Minor Schemes

Each week Kingston Council publishes a list of new Planning Applications. We sift through this list and comment on the ones that we think are significant. It takes us around two weeks to consider and review the smaller applications.

The weekly planning lists can be found on the Kingston Council website at kingston.gov.uk.

This is what we said in recent weeks.

Weekly List 6 February 15

14/16874: The Angel, 5 Howard Road, Surbiton

The loss of another pub. The site is on a small local road within a predominantly residential area. While it is regrettable that the existing use seems no longer viable (we have not gone into the detail of this) the introduction of student accommodation, especially at the density proposed will surely adversely impact on the residential amenity of the area.

Nor is the site particularly well located for access to the university or local colleges. Furthermore the proposed development represents gross over development with a rather crude and over scaled rear extension, hard up to the plot boundary. The loss of the existing first floor windows and their replacement with modern sash windows adds to the banality of the proposals.

The Society regrets the loss of another pub however our main objections relate to the proposed use and the scale and design of the proposed building works. The site is in the heart of a mainly residential area and the introduction of so much student accommodation will inevitably detract from the area’s amenity. Also the scale and extent of the planned works represents gross over development. The crude design of the extension to Paragon Place is especially poor. This together with other alterations proposed own nothing to the character of the existing building, a charming example of public house design of the period. Therefore we ask that the application be refused.

15/12043: 48 Lower Ham Road, Kingston

The applicant states, “the design and condition of the existing porch to the property is of poor quality and has no architectural merit. The proposal is to demolish the existing structure and to rebuild the porch in a more sympathetic way that would be appropriate and in proportion to the property”. We agree.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

15/12049: Kingsgate Business Centre, 12-50 Kingsgate Road, Kingston

The Society has previously objected to proposals for this site which lies in the centre of the “North Kingston” planning area. However the use of the building for student accommodation has been granted following a successful appeal. A subsequent application for conversion to flats was considered more favourably by the Society. This new application promises improvements with designs by Brookes Architects of Barnes.

The Society retains its opposition to the retention of this building in the North Kingston Plan area preferring the Council’s proposals to reorganise land use and circulation. However considering the previous appeal decision on this site we consider the development of flats preferable to even more student accommodation.

15/12067: 2 Wheatfield Way, Kingston

The works involve the replacement of a shop front with a more domestic arrangement of sash windows and front door. Although close to the town centre, servicing off Wheatfield Way is not ideal so the loss of this small office unit is perhaps inevitable.

While the Society regrets the loss of another small office unit we accept that considering the size and location of the property the proposed changes are reasonable and we have no objections to them.

15/12070: 2nd and 3rd floors, 2-6 High Street, Kingston

This application follows application 14/13325 that proposed elevational alterations considered to adversely impact on the adjoining listed building, The Griffin.

The Society objects to the further loss of office accommodation in the town centre, also please see our comments on the related application ref: 14/13325 that still stand.

15/14049: 13-15 South Lane, New Malden

The existing site includes a variety of buildings of varied character. The proposed development of new housing, despite the loss of some employment space, represents an opportunity to create a development of some distinction. However despite the design quality of individual new buildings, the wide variety of building forms proposed on a relatively small site results in a rather disappointing cacophony.

The Society accepts the principle of redevelopment of this site for housing. We also welcome the architect’s contemporary interpretation of traditional domestic buildings. However the introduction of so many different building designs/forms on such a relatively compact site would result in a discordant and unsatisfactory whole. A redesign creating a more cohesive scheme in a similarly contemporary vein would be preferable.

15/14066: 8 Greenwood Park, Kingston

This is a revised application that seeks to address previous shortcomings (see 14/14949) including “the large scale and general appearance…which would detract from the established character of Greenwood Park. The site occupies a prominent corner location requiring a more carefully considered design. Furthermore the replacement of a bungalow with such a dominant building seems likely to adversely impact on the amenity of its neighbours.” While the design has been improved concerns remain.

The Society previously objected to proposals for this site (ref: 14/14949) and while we acknowledge the improvements now made we maintain our objections of scale and design that we consider detract from the established character of Greenwood Park.

