A property developer that plans to build floating homes on the Surbiton filter beds site has brought in conservation consultants to try to win over objectors.
The consultancy arm of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WTT) has been enlisted as Hydro Properties tries to push through its planning application, currently being considered by Kingston Council. Hydro Properties’ managing director, Phillip Wallis, has written to 10,000 Surbiton residents announcing the partnership with a new website explaining the plans.
The Mayfair-based company acted after receiving nearly 170 letters objecting to its application, submitted at the end of last year. It has also dumped its PR company in favour of a Kingston-based one headed up by former Surbiton councillor Nick Kilby. A decision on the site, due last February, was delayed to research the effect the development will have on bats roosting at the site, following an objection from conservation group Natural England. According to Hydro Properties the research has now finished and a report is due in the next few weeks.
A spokesman for Hydro Properties said the latest application had considered the concerns of objectors, which also include Thames Sailing club.
When the application was submitted eco-expert Alison Fure said the proposal might destroy a rare breeding habitat and displace some EU-protected species, though she was not available for comment when this paper went to press.