Kingston Council set to approve Old London Road student flats

Surrey Comet: Plans: The proposed new block of student flats, right Plans: The proposed new block of student flats, right

Plans for 60 student flats in Old London Road have been given the thumbs-up by Kingston Council officers.

Officers have recommended councillors approve the scheme at a meeting next week.

The five-storey building would stand at the end of Kingston’s oldest shopping street, opposite the Wilkinson store and right at the end of the queue for Pryzm nightclub – formerly Oceana.

The planning application includes the demolition of the Little Italy restaurant building, though the new development would make room for a restaurant.

Of 66 residents and business owners consulted on the scheme, four objected.

If approved, the development would have to be started within three years.

Officers said in a report the proposed restaurant should not be allowed to operate before 6am or after midnight.

Councillors will vote on the plans at a meeting of the development control committee on Thursday, December 12, at 7.30pm in the Guildhall.

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12:22pm Wed 4 Dec 13

DB says...

Unusually for me, I actually agree with the council's decision on this one. The building that will be knocked down has no particular merit anyway and the new one is better, if still a bit ugly.

That part of the town is lost now anyway in my opinion, so most developments would be an improvement.

I do think that any devloper who gets student housing approved should be required to demonstrate that the building can be easilty converted into something else in the future. We have survived without this amount of purpose-built student housing in past, so who says we are going to continue needing it in 5-10 years time.

Kingston University is not climbing the rankings and increased student numbers are more likely to come from those who find it's location convenient to commute to from home rather than actually live in the area.

We have lost the previous government's fervour to get eveyone University educated and this, combined with the ever increasing tuition fees, doesn't really herald a bright future for the majority of UK universities.
Unusually for me, I actually agree with the council's decision on this one. The building that will be knocked down has no particular merit anyway and the new one is better, if still a bit ugly. That part of the town is lost now anyway in my opinion, so most developments would be an improvement. I do think that any devloper who gets student housing approved should be required to demonstrate that the building can be easilty converted into something else in the future. We have survived without this amount of purpose-built student housing in past, so who says we are going to continue needing it in 5-10 years time. Kingston University is not climbing the rankings and increased student numbers are more likely to come from those who find it's location convenient to commute to from home rather than actually live in the area. We have lost the previous government's fervour to get eveyone University educated and this, combined with the ever increasing tuition fees, doesn't really herald a bright future for the majority of UK universities. DB

4:32am Fri 6 Dec 13

Beverly RA says...

It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated.
"Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race.

So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined
It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated. "Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race. So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined Beverly RA

12:24pm Fri 6 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

Beverly RA wrote:
It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated.
"Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race.

So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined
Smoke and mirrors. Talk about 'providing' 30,000 more places is spin, because there is already substantial over-capacity in the university system as demand has fallen away with the trebling of fees two years ago. We don't need more HE spaces to be provided - we need more bodies to fill what's already available.
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated. "Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race. So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined[/p][/quote]Smoke and mirrors. Talk about 'providing' 30,000 more places is spin, because there is already substantial over-capacity in the university system as demand has fallen away with the trebling of fees two years ago. We don't need more HE spaces to be provided - we need more bodies to fill what's already available. kingstonpaul

3:09pm Fri 6 Dec 13

DB says...

Beverly RA wrote:
It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated. "Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race. So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined
Indeed, but I agree with Kingstonpaul on this one.

Why do we need 30,000 extra places when we have too many already? The Labour target of getting 50% of people educated to University level was misguided at best and now the current government want to expand the system even more.

The problem for them is that there comes a level which people can just not afford it any more. A three year University course now costs £27k in fees alone, new student flats like this will cost at least that again to rent over that period and then there are the other costs of living that have seen students go into debt for years anyway.

That is probably the thick end of £70k of debt to get a degree certificate from Kingston University and the distinct lack of job prospects that a degree now brings to pay off that huge debt. I just can't see 30,000 more people wanting to go that route, however George Osbourne tries to sell it.
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: It would seem that DB comments on education was a bit premature. Yesterdays announcement by the Chancellor stated. "Access to higher education is a basic tenet of economic success in the global race. So today I can announce that next year we will provide 30,000 more student places – and the year after we will abolish the cap on student numbers altogether. " more than Labour could have ever imagined[/p][/quote]Indeed, but I agree with Kingstonpaul on this one. Why do we need 30,000 extra places when we have too many already? The Labour target of getting 50% of people educated to University level was misguided at best and now the current government want to expand the system even more. The problem for them is that there comes a level which people can just not afford it any more. A three year University course now costs £27k in fees alone, new student flats like this will cost at least that again to rent over that period and then there are the other costs of living that have seen students go into debt for years anyway. That is probably the thick end of £70k of debt to get a degree certificate from Kingston University and the distinct lack of job prospects that a degree now brings to pay off that huge debt. I just can't see 30,000 more people wanting to go that route, however George Osbourne tries to sell it. DB

2:09pm Fri 13 Dec 13

captain_shamrock says...

I think this report was a bit premature.

Whilst the council planning officers may have passed the scheme, both the Kingston Neighbourhood and Development Control committees rejected it.
In future, it might be better to defer reporting applications until after the councillors have made their decision.

Otherwise readers not familiar with the process might wrongly think that the council has approved a planning applciation when it actually goes on do the complete opposite and councillors reject it.

In any such report, it might also be benficial to add that even if the council has rejected an application, the process is not necessarily over. Central Govt's Planning Inspector can always overrule the wishes of local councils and residents if developers appeal.
I think this report was a bit premature. Whilst the council planning officers may have passed the scheme, both the Kingston Neighbourhood and Development Control committees rejected it. In future, it might be better to defer reporting applications until after the councillors have made their decision. Otherwise readers not familiar with the process might wrongly think that the council has approved a planning applciation when it actually goes on do the complete opposite and councillors reject it. In any such report, it might also be benficial to add that even if the council has rejected an application, the process is not necessarily over. Central Govt's Planning Inspector can always overrule the wishes of local councils and residents if developers appeal. captain_shamrock

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