15/16045: 88 Ditton Road, Surbiton

Although back-land development, there are other properties accessed off of the unadopted Southborough Road. While the site is probably sufficiently large to accommodate a detached house the proposed building is too large. Furthermore the idiosyncratic design proposed would detract from the character of the conservation area and particularly the nearby Edwardian “Arts and Crafts” house. The details appear fussy and the elevations disjointed with disparate elements. A feature of the design are large projecting roof verges creating “generous over sailing” soffits and while the architect contends that the “roof verge projection is a traditional detail” it appears alien, it is eccentric and perhaps more appropriate to a rural setting.

The Society wishes to object to the proposed new dwelling due to its large scale and disappointing design. We accept that the site is probably large enough to accommodate a smaller house accessed off of Southborough Road however the proposed design would detract from the character of the conservation area and appear alien in the context of the surrounding existing buildings.

Weekly List 30 January 15

14/12325: G1, 3-12 Riverside Walk, Kingston

The proposals appear well designed and relatively discrete therefore despite being within the Kingston Old Town conservation area and on the riverside there seems to be no reason to object.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15323 and 14/15335: Holy Cross Primary School, Kingston

The proposed clock tower follows a traditional design and while it does little to enhance the listed building it is quite jolly and inoffensive.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

15/12034: Kingston Ancient Market, Market Place, Kingston

The application is accompanied by plans to occupy significant areas of the newly created market with outside seating serving the adjoining shops. It seems that most, if not all, of the seating will be reserved for patrons of those shops. While it is agreed that the new layout of the market has created large open areas of paving and some animation of the space would be welcome there should be some provision for members of the public who are not necessarily patrons of the adjoining premises.

The Society raises no objection to the introduction of additional seating as proposed, we are however concerned that no provision appears to have been made for use by the general public. It is suggested that at least, say, 10% of the new seating be reserved for public use irrespective of whether or not food and drink has been purchased nearby.

15/14030: 100A Elm Road, New Malden

The application site is located in a small parade of local shops many of which seem to have been converted to small business premises and/or are currently vacant. Further loss of non-residential uses seems inevitable.

The Society regrets the further loss of employment space but recognises the site’s remote location from New Malden town centre and therefore raises no objections in this case.

15/16042: 40 The Roystons, Surbiton

The proposals appear excessive however many of the neighbouring properties appear to have undergone similarly significant remodelling. Although a pleasant suburban street The Roystons is not within a conservation area so there seem to be no special considerations. However, as always with householder development, adjoining occupiers may have concerns.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

Weekly List 23 January 15

14/13292: 125 Richmond Road, Kingston

Number 125 is an attractive 2-storey Victorian house with a Dutch gable in a prominent location, which appears to have fallen into disrepair. There’s a studio next door and local shops and a pub near by. A low railing fronts the street that appears to be proposed to be replaced by a glazed screen, to allow light to the planned basement flat, and planting.

The Society raises no objection to the conversion of the property to flats; we do however query the boundary treatment to Richmond Road. The proposed glazed screen with planting next to the footway appears out of character and vulnerable, we suggest the existing railings are retained and refurbished as a condition of consent.

15/12018: 25 Victoria Road, Kingston

Number 25 appears to have originally been two dwellings and seems to have undergone some refurbishment quite recently. A previous application for conversion to flats was refused due to the inadequacy of the accommodation planned; the applicant considers the new scheme complies with London Plan spatial standards. There is a wide variety of buildings in the street and it does not appear that the current proposal would be out of place. There may, however, be issues for the Council and the neighbours that need to be addressed.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

15/14039: 8-10 Coombe Road, New Malden

The building is relatively modern and situated virtually opposite the entrance to New Malden railway station in the town centre, albeit on the periphery. While the ground floor restaurant is to remain, the loss of small office space in such a location is regrettable. Some of the proposed accommodation also appears cramped.

The Society wishes to object to this application involving the loss of employment space in the town centre. While we understand that residential use may be more profitable the building provides the type of space, and in a good location, for small businesses and start-up companies, a provision that is becoming increasingly scarce locally. Furthermore the amenity of the planned residential use may not be compatible with the late night operation of the existing ground floor restaurant, potentially threatening its viability.

15/16025: Hillcroft College, South Bank, Surbiton

The application has been prepared by CgMs, a well-established and respected planning and heritage consultancy. The demolished building was a rather undistinguished prefabricated structure, which would have been detrimental to the setting of the listed college building.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

15/16028: YMCA, 49 Victoria Road, Surbiton

The building occupies a prominent location on the corner with Brighton Road and backs on to the railway. Consent was granted for the hostel and the adjoining Sainsbury’s and multi-storey car park in 1976 and a number of changes have subsequently been approved. The proposed roof extension has been carefully designed to follow the design principles of the original hostel, indeed it might even be said to represent an improvement.

