A developer has pledged to continue to “consult with residents” after plans to build a 16 storey tower block in Kingston’s old post office site were approved.

Surrey Comet:

A 16 storey tower and eight storey "bookend" tower will be built on the site

Plans to build a series of towers on the site in Ashdown Road were passed by councillors by six votes to five to an audibly furious at a Development Control Committee meeting at the Guildhall last night.

It was the fourth application submitted by the developer, which first submitted plans to build a 21 storey tower but was met with fierce opposition from residents.

Thursday, February 26: LIVE BLOG: Decision night for councillors as plans to develop the old post office site are presented to Kingston Council

Monday, December 7, 2015: Old post office developer St George to redraw Ashdown Road plans after 16-storey Kingston tower block rejection

Thursday November 5, 2015: DENIED: Kingston Council overwhelmingly rejects plans to build 16 storey tower on old post office site

Asked whether or not the developer ever considered abandoning the plans, managing director Michael Bryn-Jones said: “We would never do that, we will always seek to resolve differences.

“I think ultimately we’ve gone through a process were we’ve engaged with the local community. Of course we will still be consulting with the residents.”

Surrey Comet:

The colour of the brickwork was changed to better reflect the character of the area

St George first put forward plans to build retail and community spaces plus a 21-storey tower block at site in July 2014.

As part of the latest reworking, the tower block was reduced to 16 storeys and a bookend building reduced from 12 storeys to eight.

Yellow brickwork was also introduced to create a “harmonious background” with surrounding buildings.

Judith Salomon, strategic planning director for St George, said: “We looked again at the buildings that everyone loves in Kingston.

“We are committed to Kingston. It’s the details, so yes I think we’ve calmed it down.”

Despite the changes there remained strong opposition from residents and some councillors at the decision meeting, with councillor Rebekah Moll claiming the planned tower looks like “scaffolding”.

The lack of three bedroom accommodation and the failure of the 16 storey tower to relate to the character of surrounding buildings – both official reasons for refusal of the previous application - was widely criticised.

Throughout the meeting jeers and objections could be heard from the public gallery, with one member branding the councillors “basterds” once the decision was announced.

Reacting to the decision, Kingston Residents Alliance member Tessa Kind said: “I’m disappointed, not surprised. Two out of three of the objections were still not met so how could they have accepted it?”

“With our campaigning we have got it immensely improved but that doesn’t mean it’s right still.

“They’ll have to consult with regards to logistics, lorries coming in and that sort of thing. I doubt they will for the design.”

Surrey Comet:

The plans were presented at a Development Control Committee meeting last night

Of the councillors who approved the plans all were Conservative councillors, with only Rowena Bass of the party voting against.

Liberal Democrat councillor Bill Brisbane said at the meeting: “I don't think 12 per cent three-bedroom dwellings is acceptable.

"The structure hasn't changed from the time we refused it. I think the design here is unacceptable, it's not restrained, it's shouting at us and it's not appropriate for Kingston".