Extra chairs needed at hearing as residents pack in to hear appeal on 140 student flats proposed for Kingston

Planning inspector Sukie Tamplin

Planning inspector Sukie Tamplin

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The spectre of more student housing in Kingston brought so many residents to a planning hearing Kingston Council workers had to find extra chairs to accommodate them.

Flats for 140 students in High Street could still be built despite being refused by councillors in January, and about 30 residents of South Lane and surrounding roads descended on the Guildhall to put across their views.

Surrey Comet:

The proposed view from across the river. Courtesy CZWG

Real estate investors Enstar Capital have appealed the councillors’ decision and the Planning Inspectorate held a hearing on Tuesday to gather more evidence.

Architect Piers Gough, a Royal Academician and CBE, said he felt his design for a new building to replace Swan House in High Street would create an attractive “southern gateway approach” to Kingston along the Portsmouth Road.

He added: “It, I think, is a building which suggests the celebration of its location more than its neighbours.”

Surrey Comet:

The back of the proposed building. Courtesy: CZWG

But Milner Road resident Manoj Damodar, 40, said he worried about the impact the influx of 140 students would have on the area.

He said: “I’m not sure of how much value is going to get assigned to the views of the residents.

“There was a lot of discussion of the character in terms of how it looks. But there’s also the character of the area - that comes from the type of people that live there. It’s a very family area.”

Another resident called the proposed building a “monstrosity”, and received a ripple of applause when he sat back down.

When the council first consulted residents and others on the plans, Kingston University opposed the creation of more studio flats, saying it preferred cluster arrangements.

Kingston police had said they were concerned about more people living in the riverside area and a possible rise in disorder.

Planning inspector Sukie Tamplin is expected to issue a decision – in the same process the Seething Wells filter beds underwent – in about six weeks’ time.

Comments (4)

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8:13am Thu 5 Jun 14

helen59 says...

NO,NO,NO MORE FLATS
NO,NO,NO MORE FLATS helen59
  • Score: -2

11:31am Thu 5 Jun 14

DB says...

Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years.

If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here.

The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is?

I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment.
Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years. If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here. The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is? I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment. DB
  • Score: 2

11:52am Thu 5 Jun 14

percoolator says...

DB wrote:
Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years.

If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here.

The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is?

I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment.
Nimbyism at it's best!
[quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years. If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here. The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is? I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment.[/p][/quote]Nimbyism at it's best! percoolator
  • Score: -1

11:13am Fri 6 Jun 14

DB says...

percoolator wrote:
DB wrote: Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years. If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here. The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is? I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment.
Nimbyism at it's best!
I don't quite understand how that equates to 'Nimbyism'. I don't even live that near there so have no real interest in what is developed.

The point remains that there seems to be a lot of student flats being built at the moment and they are based on these super returns that are surely only temporary.
[quote][p][bold]percoolator[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: Apart from the problems casued to local residents, I don't think that the council are considering that demand for this type of flat could reduce rapidly in the coming years. If you look at the many similar developments that have been built in Kingston recently, you will notice the astronomical prices that are being charged - often between £200 and £300 a week! Clearly, there is a limit to the number of students that will be able to afford this. Most of them are likely to go into houseshares etc for a third of the price being asked here. The demand for these flats is driven by rich foreign students, but what happens if they suddenly start to decide that Kingston University is not the exulted seat of learning that they currently seem to believe it is? I can't see these greedy developers being so desperate to build student flats if they have to start letting them out a £80-£100 per week to attract domestic students instead of the supercharged returns they are getting at the moment.[/p][/quote]Nimbyism at it's best![/p][/quote]I don't quite understand how that equates to 'Nimbyism'. I don't even live that near there so have no real interest in what is developed. The point remains that there seems to be a lot of student flats being built at the moment and they are based on these super returns that are surely only temporary. DB
  • Score: 0

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