London borough blocks 700-home brownfield scheme

A borough has refused plans for more than 700 homes on a brownfield site at Tolworth, south-west London, against a recommendation of approval from planners.

An artist's impression of the finished scheme (pic Meyer Bergman)
An artist's impression of the finished scheme (pic Meyer Bergman)

The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames last night refused outline permission for the development which would have seen the construction of 705 homes, retail space, a doctor’s surgery and office floorspace on the derelict site next to Tolworth rail station.

According to a planning report, the application proposed "the development of a site which is identified for housing and lies within a Housing Opportunity Area for the erection of 705 residential units."

It said the site is located in a "sustainable location adjacent to Tolworth District Centre and Tolworth Railway Station and is proposed to be developed at a density in accordance with the London Plan."

Recommending approval, the report said: "The indicative plans for layout and heights have been tested against the council’s adopted development plan to ensure that development of this quantum can be developed on the site without having an adverse impact on the character of the area, the amenity of surrounding residents and the highway network and all other material considerations detailed in the report.

"It is therefore considered that the development proposed complies with the terms of the development plan and there are no material considerations that indicate that these policies should not apply."

But the council’s planning committee went on to refuse the plans.

The council was asked for details on its reasons for refusal but had yet to respond at time of publication.

According to local press reports, reasons for refusal included concerns about density, the impact on road network, traffic problems and air pollution.

A spokesman for developer Meyer Homes said the firm was "hugely disappointed" by the planning refusal.

He said: "These proposals provided the opportunity to deliver much needed new homes in Kingston. The council has identified Tolworth as a ‘key area of change’ and as such, the project team will now carefully consider our next steps for how to bring this site forward, within the wider context of Crossrail 2 and the Tolworth Plan. We are currently considering the options to ensure we can deliver the site for London."

In January, the council approved plans for the residential-led mixed-use redevelopment of the Tolworth Tower, including over 300 homes in four new blocks rising up to 19 storeys.

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