Kingston: Plans for nine-storey tower block on Clarence Street approved

  Posted: 13.01.22 at 14:14 by James Mayer, Local Democracy Reporter

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RESIDENTS near a site approved for a nine-floor tower block in Kingston say it will blight their homes, cut out precious light and lead to hundreds of people 'looking down at us.'

The plans to build the flats in Kingston have been given the green light but locals said it would overshadow their gardens – and they would be forced to keep their house lights on all day.

Developers AMRO will refurbish and extend the Greencoat House building on Clarence Street to accommodate 202 co-living spaces – with just a single parking space on offer.

The redbrick building opposite the station is currently used as student accommodation but Kingston Council said the number of students going to university had declined so it would not make a difference to housing need.

It will remain four storeys at the front but as it goes back, extra floors will be added – making it seven, eight, then nine storeys high.

Local resident Deepa Veneik told Kingston Council’s Planning Committee yesterday (January 12): "There is definitely going to be visual intrusion, noise and disturbance.

Greencoat House opposite Kingston Station (Image: Helen Hinton)

Ms Veneik said: "We’re going to have nine floors of people looking at us."

She added: "There’s no evidence at all been provided that, even though it might provide some accommodation, it’s actually needed."

Liberal Democrat councillor Dave Ryder-Mills said he was concerned about "the poor people who live in those flats at the railway building."

He said people living there would "suffer a significant loss of light and I think the report mentions that they would presumably be needing the lights on virtually all the time because of the overshadowing from this building."

Liberal Democrat councillor Olly Wehring, said: "Why is there no affordable housing in this plan when there is a London Plan that says that’s what’s required?"

Barry Lomax, head of development management at Kingston Council said this was because the shared living spaces were "not traditional housing units" so affordable housing was not required.

Offices are also planned on the ground floor with developers hoping it to be "one of Kingston’s most sustainable buildings."

Applicant Raj Kotecha, managing director of AMRO, said: "I’d like to suggest that the property moving forward is going to be very much a leading edge property not just in London or the UK but within a European context."

The redbrick building will be 'car-free' with just one parking space but after councillors complained about limited disabled parking, plans were proposed for on-street parking also.

The building will feature a roof terrace and building work is planned to start in summer 2022, with a completion date of January 2024.

AMRO will donate £50,000 towards the local area.

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