge cost to any developer to do this, given the consented scheme, but we recognise it is a huge benefit to the public.
By not developing on the Jolly Boatman site, we can reduce the overall density (bulk and mass) of the scheme.
The Gross External Area (GEA) has been reduced by just under 10% - compared to the 2008 scheme.
That’s 24,854 sq metres, compared with 27,425 sq metres. It is incorrect for HCRC to say the overall bulk and mass of the scheme has been increased.
|GEA of Gladedale’s 2008 scheme||27,425 sqm|
|GEA of Alexpo’s new plans||24,854 sqm|
By not building on the majority of the Jolly Boatman site, we can provide a new landscaped area. Our public consultation shows this to be really popular among local people, and we’re really keen on it as well. The Palace has previously expressed an interest in maintaining this area, given it would provide a great resource for tourists and other visiting the Palace.
During the consultation, local people asked that we locate the service road further from the River Thames – we had put it next to the riverbank to allow a greater open space area, but the firm response was that we needed some green space between the access road and the river. We hope local people find favour with our new road location – we have also managed to narrow the road.
During the consultation, we asked whether people wanted ‘soft-edge’ or ‘hard-edge’ landscaping – predominantly grass, or predominately paving. The overwhelming response was for predominantly grass.
We are keen to open up Cigarette Island Park to the public, and provide a visual and landscaping link to the park from the road. Two years ago, we presented a drawing to local groups showing a ramp going down into the car park, but this did not find favour and we removed the ramp for the designs we showed at the public exhibition this year. By removing the ramp, we have been able to remove the major barriers between the road and the park, and there is now a finger of green linking the park to Hampton Court Way.
We’re pleased to have redesigned the forecourt area to enable the station canopies to be retained – something that was requested by a number of local people during the consultation.
ABOVE: Jolly Boatman site – this CGI is not correct and is in the process of being updated to show the extended area of landscape close to the river.
ABOVE: Landscaped areas on Jolly Boatman
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY AND TRAFFIC
We asked our Transport Consultant, Waterman Group, to completely review their transport treatment of this site.
The arrangement of junctions adjacent to our scheme do not work safely or effectively, and it has been one of our goals to try to rectify this and improve the junctions.
The off-site highway works have been redesigned, compared to what was showed at the public exhibition. The new design replaces the gyratory in its entirety with a more conventional signal control junction.
This will free up land that can be landscaped - thereby creating green areas on both sides of Hampton Court Way. It also addresses concerns about pedestrian conflict with cars entering the site.
ABOVE: Updated traffic plan - we recognise these types of plans are difficult to read and we hope to be able to have a more user-friendly version at some stage.
The revised modelling is showing that these and other changes will not only mitigate for the proposed development, but will also result in an overall improvement compared with the existing position.
The junction with Creek Road has been redesigned to enable a dedicated right-hand turning lane to be added, thereby removing queueing traffic, which prevented those wanting to turn left out of Creek Road from getting up to the junction. Again, this is specifically to respond to the comments raised during the public consultation.
We met with some local groups at the outset in 2015, following Alexpo’s acquisition of the site.
The early ideas of some of the big design changes, including the revised access solution, and replacing the riverfront building with public open space, were shared with groups at that initial stage. We were pleased that we received a broad welcome to the revised approach at that time, and concluded that Alexpo should progress the plans further.
We were asked us to relook at the need for a ramp across the open space – as a result we removed the ramp. We did this by lifting the development up by 1.78 metres, which also brings the benefits of having an undercroft level rather than a further basement, more usable open space, and a better ground-level link with Cigarette Island.
We were also asked to relook at the design of the Hampton Court Way building, which we have also done.
We will continue to work with the Palace, the council and local groups to agree materials for the development.
Elsewhere, we have also been able to further improve the massing and reduce the bulk of some of the other elevations, with amendments such as to the roofline of the eastern buildings and with the dormer windows being reduced in size on the northern building.
In addition, following detailed wind testing, amendments have been made to the balcony design.
