The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames has approved plans for the Eden Campus – a scheme which includes Unilever’s 363,000 sq ft new head offices, a multi-storey car park and 115 flats.

The plans, submitted by Cube Real Estate and designed by Darling Associates Architects, are for a development of two linked buildings to be occupied by British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company.

Alongside it will be a multi-storey car park (providing 354 spaces for cars with 42 motorcycle and 325 bicycle spaces) and a 16-storey residential tower.

Kingston Council’s executive director of place, Nazeya Hussain, said: “This is incredibly exciting for Kingston’s future and brings huge opportunities for our economy and our residents, especially in light of the impacts of the pandemic on our local high streets and towns.

“The council has an ambitious vision for the borough – we are committed to boosting economic growth by attracting major new employers, such as Unilever and Lidl, diversifying the economy beyond retail and providing high-quality jobs.

“The news that a global brand like Unilever is pledging its future to Kingston with such a significant development is a great endorsement of that vision and testament to the opportunities they see here.

“Kingston is a fantastic place to live and work and visit. Today is a great step forward in our commitment to creating opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes to succeed and ensuring people across the borough have the opportunity to share in that success.”

Phase one of the development will see the demolition of Surrey House, Bo Concept retail store and the Hippodrome, to be replaced by the two interlinked state-of-the-art office buildings, one of nine storeys and one 12.

The car park, complete with electric charging facilities, will replace the existing multi-storey. Unilever employees will use it during the week and shoppers will use it at the weekend.

Phase two of the scheme involves demolition of Lever House for the residential block of one, two and three-bedroom homes, 35 per cent of which will be affordable housing.

They will be built next to the newly landscaped Hogsmill River. The site will also include a ground floor cafe and retail pod.

The campus aims to achieve annual net zero carbon emissions once fully operational.

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