Plans to build on top of a building in South London have been slammed as “ugly” by residents.

Developers want to refurbish and extend Greencoat House student accommodation on Clarence Street in Kingston, just opposite Kingston station – to accommodate 202 co-living spaces.

Co-working spaces are also planned on the ground floor with AMRO developers hoping it to be “one of Kingston’s most sustainable buildings”.

But Kingston resident Caroline Shah told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I think it is ugly and inappropriate in a historic market town.

“The proposal is part of the accelerating densification of Kingston with insufficient local green space or infrastructure like GPs and dentists.

“It is almost as though developers and planners are in a rush to degrade Kingston’s heritage and character before anyone can stop what they are doing.”

Helen Hinton, group leader of the Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG) told the LDRS: “The appearance wrongly dominates at a gateway into Kingston so it stops you getting a first impression of historic Kingston. The scale is so big.”

She added: “KIRG has seen the council is trying to provide more affordable housing so the impact on residents will be similar for any other London borough.”

Helen said it is “disappointing” to see this application have no affordable housing.

AMRO said: “Co-Living provides an innovative housing product which will meet an identified need in Kingston, an area where the proportion of younger households is higher than London overall and provides a form of accommodation that can enable the retention of these younger residents, graduates, professionals and key workers in the borough.

“The proposal not only uplifts the appearance and street scene along Clarence Street, but it further improves the appearance of the site along Fife Road, one of the key pedestrian routes between Kingston’s vibrant town centre and railway station.”

The reason for no affordable housing is “because it does not meet the minimum housing space standards, it is not considered suitable as a form of affordable housing itself”.

A financial contribution is needed instead for affordable housing provided through the borough’s affordable housing programme.

A decision will be made by Kingston Council on the plans in due course.