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HWA strongly objects to Kingston Bridge House plans

Monday 6th September 2021

HWA strongly objects to Kingston Bridge House plans

You may have heard that Kingston Uiversity is selling Kingston Bridge House – the student accommodation building by the roundabout. There is now a planning application to increase its height still further (it is already far too large for its setting) and convert it into 89 flats.

The HWA strongly objects to this proposal and has filed the objection below.

Follow this link if you wish to make your own objection – but hurry, the closing date for submitting comments is this Friday 10th September.

We object to the current proposals for the following reasons:

Height and mass.
In urban design terms the existing building is already far too large and tall for the Hampton Wick conservation area. To be appropriate any new building would need to be 3 storeys lower, similar to the neighbouring HSBC building. To be clear, there should be no increase in height above the current KBH building.

Design.
The mismatch of windows and their positioning, strange proportions, and the brick slip cladding, in a mock-mock Georgian style is in stark contrast and insulting to the other buildings in the neighbourhood. Good quality contemporary design would be a better solution.

Materials.
Items such as cladding and windows need very careful design and detailing and construction to be acceptable. Detailed drawings and sample panels of critical areas/features must be submitted and approved by suitably qualified staff at LBRuT prior to fabrication.

Segregation.
We do not like the proposed segregation between affordable and private housing, in particular as it means that long dead end corridors are being created where currently occupiers have alternative means of escape. Passive design for fire safety is preferable to having to resort to mechanical means (sprinklers) as the developer proposes.

Car parking.
Less than 1 space per 3 flats is proposed. Even if resident’s permits are disallowed (as with the two about-to-be completed flat developments in Church Grove) this will put even more pressure on local parking, which is already bad. We find the Transport Statement in the application misleading.

Public consultation.
We would expect public consultation in the form of an exhibition and presentation, as is normal practice, but there has been none. This is an exceptionally important site in the area, and it feels like a ‘radio silence’ has been imposed. Why?