The Society supports the extension of this important local amenity but requests that the applicant be required to tidy up/repair the facia signage above the entrance in Victoria Road.

Weekly List 16 January 15

14/13325: 2-6 High Street, Kingston

Consent has already been granted for the change of use of the ground and first floors to a restaurant (including the shop front) and the upper floors to residential. Number 2-6 is a 4-storey concrete frame building with brick spandrel panels that are to be rendered and painted white in order to “tidy up the front elevation and provide a clean, crisp and uncluttered frontage.” The brick stair tower, that adjoins The Griffin pub next door, is to remain un-rendered. Overall the changes are intended to “improve the appearance of the building in an unobtrusive way.” Actually the changes will make the building appear much more dominant.

The Society agrees that the existing building is of little architectural quality, however, the brick spandrel panels act to articulate the façade. If rendered and painted as planned, the majority of the building will become a single anonymous block relieved only by the fenestration. Being larger than the neighbouring buildings it will do nothing to enhance the conservation area.

While raising no objection to the new doors and glazing we object to the proposed rendering that will make the building appear even more dominant in the conservation area and adversely impact on the setting of the adjoining listed building.

14/15284: 109 Ullswater Crescent, Coombe Hill

Ullswater Crescent is a pleasant suburban street of modest but attractive houses. The application proposes to completely destroy and rebuild the front elevation of this currently attractive detached 2-storey house. Floor to ceiling glazing is proposed and a rather inelegant, pedimented 2-storey entrance bay added.

The Society raises no objection to the proposed enlargement of the house but objects to the comprehensive re-styling of the front of the house. The full height glazing and pedimented entrance bay with mini porte-cochere would be completely alien to its neighbours and detract from the character of the conservation area and should be refused. We also object to the loss of the trees.

14/15304: 33-37 Elm Road, New Malden

The site lies within a predominantly residential area and as such the loss of office space is perhaps less problematic. Furthermore the existing building design is domestic in character and the elevational changes will improve the building’s appearance. However the building lies adjacent to the SW Trains mainline which at that point is on an embankment, so not ideal for residential use, caveat emptor!

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15315: 18 Nelson Road, New Malden

The applicant has done everything to make this building attractive. It’s single storey with larch cladding of simple modern design, it has a green sedum roof and PV solar panels. It is however backland development and despite the large size of the garden, the existing screening and the adequacy of the access arrangements consent would set an unfortunate precedent.

The Society appreciates the ingenuity of the applicant but considers that approval would set an unfortunate precedent and so we object to it.

14/16881: Queensborough House, 2 Claremont Road, Surbiton

While no elevational changes are proposed and the ground floor estate agent’s office is to remain, the building lies immediately opposite Surbiton station in the heart of the town centre, surely a good location for small offices?

The Society objects to this application involving the loss of employment space in the town centre. While we understand that the upper floors have been vacant for some time and residential use may be more profitable, the building provides just the sort of space, in just the right location for small professional firms or start-up companies, a provision that is becoming increasingly scarce in the Borough.

15/12009: 31-39 Kingston Hill, Kingston

The existing building is a rather non-descript commercial building constructed 15 or 20 years ago. While the loss of employment space is once again regretted the building although close to local shops, lies in a predominantly residential area.

Although the Society regrets the further loss of employment space we recognise the site’s predominately residential context and in this case raise no objections.

15/16002: 75 Surbiton Hill Park, Surbiton

Although significant the extensions are mainly to the rear of the house, and the neighbours may have objections, the impact on the street is modest.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

Weekly List 9 January 15

14/13268: 42 Staunton Road, Kingston

The site forms part of a large, curiously shaped private garden with an extended boundary to the street that provides a frontage for the proposed house. The design by Exedra Architects is simple and uncluttered and squeezed into a corner of the site that backs on to a courtyard of private garages therefore minimising amenity concerns.

The Society supports this application. We note the new dwelling has been designed to minimize impact on its neighbours and find the simple modern aesthetic attractive. While not seeking to mimic its neighbours, the design would sit happily in a mixed street of Victorian, Edwardian and interwar dwellings.

