Two sites have been identified in Kingston Town Centre to facilitate the delivery of much-needed housing and community facilities.
The Cattle Market Car Park and the 1970s office buildings on the Guildhall Complex are parts of Kingston Council’s heritage-led regeneration programme, Transform Kingston.
More affordable homes are needed for local people, particularly key workers and younger people who can not currently afford to rent or buy in the borough. There are over 900 households living in temporary accommodation and more than 3,700 on the council’s housing register for social housing.
Additionally, these prime sites could provide new commercial units for business and leisure services that are both sustainable and complementary, diversifying the town centre and helping to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Kingston.
Leader of Kingston Council Andreas Kirsch said:
“The Guildhall one and Guildhall two office buildings are dated, inefficient and are making a significant contribution to the council’s carbon footprint. They would require significant investment to retrofit and make them fit for purpose.
“Even before the pandemic, these offices were underutilised, and now with working habits changing over the last two years, this situation has increased. Similar to many organisations, we are reviewing working arrangements, and there is a huge opportunity to make more efficient use of our estate with long-term savings and benefits to the taxpayer.”
The council will continue to deliver services from a range of sites across the borough and is committed to ensuring that communities can access services in various ways. The council will continue to have a strong town centre presence.
By bringing these sites forward for development, the council can also increase opportunities for enhanced facilities for the town, including improvements to outdoor spaces and the new community uses for everyone to enjoy, whilst also boosting the local economy and providing both homes and jobs.
The next step will be to develop a detailed business case to support the final decisions on the best method of delivering these once in a lifetime regeneration sites for Kingston Town Centre.
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