Kingston warned not 'to rest on laurels' as businesses and developers gather to map out future of town

Eden Walk

Eden Walk

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

New plans to revamp Kingston town centre could be announced at a conference where planners and business leaders will map out the town's future development.

About 150 delegates will descend on the Rose Theatre today for the Kingston Futures conference, designed to show off how the town centre could be built up, modernised and improved.

The new-look ancient market, Crossrail 2, and the mini-Holland cycling project, for which Kingston is set to receive millions of pounds in funding, are all on the agenda.

Claudette Forbes, manager of Kingston Council's Shaping Kingston programme, said one or two developers "may well choose the opportunity to talk in more detail about the schemes they have been working up. It's something they're keeping very close to their chests."

Council leader councillor Kevin Davis said: "If we stand still and do nothing then Kingston will start to decline. We have no option, in a sense.

"From developers' points of view they want a proactive council. We're ready for people to come to us and work with us.

"We've got so many other things to offer that [places like Westfield] don't - mainly that we're not just a barn with a bunch of shops."

The "shabby"-looking southern end of Eden Street is the key to revamping the town centre, he added.

Significant redevelopment could start in five years' time, with Eden Quarter the "major opportunity" and the most likely to come first.

Interest in the area around Eden Street and Wheatfield Way is healthy, though plans were scuppered four years ago when talks between Kingston Council and developers Hammerson fell through.

The area could have seen a new two-level shopping street, a new town square and bus station, and 250 homes.

Speakers at the conference will include London deputy mayor Kit Malthouse and MP Zac Goldsmith.

Industry representatives, office letting boss Bob Cattaneo and All Saints rector Rev Jonathan Wilkes are among the members of debate panels.

Kingston's crown as a shopping hub could be under threat from Westfield and Croydon if "we rest on our laurels", Ms Forbes said.

She added: "It's a fantastic town centre but our studies tell us that it could afford more major retail.

"[But] any proposals that we come up with must enhance and protect the great things we have already got. The heritage aspect of it is absolutely crucial."

Kingston Society chairman Jennifer Butterworth said: "I find the whole Kingston Futures most puzzling.

"It seems to be a jamboree for developers without any attempt to consider what the residents might think."

The council has hired expert consultants to help it draw up a design brief for Eden Quarter, which will go to consultation in the autumn.

A ticket to the conference costs £354, including VAT.

Comments (6)

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7:29am Tue 24 Jun 14

0753waterloo says...

This is just a talking shop for developers and their lobbying PR friends.

The Kingston Futures website lists residents after companies, workers and investors. That shows where their priorities lie.

Compare the hastily constructed Kingston Futures website to this plan covering housing and environmental concerns as well as development.

http://www.kingston.
gov.uk/download/down
loads/id/65/kingston
_town_centre_area_ac
tion_plan

Kingston's future includes residents, not just those here to make money.
This is just a talking shop for developers and their lobbying PR friends. The Kingston Futures website lists residents after companies, workers and investors. That shows where their priorities lie. Compare the hastily constructed Kingston Futures website to this plan covering housing and environmental concerns as well as development. http://www.kingston. gov.uk/download/down loads/id/65/kingston _town_centre_area_ac tion_plan Kingston's future includes residents, not just those here to make money. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 17

1:25pm Tue 24 Jun 14

grace86 says...

Here we go, the pillage and plunder of Kingston begins at the hands of property developers and their lobbyist mouthpieces such as Cratus, the company owned by Kingston Tory leader Kevin Davis.

Any pretence that the voters of Kingston have any say in this carve up of how our borough is developed is debunked by the FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS ticket price of admission tickets.

The only winners here are the property developers, their well greased lobbyist friends
Here we go, the pillage and plunder of Kingston begins at the hands of property developers and their lobbyist mouthpieces such as Cratus, the company owned by Kingston Tory leader Kevin Davis. Any pretence that the voters of Kingston have any say in this carve up of how our borough is developed is debunked by the FOUR HUNDRED POUNDS ticket price of admission tickets. The only winners here are the property developers, their well greased lobbyist friends grace86
  • Score: 15

4:12pm Tue 24 Jun 14

kingstonpaul says...

The new market development is a harbinger of the development of KOT. In its quest to develop a 'food hub', Kingston First has taken uber-bland to a new highconcept, exorcising the 'ancient' from 'ancient market place'.
The thrust of development elsewhere seems to be yet more lousy, cheap-build, 'prestige' housing developments, so that builders, developers and buy-to-let landlords are trousering millions of dirty lucre.
The new market development is a harbinger of the development of KOT. In its quest to develop a 'food hub', Kingston First has taken uber-bland to a new highconcept, exorcising the 'ancient' from 'ancient market place'. The thrust of development elsewhere seems to be yet more lousy, cheap-build, 'prestige' housing developments, so that builders, developers and buy-to-let landlords are trousering millions of dirty lucre. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 9

4:24pm Tue 24 Jun 14

grace86 says...

We'd better get used to it. Under Tory leader Kevin Davis (owner of property development lobbyists Cratus) Kingston is poised to become the most developer friendly borough in London.

The £400 tickets ensure that the wishes of Kingston voters, or plebs as they call us, won't be heard.
We'd better get used to it. Under Tory leader Kevin Davis (owner of property development lobbyists Cratus) Kingston is poised to become the most developer friendly borough in London. The £400 tickets ensure that the wishes of Kingston voters, or plebs as they call us, won't be heard. grace86
  • Score: 13

4:35pm Tue 24 Jun 14

grace86 says...

"We're all in it together" my arse. The Tories are obviously in it for themselves. They harp on about the public sector, but make a living as so called "consultants" or lobbyists on the back of it, as they push their noses deeper into the trough. People of Kingston, this shower of parasites, feasting on the spoils from property developers & nasty criminal night club owners, now claim to represent you. Well sorry, I've got morals and you don't represent me.
"We're all in it together" my arse. The Tories are obviously in it for themselves. They harp on about the public sector, but make a living as so called "consultants" or lobbyists on the back of it, as they push their noses deeper into the trough. People of Kingston, this shower of parasites, feasting on the spoils from property developers & nasty criminal night club owners, now claim to represent you. Well sorry, I've got morals and you don't represent me. grace86
  • Score: 18

7:26pm Tue 24 Jun 14

DB says...

The thing is the residents will never benefit from 'more retail' even if they were consulted. Kingston is an excellent town centre to have on your doorstep as it is, trying to expand it to compete with Westfield just generates more interest from those that have to drive in from miles away and therefore a lot more traffic and congestion.

Where is the advantage in that for those that actually live here?
The thing is the residents will never benefit from 'more retail' even if they were consulted. Kingston is an excellent town centre to have on your doorstep as it is, trying to expand it to compete with Westfield just generates more interest from those that have to drive in from miles away and therefore a lot more traffic and congestion. Where is the advantage in that for those that actually live here? DB
  • Score: 8

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