14/13302: The Druids Head, 2 Market Place, Kingston

The building dates from the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries. No external alterations are proposed and the works will not affect the historical fabric of the building. Whether or not the building was originally a coaching inn the use of the upper floors for guest accommodation seems highly appropriate. The improvement to the licensed premises will hopefully maintain the pub’s viability as an attractive amenity in the town centre.

The Society welcomes this application and wishes to support the works to optimise the potential of the building and the conversion of ancillary space on the upper floors to provide visitor accommodation.

14/13310: 15-17 Thames Street, Kingston

The principle of a rear extension has been approved (ref: 14/13056). This new application proposes a reasonably modest extension, simply designed to complement the decorative mock-Elizabethan façade of the existing building. The new flats are to be accommodated in currently redundant space however the ground floor retail uses will be retained.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15298: Red Roofs, Coombe Hill Road, Kingston

The proposed amendment is to relocate the two houses approximately 1 metre nearer to the street in order to create larger rear gardens, which in itself does not seem to raise any new issues.

We objected to the previous proposal stating, "We object due to the loss of an existing, generously designed house and its proposed replacement by buildings of dubious architectural quality that would detract from the character of the conservation area. Is this standard of design appropriate for a conservation area? The answer can only be “no”. However two detached houses of a more attractive design, more respectful of their context, may well be acceptable.

The Society wishes to reiterate these comments.

14/16954: 4 St Philip’s Road, Surbiton

The existing building appears to contain 15 bed-sits all of which are small and several just large enough for a single bed. Conversion to 5 self-contained flats, albeit two of them are studios, is to be welcomed. The new work appears to match the existing.

The Society supports this application to restore a significant building in a conservation area to provide decent accommodation.

14/16966: 438 Ewell Road, Surbiton

The building is located in the parade of shops at the rear of Tolworth Broadway. The proposals relate to the ground floor unit and while to loss of the small office unit is regretted it seems that a number of similar units have already been converted.

The Society regrets to loss of small office units in and near existing commercial centres, furthermore we object to the proposed external alterations that will further erode the character and viability of the parade of shops.

14/12942: Former Ashley Motors, 73-77 Penrhyn Road, Kingston

The amended scheme is basically the same as before but slightly reduced with a new, less aggressive elevation to Penrhyn Road. While the street elevation is an improvement it is still a very large scheme.

The Society notes the applicant’s amendments and welcomes the overall reduction in accommodation and the improved street elevation. However it is still too big and represents over development resulting in loss of amenity to adjoining properties.

Weekly List 2 January 15

14/10396:153-155 Hook Road, Surbiton

The property is currently used as a dental laboratory and is located in a parade of shops, although not a designated local centre. The applicant argues (correctly we think) that when first built these units provided residential accommodation on the upper floors. Consequentially no planning issues of significance are raised. Despite the theoretical loss of “employment space” the retail unit at ground floor level would conform to the prevailing use of its neighbours.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13280: 105 Clarence Street, Kingston

This application for advertisement consent concerns the existing Pizza Hut restaurant opposite Wilkinson’s store. The majority of work involves up-dating existing signage and as such seems acceptable. An additional sign is however proposed on the fascia of the projecting “canopy” that over sails the footway outside of the unit. This merely duplicates the fascia on the shop front itself and would therefore appear to be excessive and unnecessary.

The Society notes that most of the new signage relates directly to the shop-front and may be considered uncontentious. We do however query the utility of the additional fascia signage on the projecting “canopy” that merely duplicates that on the shop-front. This is surely excessive and detracts from the amenity of the parade of shop-units. Furthermore it represents a potential safety hazard that may well distract people using the adjoining busy, traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing.

14/13281: Bishop Out of Residence, 2 Bishops Hall, Kingston

Although in a prominent and sensitive location on the riverside and in a conservation area, the proposed new signage is well designed and reasonably discrete.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15268: Charminster, Coombe Hill Road, Kingston

This site on a private road off Coombe Hill has had previous approval to extend the existing house at the front and the rear but the design was poor and had little architectural quality. However the works now proposed, designed by architects Silva Lindley, although reasonably extensive represent an improvement. The ordering of the principal elevations is clearer, the main entrance door becomes the dominant element on the front elevation, and the dormers with low pitched roofs, appear more elegant that the previously approved dormers.

The Society welcomes these proposals, which we believe, represent a significant improvement over the alterations previously approved (13/14687).

