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Mini-village and school blueprint for Kingston gasworks
Kingston could have a mini-village with shops, homes, green spaces, a GP surgery and a two form entry primary school within a few years.
Kingston Council has released a draft consultation for the former gasworks site in Seven Kings Way and the Kingsgate carpark.
The area would be spruced up with homes as well as restaurants or cafes.
Bernadette Vallely, secretary of the Richmond Road Residents Association, said: “That is a big piece of land. It would totally transform the area. It would make sense. It would bring the area up.
“As long as it’s not like Oxford Street in rush hour. Let’s wait and see what they come up with. If they are thinking to make the town centre in that area – then no, but if it’s going to be a school, some housing, some retail and a play area – then wow.”
But councillor Andrea Craig, who represents Canbury Ward, said: “The plan for a school has been a good one but there has not been enough work done on this brief with respect to a traffic scheme that would be workable.
"It will take a huge amount for me to be convinced that this solution of removing Kingsgate is a good one.”
The site will be bordered and contained in a square by Richmond Road, Surrey Basin, Seven Kings Way and Sopwith Way.
The brief states that it expects Richmond Road to have a much higher footfall.
Kingston College has also been given planning permission for a new arts centre in Richmond Road.
In nearby New Malden residents have complained about developers taking on different parts of the area, in particular the Brycbox site, and developing it with little thought to the overall picture.
But the brief for the North Kingston site which is available on the Kingston Council website states: “Many of the developments have been designed on a site by site basis, and the North Kingston site presents the opportunity to develop a comprehensive plan for an area in multiple ownership...
“The site needs to be integrated to ensure the efficient use of land, and establish a well used sustainable development. A piecemeal approach to redeveloping the site area will not be supported by the council.”
The nearby area has already had 1,000 new homes put in as well as a 700-space multi-storey carpark, a large Sainsbury’s supermarket and a Virgin Active gym in recent years.
There are also an extra 347 flats and a 140-bed hotel in the pipeline for the former power station in Skerne Road that has not been in use since the 1980s.
Future plans for the North Kingston site also include cycle routes through the area that could connect to the riverside and Canbury Gardens, although more work is needed to deal with the poor noise and air quality caused by good existing transport links, according to the brief.
The ideas will be discussed at the next Kingston town neighbourhood meeting on September 25.
See the plans and ask questions at Kingston College’s Richmond Road centre on Tuesday, October 1, from 5.30–9pm.
The consultation closes on Tuesday, October 15.
For more details go to kingston.gov.uk/info/200155/planning/846/development_briefs.
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