First glimpse of ideas for Kingston's old post office

An artist's impression of   what the old post office building could look like

An artist's impression of what the old post office building could look like

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor

Early proposals for the redevelopment of Kingston's old post office building and telephone exchange have been largely well received by the public.

An exhibition of initial ideas for the three-acre Ashdown Road site is being held inside the listed post office building until tomorrow, July 12.

Developers St George, the firm behind Kingston's Charter Quay riverside development, only bought the land seven weeks ago from Hammerson.

Although the proposals are in their infancy, it is expected the site will be transformed into a mixed use development of flats, retail and restaurants, with open spaces.

At this stage, the solitary artist's impression of what the future could hold shows the post office building redeveloped into a cafe/restaurant space, with pedestrians milling around a new plaza.

But that seemed to be enough for visitors to the exhibition this afternoon, who gave their backing to St George.

Jim White said: "I think it's a great idea.

"St George are a trusted developer with a good track record, who don't dumb down and try and retain character.

"Hopefully they won't destroy it like the ancient market."

Anne Marks from Kingston said: It's nice somebody wants to develop the post office building, rather than lose it."

And Judith Pitfield added: "They [St George] seem to be very sympathetic in their views on what the area is about.

"They've done some good jobs around Kingston before, and it looks as though this will be in keeping with the character of the area."

But Alastair Pether, a graphic designer from Kingston, said the exhibition was "premature".

"There doesn't seem to be any ideas yet. I c an't see any details and there's only one visual of a sort of refurbished post office building.

"It seems to be a bit premature to be consulting on not very much."

Have you been to the exhibition? What do you think? Leave your comments below or email letters@surreycomet.co.uk

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