What do Kingstonians think of town centre redevelopment plans?

Shirley Carter studies the proposals for Eden Walk

Shirley Carter studies the proposals for Eden Walk

First published in News
Last updated

A pedestrian path through the Memorial Gardens and a boutique cinema in Eden Walk were some of the proposals for Eden Walk being shown to residents today, writes Sarah Howden.

Planners also hope to create affordable housing in Kingston town centre, and introduce a more diverse range of restaurants and cafes, as part of the development of the Eden Quarter.

The Surrey Comet asked visitors to the exhibition on its final day what they thought.

Brian Godding, 85, a retired architect who is part of the Kingston Society and lives in Kingston Hill, said: “This scheme will only benefit big retail companies.

"The development will cause absolute chaos when it’s being built. Kingston will be a huge building site for years”.

His wife Rickey, a retired health professional, said: “The development will cause tremendous upheaval to commuters and people who have to use public transport.”

Harry Dillamore, 18, an Esher College student from Hampton Wick, said: “A ‘Brick Lane’ of Kingston would be amazing. It’s a great idea to have more independent shops.

"If a cinema could match Odeon prices, I’d definitely go for the atmosphere, but a boutique cinema sounds expensive”.

His mum Lorraine, 49, a school office administrator, said: “Eden Walk is individual and hopefully it will keep that individuality. A pedestrian route through the memorial gardens would be lovely.”

Retired Diane Watling who lives in north Kingston said: “Memorial gardens are memorial gardens and that’s how they should stay. It’s very good to increase links but this isn't the way of doing it.”

Shirley Carter, 79, from Banstead, said: “I've been coming to Kingston since I was 10. A pedestrian route through the Memorial Gardens will make it less peaceful. I think we should have quality stores and a few more seats rather than wasted shops.”

Berrylands resident Caroline Hutchings, 56, said: “Eden Walk needs to be revamped. At the moment the roofs leak. I’d like to see a nice balance of shops, and to keep BHS, Sainsbury’s and Boots.”

Jerry Irving, chief executive of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, said: “The plans are welcome. They are a positive step for Kingston.

"They need to be considered alongside other proposals such as St George’s site across the road [The nearby Ashdown Road car park re-development].

“Turning Kingston into a huge building site won’t be welcome. But we want to see consideration on the part of developers about the effect on non-retail small businesses.”

What do you think? Visit www.surreycomet.co.uk/yoursay and let us know.

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