Tears and fears over prospect of student influx into Kingston Vale

Surrey Comet: Tears and fears over prospect of student influx into Kingston Vale Tears and fears over prospect of student influx into Kingston Vale

Women in tears and angry residents are protesting against the development of a massive student development in Kingston Vale.

The proposal to erect 133 flats for students has met a campaign against since it was submitted on June 6.

The proposal, submitted by AK Property Investments, involves demolishing the bungalow at 1a Robin Hood Lane, and building a multi-storey block with parking spaces.

A doorstep survey conducted by the Kingston Vale Residents’ Association indicated unanimous opposition.

Gordon Foster, chairman of the KVRA, said: “The residents are up in arms about it. I’ve had ladies in tears about it. We have had a considerable amount of calls and a couple of letters, all concerned that it would be a catastrophe for the area.”

Coun Patrick Codd, co-chairman of the Maldens and Coombe planning sub-committee, said: “I have not known such anger in nearly 20 years, not just in Kingston but in my ward.”

He added: “The council hasn't brought this proposal forward, but, nonetheless, residents feel let down.”

John Foley, of Ullswater Crescent, said: “The facilities here have declined over the years. There used to be two pubs but both have been sold off for housing and we’ve lost those amenities. Where would the students go?”

The Duke of Cambridge pub was demolished in 2001 without planning permission, after a four-month long campaign to save it. The Vale’s only other pub, the Robin Hood, was also later converted. 

Mr Foley said: “What’s happened is that people have not got a lot of confidence in planning in the area. Developers seem to be able to do what they want.”

James Lloyd of AK Property Investments said: “We’re not going to please everybody, but we have submitted the application for a development that is safe, secure and managed, and that will fit comfortably in the Vale."

The committee’s decision is expected on December 17.

Comments (4)

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8:45am Thu 6 Dec 12

CUTTLEFISH says...

I agree with the sentiments the residents have submitted. How can an area that once had pubs/shops etc now be expected to house more people. Joke
I agree with the sentiments the residents have submitted. How can an area that once had pubs/shops etc now be expected to house more people. Joke CUTTLEFISH

10:48am Thu 6 Dec 12

SteveC1964 says...

I don't get the argument that you can't have student housing without a pub nearby. Surely it's clear that students avoid regular pubs because of the prices, hence the popularity of the student union, Wetherspoons, and supermarket offers.

There are shops at Vale Parade. Surely more residents living on this site would help generate a bit more income for them? There seem to be double standards applying to the planning issues. No doubt there wouldn't be such opposition if AK Property wanted to build some mansions. It's the reputation of students that's the issue.
I don't get the argument that you can't have student housing without a pub nearby. Surely it's clear that students avoid regular pubs because of the prices, hence the popularity of the student union, Wetherspoons, and supermarket offers. There are shops at Vale Parade. Surely more residents living on this site would help generate a bit more income for them? There seem to be double standards applying to the planning issues. No doubt there wouldn't be such opposition if AK Property wanted to build some mansions. It's the reputation of students that's the issue. SteveC1964

1:26pm Thu 6 Dec 12

kingstonpaul says...

Can't imagne many students wanting to live there. Unless they've gotten very boring since my day. Don't the overwhelming majority want to live the other side of the Kingston Hill campus where there's some life?
Can't imagne many students wanting to live there. Unless they've gotten very boring since my day. Don't the overwhelming majority want to live the other side of the Kingston Hill campus where there's some life? kingstonpaul

2:43pm Fri 7 Dec 12

DB says...

Yep, it would certainly be a boring neighbourhood for students - it just seems to be a load of mansions, social housing and the A3 junction up that way.

Is Kingston University actually expanding that much that this development is needed? Each time I look, it is falling in the league tables and struggling to fill it's spaces.

If more units are needed, surely it would make sense for the University to put them on it's own Kingston Hill site to keep it a bit more self contained? I am guessing a good proportion of the students studying at the campus would prefer to live in Kingston itself and commute in for lectures anyway.

I do sympathise with the residents though. I remember the large student village that a developer tried to build in Surbiton a few years ago causing similar outrage. Students have a more fearsome reputation than a lot of them deserve, but as with any transient population just a few of them causing problems really can have a detrimental effect on a community.
Yep, it would certainly be a boring neighbourhood for students - it just seems to be a load of mansions, social housing and the A3 junction up that way. Is Kingston University actually expanding that much that this development is needed? Each time I look, it is falling in the league tables and struggling to fill it's spaces. If more units are needed, surely it would make sense for the University to put them on it's own Kingston Hill site to keep it a bit more self contained? I am guessing a good proportion of the students studying at the campus would prefer to live in Kingston itself and commute in for lectures anyway. I do sympathise with the residents though. I remember the large student village that a developer tried to build in Surbiton a few years ago causing similar outrage. Students have a more fearsome reputation than a lot of them deserve, but as with any transient population just a few of them causing problems really can have a detrimental effect on a community. DB

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