Draft plans for Kingston gas holders site go on show

An artist's impression of the proposed gas holders site development, looking at the building from Sury Basin

An artist's impression of the proposed gas holders site development, looking at the building from Sury Basin

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

Early plans to redevelop the former gas holders site in Kingston into 315 sustainable homes have gone on public display.

Residents got a look at Berkeley First’s initial ideas for the land at a public exhibition on Wednesday, held at Tiffin School in Queen Elizabeth Road.

The site is the key location in Kingston Council’s North Kingston Development Brief, which also includes the adjacent Canbury Place car park.

The council wants to regenerate the area into a mixed use residential and learning quarter with a new primary school.

But there was no room for a school in Berkeley’s plans for the gas holders, which showed a multi-storey residential development based around a private, central square.

Surrey Comet:

A drawing of the square in the middle of the development

Two tower blocks – one 11-storey and one eight-storey – would be built on the corners of the development facing Sury Basin, with commercial space on the groundfloor.

One key feature is the inclusion of a linear park public green space connecting Sury Basin with Kingsgate Road – one of the plans outlined in the development brief.

Ciaran Little, investment manager at Berkeley First, said: “We’re trying to create a green neighbourhood for north Kingston.

“We really want to regenerate this important industrial site and deliver some homes and good quality public realm and open space.

“We want to really connect the town centre with this area of north Kingston, and Berkley have a history of doing this sort of thing really well.”

Feedback on the exhibition was mixed, with several people saying the two corner buildings were too tall given the recent Kingston Riverside development in Canbury Gardens towering overhead.

Carrie Segrave, who lives close to the site, said: “I think development is a good idea, but every scheme these days wants its statement building, which I feel will be overbearing.

“We’ve had quite enough statement buildings with Kingston Riverside.

“I like the Berkeley Group, I think they are good people with a good reputation, but I don’t like their tall buildings.”

Surrey Comet:

Councillor Frank Thompson at the exhibition with his wife Dorothy

Tudor ward Councillor Frank Thompson said: “As a block of flats it’s just as nice looking as any other I suppose, but will any English families with moderate income be able to buy there?

“They have got to cram in as many as possible these days and I’m sure Berkeley will make the block look as attractive as feasible, but it doesn’t leave a lot of scope for innovative design.

“What with the Royal Quarter, Kingston Riverside and plans to build two huge buildings behind John Lewis [the rejected Thames Side Wharf] if this gets done it will be the most densely populated area in Kingston.”

The exhibition re-opens tomorrow, Saturday, January 11, in the Judge Lecture Theatre at Tiffin School from 10am to 2pm.

What do you think of the plans? Leave your comments below or email letters@surreycomet.co.uk

Comments (7)

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9:52am Fri 10 Jan 14

helen59 says...

ABSOLUTELY NOT - WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE FLATS IN THAT AREA
ABSOLUTELY NOT - WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE FLATS IN THAT AREA helen59
  • Score: 4

11:22am Fri 10 Jan 14

DB says...

helen59 wrote:
ABSOLUTELY NOT - WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE FLATS IN THAT AREA
I agree Helen. It is surprsing to hear them say that this development would make that locale become the most denesly populated area of Kingston - I am sure with all of the developments that have already gone up there recently it must already hold that title?

My argument against this (as always) is about infrastructure. The vast majority of people that will be able to afford to live here will work in London as there is very little work locally that would support these property prices. The train services from Kingston and Surbiton are well past breaking point already, so what will happen to the 500 or so extra commuters that this development will produce?

People that live in this type of flat would not traditionally have had children, but the current property bubble leaves them unable to buy a 'family home', so I'd expect quite a few of the occupants to have kids. Again, the schools are already over-subscribed, so the council would at least need to insist that one new school is built to deal with the extra demand.

