ADD2026 Kingston Town Centre OAPF

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
19 October 2016
Decision by: 
Stewart Murray, Assistant Director of Planning

Executive summary

The Kingston Town Centre Opportunity Area Planning Framework Area Action Plan (AAP) is a joint project being undertaken with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. The area is anticipated to have significant development growth over the next 15-20 years linked to potential transport improvements.
Work on this project began in September 2015 when consultants We Made That (WMT) were procured to provide technical support for the development capacity study, and produce specialist graphics and desktop publishing for the production of the Kingston Town Centre AAP document. See ADD340.
The scope of area action plan has now expanded to include all of the Crossrail 2 stations within Kingston and further development capacity study work is now required. The planning team does not have the capacity or the expertise to carry out this work. Consultants WMT are required to provide technical support for the development capacity study and specialist graphic and desktop publishing. 


That the Assistant Director approves:
•    The receipt of £13,389 from the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames as a contribution to the cost of the development capacity study work relating to Kingston Town Centre.
•    An exemption from the Contracts and Funding Code to allow the direct appointment of We Made That to carry out the development capacity study work.
•    Expenditure of £13,389 in relation to the development capacity study.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA Planning Unit is working with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK) to prepare an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for Kingston. This will cover the area identified as a potential new opportunity area in the London Plan (2015). The area faces significant development pressures and it is therefore important that the OAPF is in place as soon as possible.

1.2    It is essential that an assessment of development capacity study, draft OAPF, specialist graphics and desktop publishing work is undertaken on this project to enable its delivery to a high quality standard. Specialist consultancy services were employed in September 2015 (see ADD340) to provide technical support for the development capacity study, and produce specialist graphics and desktop publishing for the production of the Kingston OAPF. 

1.3    During the project and following consultation with RBK and Transport for London (TfL), it was decided to expand the scope of the OAPF to include opportunities for growth around the 10 proposed Crossrail 2 stations in the borough. As such, the development capacity study needs to be expanded. The GLA planning team does not have capacity to undertake this work and consultants are required to provide the specialist graphic and desktop publishing required to expand the development capacity work already completed by WMT.

1.4    At the beginning of this project WMT were competitively procured in accordance with GLA procurement procedures. The planning team received 3 tenders from different consultants. All consultants were scored according to pre agreed criteria contained based upon the description of works. 

1.5    The completion of the development capacity study is holding up work on the OAPF and the Transport Study. TfL are holding funds to complete the Transport Study once it has the final development capacity numbers. However these funds cannot be held indefinitely. TfL funds may be redirected if the development capacity study is not completed soon. RBK is also waiting upon the findings of the completed development capacity study to continue working on the new Local Plan for the borough. It is therefore imperative the planning team has the technical support it needs to finish the work. Given that the study is underway and that the technical skills and methodology applied to the sites were developed by WMT it would be impossible to separate this new piece of work to complete the study from the work already under taken. A new consultant would need to use its own methodology for determining capacity. Procurement of a new contractor would therefore lead to a delay in production of the documents as they would need to redo much of the work already undertaken by WMT. WMT have also proven their work to be of high quality. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objective of this project is to produce a complete development capacity study by 13 October 2016. 


Equality comments

3.1        In arriving at the recommended decision to approve this proposed budget, equalities issues have been considered in line with the GLA’s duties under the Equalities Act 2010. It is unlikely that this project will have negative equalities impacts but identified equalities issues (both positive and negative) will be covered in the Integrated Impact Assessment that will accompany the project. This will ensure that at each point of the drafting and consultation process for the proposed document, equalities impacts are considered and actions decided upon to address any emerging issues. The project will also be subject to a review and this will also address equalities impacts.

3.2    Given the regeneration focus of the proposed project, identification of relevant equalities groups and potentially vulnerable locally affected populations has been undertaken at the outset of the project. Population data is available for this purpose such as indices of deprivation used to identify regeneration areas in the London Plan. A detailed public consultation strategy has been drawn up in consultation with RBK to ensure that any local hard to reach groups are engaged in the process to ensure that resulting document is appropriate and accessible to all and meets the needs of different Londoners.

Other considerations

a)    Key risks and issues

4.1    If the financial support is not provided to this opportunity area, there is a risk that the OAPF and accompanying development capacity study will not be completed or will not be completed within the required timeframes. This would undermine the Mayor’s growth agenda set out in the London Plan 2016 (consolidated with alterations since 2011).
b) links to Mayoral strategic and priorities

4.2    The specialist development capacity, graphics and design consultant will assist in the production of the OAPF. OAPFs are supplementary to the London Plan and bring together the Mayoral priorities for housing, economic development, development, transport and the environment. Realising the development potential of Opportunity Areas is a Mayoral Priority, and OAPFs bring together strategic and local stakeholders to deliver an area-wide spatial planning framework in accordance with Government policy, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

c) Impact assessments and consultations

4.3    OAPFs are subject to public consultation, and equality and environmental assessments.

4.4    The need for this service is immediate 

Financial comments

5.1    ADD340 and ADD414 approved expenditure of up to £25,000 and £3,021 respectively on a consultancy service for the Kingston OAPF.  Approval is now being sought for the additional expenditure of £13,389. This will bring the total expenditure on the Kingston OAPF up to £41,410. As this is a joint project The Royal Borough of Kingston has agreed to reimburse the Greater London Authority £13,389 for the consultancy services. The work will be delivered in 2016-17. 

5.2    The Kingston OAPF project is funded from the OAPF budget of the Planning budget within the Development, Environment and Enterprise Directorate (as per DD1359).  Additionally there is an agreement with St George and British Land to each provide £15,000 to fund the production of the OAPF document which will be paid into the OAPF planning budget. Contributions from other developers will also be sought during the production of the OAPF. 

5.3    The Planning Unit within the Development Environment and Enterprise will be responsible for managing this contract and work.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

October 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

November 2016

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

November 2016


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