HEIGHT OF BUILDINGS
We are pleased that the number of storeys are the same as the 2008 scheme and the heights are broadly comparable and not significantly higher.
Jolly Boatman site
Clearly the most significant height reduction is on the Jolly Boatman site. The majority of this site becomes green space, so the removal of the previously consented four-storey building of nearly 24 metres (23.835m AOD - "above ordnance datum") is a great gain.
Used car sales site
The hotel has been moved to the ‘used car sales’ site, alongside the front of Hampton Court Way. We have replicated the four-storeys that were consented here with another four storey building.
The height is slightly increased, by 1.18m, to include a proposed plant on the roof – that includes systems such as power, heating and cooling mechanisms that modern buildings require.
The height is 24.34 AOD, compared to 22.56 AOD in the consented site (tallest point to tallest point).
Residential site, adjacent to Cigarette Island
The height of the residential buildings will increase by 1.78m. Crucially, the buildings continue at four storeys.
That’s 24.34 m AOD compared to 22.56 m AOD (tallest point to tallest point).
The slight additional height here is a direct response to groups asking us to try and remove the car park ramp, which required us to lift the building and car parking up by 1.78m. This has the added advantage of there being an undercroft level of parking, as opposed to a fully submerged basement level, thereby providing easier access to the station platforms.
|Height of permitted scheme||Height of proposals||Number of storeys (permitted 2008 scheme||Number of storeys (proposed|
|Jolly Boatman site||23.835m AOD||NO BUILDING||4||0|
|Residential section, adjacent to Cigarette Island||22.555m AOD||24.34m AOD||4||4|
|Used car sales site (now a hotel)||22.555m AOD||23.74m AOD||4||4|
We know that parking is one of the most contentious issues locally, knowing that local people find it difficult to park in the surrounding streets.
We know there is an ongoing debate about a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) in this area, and indeed we witnessed the divergent views at our public consultation event.
Our parking solution offers 207 car parking spaces. None of these spaces are allocated – which means none are reserved for any particular use.
Nevertheless, we know it is helpful to see spaces per section of development, and so we have set out a justification for this.
The maximum number of cars parked at any given time in the Network Rail car park is 92, at around mid-day. This has been demonstrated by three robust parking surveys over a period of five years. It is incorrect to suggest that we are not reflecting current parking demand, as these surveys show the car park is rarely more than just over half full.
The three parking surveys have been carried out on the following days:
- 20 March 2013 (between 6am and midnight)
- 26 February 2015 (between 6am and midnight)
- 18 July 2018 (between 6am and midnight)
Some people perceive the parking charges here to be high, but this site will continue as a Network Rail-operated car park and so these prices are likely to remain – it will be up to Network Rail how they manage and charge for their car park. Comparable local car parks are about the same or more expensive - the Palace car park charges £1.60 per hour and Surbiton station £8 per day.
We should say that we recognise that all local car parks will be full on flower show days, including the Network Rail car park. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a car park for the flower show, or any similar event.
64 spaces allowed for future demand
Our proposal brings 64 spaces for future demand.
That means that a very significant percentage – around 31% - is being built to allow for future demand that may or may not come.
Hotel and retail
The hotel will use spaces during the evening and night that have been vacated by day commuters.
Network Rail have suggested that they could allow cars to park for free for twenty minutes, to cover kiss and ride and one or two item retail activity. The food unit is likely to be very similar in size and remit to the Sainsburys Local in Surbiton station, which has no dedicated parking.
We have used the same ratio that was permitted in Gladedale’s 2008 scheme - 0.5 car spaces per home.
Cycle spaces for residential and other uses
There will be 180 cycle spaces.
In addition, we are proposing wheelchair-accessible spaces, and spaces for electric cars to recharge.
The undercroft, safety and the ‘kiss and ride’
Safety is a paramount issue in our parking design. The top level of parking is in an ‘undercroft’, where visitors will be able to see out onto the platforms. This is a key benefit of this scheme and was requested by local groups, albeit we recognise it puts the height of the residential building up by 1.78m.
