Residents establish 'Homes against Hostels' group to deliver alternate plans for Kingston plaza student accomodation site
Plans to erect at least two new student accommodation blocks in Kingston have caused controversy.
A five-storey student accommodation for 130 residents, to go alongside a 120 flat build that already has planning permission, is currently in the pipeline for a site facing London Road, Station Road and Coombe Road, in Norbiton.
A campaign group called Homes Not Hostels is trying to block the student development.
Ian Hunt, chairman of the Chesham Road Residents’ Association, said those living opposite the Kingston Plaza site feared it would be a badly managed project with no connection to the university itself.
He said: “We are working on our own development plan in accordance with the Community Right to Build initiative.
“This area is overwhelmingly family-orientated.
"Everyone here has kids, they play in each other’s gardens they go to school together, we support each other and people stay here a long time.
“People live here 10 years or more. It’s very established. This is how a community grows and this community has been growing for 100 years.
“To introduce a transient population with no ties or attachments to the area will be devastating.”
Phase one of Kingston Plaza would demolish two buildings, including Norbiton Fine Cheese and flats above, on Station Road.
It is believed nine family homes with gardens, including the station road cottages built around 1860, will also be demolished.
Wahid Samady, director of CNM Estates, said that as a locally based company he was very familiar with the area.
He said: “This project has been seven years in the making and is not something we dreamt up over night.
“We know the group of residents have set up a campaign group and are not happy about the prospect of student housing.
"In my personal opinion, that is very short-sighted as the university is the lifeblood of the town in terms of the economy and so on, however, out of the 22,000 students the university’s own provision of student housing only totals 2,000.”
Meanwhile a developers application to demolish privately owned buildings in Penrhyn Road, near Kingston University’s campus, would demolish two empty office buildings and create 78 student study bedrooms.
Will you be affected by either the Coombe Road or Penrhyn Road developments? Tell us at email@example.com or call 020 8744 4244.