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Revised TOPO plans submitted to Kingston Council

James Giles

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Revised proposals have been submitted by St George plc for the planning application at the Old Post Office site, Ashdown Road.

Residents and other interested people are now invited to comment on the new proposals for this prime town-centre site.  As well as residential units, the scheme includes retail, office and community space.

Councillor David Cunningham, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Growth at Kingston Council said:

“The developer, St George, asked the Council to pause the planning application process back in June so it could reconsider its position.  They have now come back with substantially revised proposals.

“Among the changes made to the plans is a reduction in height of the tallest part of the development from 19 to 16 storeys. There has also been a reduction in the number of residential units from 360 to 338.

“This is a substantially revised scheme for a prime site in the town centre. I would now encourage as many local people as possible get involved in the consultation and let us have their views.”

Residents can access the planning application via www.kingston.gov.uk/oldpostofficeand make comments online. Hard copies of the application can also be viewed at Kingston Library and Guildhall 2 (Information and Advice Centre).

St George will be holding a public exhibition of the new plans at the Old Post Office site on 18 and 19 September 2015.  Kingston Council has written to 6,000 households and businesses in the vicinity of the Old Post Office site informing them of the revised plans and inviting comment.

The revised application will be considered at a Pre-Development Control Committee meeting on 14 October 2015 with a decision due to be made by Development Control Committee on 5 November 2015.

Kingston Town

Lib Dems in CHAOS after 2000 sign petition on parking charges… but refuse to back down

James Giles

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Kingston Lib Dems are in chaos after refusing to back down on controversial changes to parking permits in the borough, instead announcing an amended scheme which has been blasted by residents as ‘hap-dash and ill-thought-out’.

The proposals would have resulted in a 350% hike in the cost of a parking permit for some residents in the borough, whilst newly purchased Teslas would get to park for free.

Instead, amended proposals announced today mean that cars will, this year, face a cost of up to £245, up from the current £90, but down from the proposed £465.

In a press release explaining the rationale for the latest amendment, Councillor Hilary Gander said: “I believe that differential parking is one measure that will go towards achieving [cleaner air in Kingston].

“It seems, however, we may have moved too fast and not fully explained our approach.”

The ruling Lib Dem administration has, refused to rule out increasing the charges again next year, and have not announced how they are plugging the £525,000 gap this will leave in their budget for this financial year.

New Malden resident Angie, who lives in Queens Road, said: “It’s clear to me from what the Lib Dems have written that they fully intend to increase permit costs again next year – it’s not a case of ‘moving too fast’, it’s a case of these charges being discriminatory and unfair.

“How on earth can the Council practically halve these figures on a whim. It just proves that this is not really about tackling the issue of air quality, it’s about making a quick buck.”

Campaigners who set up a group to attempt to halt these proposals say that this latest amendment will not reduce local opposition to the plans, and are urging residents affected to attend Full Council at the Guildhall next Wednesday, starting at 7:30pm, where they have forced the Council to debate the issue by raising a community motion.

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