It seems the Richmond Planning department nowadays is quite liberally (and not very democratically) letting through semi-high-rise in North Sheen, with little consideration for the neighbours and terraced houses fabric that presently constitutes North Sheen. There seem to be no limits to empty offices on Lower Richmond road apparently). As usual, concerns expressed during public consultations (like the lack of parking spaces in the new developments) were ignored.
North Sheen wasn't always like this, it was actually full of orchards (see Orchard road) as the maps below from the London Orchard Project show.
- Planning application for the redevelopment of the Shakespeare pub, where the council totally ignored objections received on the parking aspects
- Planning application for "The Works", showing 77 new flats and 3,000 m2 office space and…. 85 parking spaces only.
- Planning application for the former Dairy Crest distribution centre, for 45 flats and 2,000 m2 of office space
- Planning application for the redevelopment of the former petrol station on 293 Lower Richmond road, 52 flats and only 35 spaces
See the trend? I should add that North Sheen is the only ward that still hasn't got a controlled parking zone (CPZ), and is bordered by Richmond, East Sheen and Kew –where parking is regulated indeed. Of course, a CPZ is not free for residents: once established, the council can increase it pretty much at will, and it's very hard to prove that the CPZ permits fees only cover the administration costs.
After a few checks, it's quite obvious that the (previous Lib Dem) council had a policy of restricting car spaces, presumably to impose a CPZ tax to unsuspecting residents.
What's that got to do with orchards? During the public consultation, when the change of use was questioned, residents expressed anger that (at least some of) the land could not be changed back to agricultural or green space.
Since the play area located in the block formed by Bicester road, Lambert avenue and Manor road, there are no play areas for instance South of Lower Richmond Road.
Greed, a Capital sin for the Borough -but seldom punished...