Then there are the issues of the roads, parking, healthcare facilities etc. All of these are already a problem in Kingston due to the boom in building approvals over the past 20 years, but still these developments get the go-ahead without any plans for supporting infrastructure.
[quote][p][bold]helen59[/bold] wrote: ABSOLUTELY NOT - WE DO NOT WANT ANY MORE FLATS IN THAT AREA[/p][/quote]I agree Helen. It is surprsing to hear them say that this development would make that locale become the most denesly populated area of Kingston - I am sure with all of the developments that have already gone up there recently it must already hold that title? My argument against this (as always) is about infrastructure. The vast majority of people that will be able to afford to live here will work in London as there is very little work locally that would support these property prices. The train services from Kingston and Surbiton are well past breaking point already, so what will happen to the 500 or so extra commuters that this development will produce? People that live in this type of flat would not traditionally have had children, but the current property bubble leaves them unable to buy a 'family home', so I'd expect quite a few of the occupants to have kids. Again, the schools are already over-subscribed, so the council would at least need to insist that one new school is built to deal with the extra demand. Then there are the issues of the roads, parking, healthcare facilities etc. All of these are already a problem in Kingston due to the boom in building approvals over the past 20 years, but still these developments get the go-ahead without any plans for supporting infrastructure. DB
  • Score: 9

12:25pm Fri 10 Jan 14

kingstonpaul says...

Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston.
Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one.
Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston. Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 7

12:37pm Fri 10 Jan 14

DB says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston. Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one.
Yep. Surely the council will keep throwing this out until a school is included? After all, it was in the original brief.
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston. Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one.[/p][/quote]Yep. Surely the council will keep throwing this out until a school is included? After all, it was in the original brief. DB
  • Score: 5

3:50pm Fri 10 Jan 14

helen59 says...

WHY NOT MAKE IT INTO A CAR PARK BECAUSE AT THE MOMENT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PARKING SPACES IN KINGSTON.
WHY NOT MAKE IT INTO A CAR PARK BECAUSE AT THE MOMENT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH PARKING SPACES IN KINGSTON. helen59
  • Score: -3

8:02pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Johnsonthecat says...

DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote:
Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston. Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one.
Yep. Surely the council will keep throwing this out until a school is included? After all, it was in the original brief.
If Kingston council are serious about their own published "North Kingston Development Brief" then they should throw this back at Berkeley right now, without any further ado. That council proposal is all about affordable housing, a primary school, and some public open space. The Berkeley proposal is all about a single super-sized high-density development of expensive tower-black flats which will over-bear the neighbourhood and provide no community benefits for anyone other than residents. Set against the Development Brief's specification for the area this is a simple case of a housing developer testing boundaries. Well, we should require the Council to have the courage of its own published convictions and reject this plan totally and immediately.
[quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Ignore all Berkeley's sugar-coated bull*hit about wanting to create a so-called 'green neighbourhood'. This is a hard nosed profit opportunity for Berkeley, with plenty of upsides for them and precious few for residents of Kingston. Any developer absolutely must be required to put something back into the amenity fabric of the area. If it's a primary school, fine, but of course there's no money in this. Hardly surprising then that Berkeley's plans don't feature one.[/p][/quote]Yep. Surely the council will keep throwing this out until a school is included? After all, it was in the original brief.[/p][/quote]If Kingston council are serious about their own published "North Kingston Development Brief" then they should throw this back at Berkeley right now, without any further ado. That council proposal is all about affordable housing, a primary school, and some public open space. The Berkeley proposal is all about a single super-sized high-density development of expensive tower-black flats which will over-bear the neighbourhood and provide no community benefits for anyone other than residents. Set against the Development Brief's specification for the area this is a simple case of a housing developer testing boundaries. Well, we should require the Council to have the courage of its own published convictions and reject this plan totally and immediately. Johnsonthecat
  • Score: 3

1:48am Sun 2 Feb 14

jasghar says...

Another Berkeley turd, like every other Berkeley turd before it. Still, tidy profit...
Another Berkeley turd, like every other Berkeley turd before it. Still, tidy profit... jasghar
  • Score: -1

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