14/16915: The Samaritans, 12 St Andrews Road, Surbiton

The existing building has been used for offices, however it was originally built as a dwelling house and lies within a predominantly residential area. Furthermore the works, designed by architect Arnold Gilpin, recognise the sensitivity of the location within the St Andrew’s Square conservation area.

The Society raises no objections to this proposed change of use to create 4 self-contained flats. While regretting the loss of employment space we acknowledge that No.12 was originally built as a dwelling and residential uses remain dominant within the St Andrew’s Square conservation area.

Weekly List 26 December 14

14/10388: 414 Leatherhead Road, Chessington

The application site is accessed via an existing road. The site appears large enough for two small houses and subject to the views of the neighbours raises not serous concerns.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13236: Bedelsford School, 16 Grange Road, Kingston

The works, particularly the external lift, appear sensibly integrated into the existing building.

The Society recognises the importance of optimising the utility of existing schools to accommodate the borough’s rising population, subject of course to appearance and there being no adverse impact on existing facilities nor on neighbouring properties. In this case we do not see any negative effects so are content to support the application.

14/13133: 9 Dudley Road, Kingston

This is a very tight site within a residential area therefore the change of use would not appear problematic however the existing building may not be adequate as a dwelling.

The Society raises no objection of principle however we query the suitability of the existing building for conversion to provide habitable accommodation.

14/13229: 26 Coombe Road, Kingston

The applicant proposes an orthodontic clinic and argues that there is currently under provision for such services in the borough.

The Society wishes to support this application to provide additional orthodontic services in Kingston.

14/13243: 70 Richmond Road, Kingston

The proposal is to replace an existing rotating advertisement display and will not alter the structure size or position on the building as only the internal equipment will change from printed images and lighting tubes to a single digital display. NB: The material considerations for advertisement applications are “amenity” and “safety”.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13290: 143 Richmond Road, Kingston

The existing retail space on the main road frontage is to be retained and while the proposed accommodation seems cramped there appear no substantive grounds for objection.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15279: 1 High Coombe Place, Kingston

The appearance of the building is as previously approved and the alterations are insignificant.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

Weekly List 19 December 14

14/15223: 8 The Drive, Kingston

The application proposes an attractive modernist building to replace an existing relatively modern but smaller house. The new scheme is however more extensive and would incorporate an existing swimming pool as part of the new building. Although quite different from its neigbours the design is distinctive and worthy of support.

The Society welcomes this proposal, which despite its design contrasting with the neighbouring properties, is distinctive and deserves support.

Weekly List 12 December 14

14/09016: Playing field, Old Emanuel School, Beverley Way, New Malden

The site is in Merton, so RBK is being consulted as the adjoining authority. The sports pitches are used for both school and community activities but the supporting accommodation is dilapidated. The design of the proposed pavilion is unexciting but no doubt serviceable.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/13189: 47 London Road, Kingston

Proposals for the listed building, as far as can be seen from the drawings available, appear straightforward. However the loss of more office space in the town centre is regrettable.

Kingston is one of the worst boroughs in London for small businesses and the Society has previously expressed concern about the loss of offices. We therefore object to this application due to the further loss of employment space in the town centre.

14/13216: Sutherland House, 3-4 Bridge End Close, Kingston

Although within the Park Road conservation area, the existing building is rather bland. It was built as offices in the 1980s and seems vacant. A 2005 permission for a second floor extension has lapsed. The second floor extension now proposed is set back from the street to create balconies for the 2 new flats. It’s well designed and will be an improvement. The rest of the building is also proposed for conversion to flats but the location is generally residential and some distance from the town centre so the loss of office space is less concerning.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/13224: “Chest of Drawers”, 18-20 Thames Street, Kingston

The proposed shop front for a new Jessops store seems inoffensive. It is principally glazed with the corporate logo on the fascia and projecting replacement sign.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15216: LSE Sports Ground, Windsor Avenue, New Malden

The sculpture is of an interesting abstract form on a granite plinth. The applicants propose to relocate it (although without saying from were) to a prominent site on Windsor Avenue.

The Society welcomes this proposal to introduce an interesting piece of public art at a prominent location in New Malden.

