A developer's appeal to build student flats in a "gateway" approach to Kingston town centre has been turned down.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal by Enstar Capital over the proposed building, which would have contained 140 studio flats for students in High Street and South Lane.

Surrey Comet:

Planning inspector Sukie Tamplin

Inspector Sukie Tamplin said: "Because the building would be seen as one mass spread across three plots it would lack the intimate and varied character of the prevailing street scene.

"In views from the riverside or from the west bank of the Thames, which are agreed to be of critical importance, the development would be higher and wider than other development in the highly prominent streetscape.

"There is no cogent evidence before me which indicates that in these views the development would fulfil a landmark or gateway role."

On Kingston's need for more student housing, she added: "It is common ground that there is a shortage of specialised student accommodation in the borough as a whole.

"[Kingston University] said at the hearing that the accommodation proposed in the appeal scheme would not meet their priority needs because it would be entirely self-contained studio units.

"Self-contained studio flats tend to be more expensive for students and do not encourage integration."

The building was designed by CZWG architect Piers Gough, a Royal Academician and CBE, who told a hearing earlier this month his design would create an attractive "southern gateway approach" to the town.