Empty offices on River Thames in Kingston to be demolished so new homes can be built

Visualisation of the scheme in Kingston town centre
-Credit: (Image: GM London/Architecture Initiative)

New riverside flats and offices will be built in a South London town centre, after the plans were approved. A total of 34 flats in an apartment block up to five storeys tall will be built on Kingston High Street under the plans, along with offices on the ground floor.

Four empty office buildings on the site will be demolished to make way for the development, put forward by developer GM London, next to the River Thames. Kingston Council's planning committee unanimously approved the scheme on July 9.

The building will have two affordable homes, offered under shared ownership, which does not meet council policy recommending 50 per cent of homes on developments with 10 or more homes should be affordable. A report by council officers, however, said an independent reviewer had found the scheme could not provide any more affordable homes.

READ MORE: 'Kingston Council left us in Travelodge for 11 months - our new flat has a broken oven and no floors'

Visualisation of the scheme in Kingston town centre
The plans were approved by Kingston Council on July 9 -Credit:GM London/Architecture Initiative

The report added the existing offices have been empty for several years and are in 'poor condition'. The development will have two disabled parking bays, along with 74 cycle parking spaces.

Lib Dem councillor Olly Wehring said he could not find any grounds to refuse the application, but called for the developer to change the one-bed proposed shared ownership flat to another three-bed. He said: "There are a lot of families dealing with overcrowding, certainly around my way in Norbiton, and we could really do with some more family units rather than one-bed shared ownerships."

A report submitted with the application said: "There is a significant need for new homes in the borough. The proposed development will deliver 34 new residential dwellings which would be a welcome addition to [Kingston's] housing supply and should be given significant weight in the planning balance.

"The proposals make a more efficient use of a highly accessible and sustainable brownfield site within Kingston. The scheme includes high-quality replacement employment space that will offset the existing poor quality accommodation that has been vacant for over six years."

Got a story? Email charlotte.lillywhite@reachplc.com.

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