The ‘kiss and ride’ facility continues to be within the main parking area, as it was in the consented scheme. This undercroft is essentially at ground level, viewable from the station – so enhancing the security of the facility. Surrey County Council have stipulated that, for safety reasons, they require this facility to be away from the bus layby.
We will work with the council to determine the proper level of affordable housing for this site.
A BETTER SCHEME
Our belief is that we can provide a better scheme than Gladedale’s 2008 scheme if we continue with our proposals which link both the Network Rail land with the Jolly Boatman land.
Only by continuing to provide a comprehensive scheme, using both sites, are we able to give over most of the Jolly Boatman site for landscaping. This is a really important benefit, and simply won’t happen if another developer decides to limit their development just to the Jolly Boatman site.
Some of the team are local people, and see the Jolly Boatman site regularly, which, with its hoardings, blights the environment around the Hampton Court station. That’s why we are especially keen to be able to give over this land to landscaping, as part of this comprehensive plan.
At the public consultation, we asked whether local people would think it was beneficial if we used part of Cigarette Island for parking during construction. Local people overwhelming said they were keen for us to look at how we could reduce the construction time and provide adequate parking during this time.
Please confirm how many bedrooms the hotel will have?
What sort of hotel will this be - an upmarket hotel or something like a Premier Inn/Travel Lodge?
Our marketing of the scheme to hotel operators has not yet commenced, so we cannot confirm the type or operator of the hotel.
The ‘retail’ is likely to be a supermarket – please confirm likely size?
At present, the plans are for two retail units, one at 338 m2 (underneath the hotel), and one at 137m2 (at the end of the station concourse), and a café at 197 m2 (although there is additional basement level for the café of 87 m2).
What is the height and proximity of the buildings closest to the canopies, in the new scheme and the Gladedale scheme?
In the previous Gladedale scheme, the Hampton Court Way building was the closest to the canopies - it fact it would have collided with them and necessitated its removal, which is not the case in the new scheme. The tallest point was 22.56 AOD. The tallest point of the proposal is 24.34m AOD.
Clearly there is a balance to strike between having development on the Jolly Boatman site, which we don’t propose, and moving some of that development to other areas within the larger site. We are pleased that the site overall is less dense than the previous scheme – around 10% less dense.
We will update AOD heights in due course, nearer the time of the final submission scheme.
Can the gable wing of the northernmost building be moved?
Our architects believe that it adds to the sense of place to the new square that we are providing on the former Jolly Boatman site. This new square will be green, will be a great link between the Palace and the station, give great views of the Palace, provide an at grade link between the road and Cigarette Island, and provide a place for visitors, tourists, commuters and residents to relax whilst waiting for a train. We saw many people sitting down on the station forecourt whilst waiting for a train when we did a visitor survey on Thursday, and having an outside space with a great view will give many people pleasure.
Who will pay for the designed traffic network system?
Discussions are ongoing between Alexpo / Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd and Elmbridge Borough Council (EBC) / Surrey County Council (SCC). EBC have asked us to be imaginative in our proposals for this site, given they know that this junction needs significant improvement, irrespective of whether our scheme goes ahead or not. Clearly, if our scheme does go ahead, there will be money from the development to fund many of the traffic improvements envisaged, and some of them are necessary for the proper functioning of the traffic system relating to our scheme. Other improvements, however, may not be seen as directly related to our development, and so we will be having a discussion with SCC and EBC about proper funding sources. This could include CIL and Section 106 contributions.
What will the open space land, where the current gyratory system is, be used for?
It is not for us to say what that land will be used for, as it does not form part of the site. However our junction improvements plans would enable an additional green space to be created. It is for your elected members, both at EBC and SCC, together with their officers, to decide to scope of improvements to be made.
We want to submit an application in the coming months, so we welcome continued dialogue with all local groups and residents.
For further information, please contact the consultation team - details at the bottom of this website.
Please note, a version of the text on this page was prepared for local group HCRC. Click here to download the document.