Green Belt – not just a Sunbury issue

KKG – Document 18 KKG – Document 18a KKG – Document 18b

Dear Neighbour

Let’s put the Green Belt at Kempton Park in context.

The entire estate at Kempton Park, owned by The Jockey Club, is Green Belt. That includes the eastern part of the estate, on which the documents show they are proposing to build this very big housing development.

It also includes the race course itself, and all the attendant buildings and areas on the western side which are needed to run a horse-racing operation at Kempton Park – the grandstand, the stabling facilities, the car park, etc, etc.

These buildings, on Green Belt, are allowed to be there because they are part and parcel of the horse-racing operation. If they were to be replaced by other buildings – residential buildings for example, or a commercial building such as a supermarket or a hotel – not related to the operation of the horse racing operation, then that would be contrary to Green Belt policy in Spelthorne. That would be the case even if the new (not-racing-related) buildings were on the footprint of the old (racing-related) buildings. Such changes should only be allowed in “very special circumstances”.

KKG Document 18 attached shows, in red, that part of the Kempton Park estate upon which, previous documents we have circulated show, the proposed housing development would be sited. Document 18 also shows all the other Green belt sites in Spelthorne (the four large reservoirs are show in a slightly lighter shade of green). We’ll return to that in a moment.

KKG Document 18b shows that red area at Kempton Park in the context of the Green Belt on the western side of London. As you can plainly see, it really is on the front line. The inside edge of the London Green belt has had huge chunks bitten from it over the years, until the present situation where it resembles a coastal archipelago, our, at the risk of overusing a current metaphor, the last flood defences against the one-way incoming tide of high density urbanisation flooding out from central London.

KKG Document 18a shows the red area at Kempton Park in its immediate context. It doesn’t stand alone. It is a substantial part of a local chain of Green Belt, and must be considered, for all the local ecological and environmental reasons, as part of that larger context, which includes Green Belt in the neighbouring boroughs of Hounslow, Richmond, and Elmbridge.

So, the Green Belt at Kempton Park is not just an issue for those most closely situated to it. It is on the front line of the Green Belt around London, it is important in a more local context. And within Spelthorne, it could have huge implications if it were to be built upon.

Returning to KKG -Document 18. A number of residents have been told that, should the development at Kempton Park be approved by Spelthorne Council, it will be a “one-off”.

Imagine Counsel for the owner of some other piece of Green Belt in Spelthorne, rising to his feet, looking up from his sheaf of papers, and putting the following simple question to Counsel for Spelthorne Council: “You gave The Jockey Club permission to build on Green Belt at Kempton Park. Why not us?”

It would be most entertaining, if it weren’t so sad, to watch Counsel for Spelthorne Council answering that one.

So this isn’t just a Sunbury matter. Look at KKG – Document 18. If any of the other pieces of Green Belt in Spelthorne are important to you, then this is your issue too.

As ever, these documents are in the public domain. Please feel free to pass them on.

Please encourage your neighbours to join the mailing list.

There is more to come, in due course, over coming weeks.


Keep Kempton Green


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