A committee at Kingston Council (RBK) approved a proposed Malden development on the site of the former Worcester Park Tavern last week (July 31).

As the Comet previously reported, the tavern burnt down in February this year and the latest pictures show the pub has now been almost completely demolished in anticipation of future building work.

RBK received a planning application for the site on Park Terrace on February 11, exactly one week after the fire that destroyed the interior of the pub almost entirely.

Fire crews, who fought a doomed battle to save the tavern during the fire, failed to establish a cause of the blaze because the damage was so bad, concluding it was "unknown" back in February.

Surrey Comet: Image: Richard JohnsonImage: Richard Johnson

The application for the new development was submitted by Splendid Hospitality Group, which owns the Worcester Park Tavern site.

It was approved at RBK's Development Control Committee last Wednesday (July 31). 

The document relating to proposals confirmed the development would be a sizeable hotel:

"The application is for the erection of a part 5, part 6 storey building accommodating a 132 bedroom hotel... including a café bar/restaurant, a meeting room and ground floor external terrace, together with a car park, landscaping and reconfiguration of Park Terrace," the document's "executive summary" read.

The committee said that several concerns raised previously by councillors about the application had been addressed.

"The applicant has successfully addressed the concerns raised by the Council and the Design Review Panel, in regards to design, layout and massing.

"Although higher than surrounding development, it is considered that the revised scheme would complement the character of the area," the summary document read.

The development received mixed responses from residents that live in the immediate area.

Surrey Comet: Photomontage of the final proposal via RBKPhotomontage of the final proposal via RBK

Of 155 properties notified about the proposals, eight returned responses, with five voicing their support for the planned hotel complex and three opposing it.

The introduction of jobs and a "more attractive" building in the area were all cited as reasons to back the bid by residents.

Meanwhile, those opposing it mentioned parking and traffic issues among their chief concerns, with some worried that there would be an "insufficient amount of on-site car parking spaces" and as such generate a "risk of adjoining roads, such as The Manor Drive, becoming an overspill car park for the hotel..."

However, some of these concerns were apparently addressed according to the committee document.

An estimated 40 car parking spaces would be provided for the hotel complex as part of the development, the document read.

The Splendid Hospitality Group also agreed to provide money for public consultation with residents about the possible need for a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).

"The applicant has agreed to contribute a sum of £5,000 towards the Council’s consultation with local residents on the need for a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ).

"In the event that local residents support a CPZ, a further financial contribution of £25,000 would be paid towards the Council’s cost for setting up the CPZ and Traffic Management Order (TMO)," the document read.

It also revealed that ten trees would need to be felled in order to make way for the development.

"These trees are classified as low quality (i.e. Category C), and are not considered to provide a high value of amenity to warrant a TPO. There is therefore no resistance to the loss of these trees," the RBK document read.

The planning application makes the provision for the planting of new trees as part of the new development.