‘Hook Park’ development proposal divides Chessington residents

Chessington residents’ opinions are divided over the proposed development of up to 2,500 homes and a 20-acre country park.

The development by Poppymill plans for the project to be titled “Hook Park”.

Chessington Resident Mary Leigh, 68, has concerns regarding her quality of life and said: “I don’t want to be hearing cranes and lorries every day for months on end, how long will it last?”

A large development of 57 acres of land would certainly disrupt the locals of Chessington.

In the October 2020 Chessington District Residents Association (CDRA) newsletter, the CDRA discussed the disruption that prior developments in Chessington had caused.

The newsletter said: “Many of you will remember, especially residents of Clayton Road who suffered three years of 30-tonne lorries trundling past their front doors, to deliver soil imported from London to create an adequate drainage system for the Chessington Equestrian Centre land.”

For residents like Leigh, another development would be unsettling.

She said: “I’m at home every day… I don’t want it to happen again.”

New opportunities

Chessington Resident Syed Patel, 56, saw Hook Park as a chance for new opportunities.

He said: “My son is 25 and looking for property in the area, with his wife. Their budget and choices are limited and were thinking of moving to Birmingham…but maybe now if Hook Park prices are reasonable they can stay.”

He added: “Businesses surrounding Chessington would benefit from the development, it would bring more money to the area.”

Poppymill said it wanted members of the community to be involved with the proposed development.

Their website said: “We are keen to have input from local residents and stakeholders as to what they would like to see the site deliver at the earliest possible stage.

“By gathering opinions at this early stage, we are more likely to be able to incorporate a wider range of suggestions.”

Re-designate the greenbelt

Hook Park is a 57-acre area of land, located in a greenbelt, which is used to retain rural land around urban areas.

For Hook Park to be created in greenbelt guidelines, Poppymill would have to get the land re-designated.

Poppymill has confirmed that to have the land repurposed it will be running an Enquiry by Design (EbD) process.

Their website said: “The EbD process brings key stakeholders together, to assess a complex range of design requirements for the development site, with every issue tested.”

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