London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given the final go-ahead to £400m plans to demolish the heart of Kingston town centre and transform it into a shopping metropolis.

Kingston Council granted approval to developers British Land and USS to rebuild the Eden Walk complex in May last year, but have been waiting for the green light from City Hall.

Almost 400 new homes plus 18,000 sqm of retail space, leisure facilities and offices will now be built in the shopping complex, with Mr Khan having granted approval to the council.

Leader Kevin Davis said: "We're immensely excited to see the redevelopment of Eden Walk move a step closer.

“To grow and prosper, the borough needs high quality and carefully considered schemes like this one and the fact that Kingston is able to attract such significant investment, is a huge vote of confidence in the future direction of the borough.”

The development has been criticised by some, including ward Conservative Councillor Phil Doyle, for its lack of affordable housing, not fitting in with the “heritage of the town” and the “excessive scale and mass” of the buildings.

Supermarket powerhouse Sainsbury’s protested the plans and 171 objections were received from residents and small businesses in the area.

Councillor Rebekah Moll rejected the plans at the Development Control Committee meeting last year.

She said: “I said at the meeting it was a hard one because some of the proposals are really good, like the proposals from Memorial Square.

“We could see from subsequent applications that (City Hall blocking the plans) was not something that would happen. That is disappointing.”

Surrey Comet:

Developers plan to turn the complex into a 'retail powerhouse'

The Eden Walk development will help bring 600 jobs to Kingston and has “significant support” from residents, Kingston Council said.

Instead of affordable housing, developers will offer 38 “starter homes” at a discounted price and give the council £1.6m upfront.

A further £1.4m will be paid to the council after the developers make 15 per cent profit from sales of the 380 homes and then profits will be split equally between the council and the developer.

Richard Wise, head of retail development for British Land, said: “Kingston is a special place which enjoys a unique blend of heritage, retail and leisure from its great riverside location.

 “The proposed redevelopment of Eden Walk is designed to complement the existing retail offer and create a high quality central space for Kingston which will over time, become the heart of the town.”