14/16869: 156 Ewell Road, Surbiton

The site lies within the Oakhill conservation area. It is well away from Surbiton town centre so the loss of the first floor office space is perhaps less serious. The ground floor shop units are to remain and there would seem to be little adverse impact on the conservation area.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/16896: 116-118 Ewell Road, Surbiton

Also within the Oakhill conservation area the site is at the rear of the Ewell Road properties. A similar application was refused due to lack of parking. The applicant now proposes that future residents be denied residents’ parking permits and on-site parking for 3 cars is shown. More seriously the proposed flats appear cramped with works and garage buildings either side.

The Society is concerned about the cramped accommodation proposed, especially as the adjoining properties appear to include non-residential uses. The site seems better suited to 2, more generously proportioned flats.

Weekly List 5 December 14

14/13166: 27B Portsmouth Road, Kingston

There is direct access to the proposed building from a service road that gives access to garages. The site lies within a conservation area however the design is simple. The applicant refers to similar back-land development near-by that has been approved. Nevertheless the bulk of the building is likely to adversely affect the amenity of the neighbour’s garden.

The Society recognises the applicant’s attempt to design a building appropriate to its setting in a conservation area. However the site is tight and the bulk of the building is likely to adversely impact on the amenity of its neighbours and to the character of the area. Because of these concerns we cannot support the application.

14/13165: The Clarks Shop, 79 Clarence Street, Kingston

The new shop front is little different to that which exists, if anything the new scheme is better.

The Society supports this proposal.

14/15100: The Scout Hut, Gloster Road, New Malden

The existing building is in a very poor state of repair and appears to have accommodated various uses. An application for two houses was previously refused for a number of reasons including the loss of a community facility. However it has apparently been vacant for 3 years and not used by the Scouts for 7 years. The site lies between a bungalow and a 2-storey house and although the design is unexceptional, so are the other buildings in the street.

The Society regrets the loss of the community use but recognises the poor state of the existing structure. If the Council is minded to approve the application, specific compensation as part of a S106 agreement, in addition to the CIL contribution, to support alternative community provision in the area should be provided.

14/15137: 11 Ullswater Crescent, Coombe Hill

This is a significant extension to the existing building. Ullswater Crescent is an attractive suburban street with a mix of mock-Tudor, art-deco and more recent houses.å The proposed works include a rather ridiculous pseudo-classical portico, quite out of character with the area.

The Society is generally supportive of homeowners seeking to improve their dwellings and we make no representations regarding the principle of extension in this case. We are however very concerned about the introduction of inappropriate embellishments and would like to see a design that is more in keeping with the character of the street.

We note that this application has now been withdrawn.

14/15213: 21 Coombe Ridings, Kingston

The applicant considers the existing house has “no real architectural merit” however it’s an interesting neo-modernist building and while not great architecture would be a pity to loose. The ostentatious mock-Palladian replacement seeks to address the reasons for refusal of a previous application for the plot (14/14862).

The Society regrets the proposed demolition of the existing house, which is of an interesting design. However it is neither a listed building nor in a conservation area and the proposed design while not exceptional is probably acceptable subject to the concerns of neighbours whose amenity may be adversely affected.

14/16843: 2 Oak Hill Road, Surbiton

The existing wall is dilapidated and needs replacement. The proposed railings seem appropriate for the conservation area.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

Weekly List 28 November 14

14/10379: 46 Devon Way, Chessington

Devon Way appears typical of many parts of the south of the Borough, a neat suburban street. The proposals for No.46 although extensive are similar to many alterations carried out near-by, furthermore they appear generally in keeping with the style of the original building.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/13192: Princess House, Horace Road, Kingston

The works relate to rooftop equipment on an office building. Although much of the street is residential other office buildings adjoin the site on the side of the building where the works are planned. While the equipment may be visible from the northern end of Horace Road, from much of the street it is unlikely that the equipment will be particularly intrusive.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15030: Adjoining 2-14 Apsley Road, New Malden

The application is made on behalf of the Council to decant the mini-buses from the North Kingston Centre following the decision to convert the site back to a school. The proposed site is currently open and appears unused in an area generally occupied by warehouses and business premises. While the proposed cabin is rather basic the use seems sensible and would not appear to cause a nuisance. Also the mini-buses have to go somewhere.

The Society has no objections to this proposal.

14/15161: 46-50 Coombe Road, New Malden

The site is at the end of the parade of shops that line Coombe Road towards New Malden station. It is a pity that this employment space will be lost but the building would seem to need modernisation to bring it up to current standards. However we have concerns.

The Society recognises that office space in marginal locations may be difficult to let however this building is a just few minutes from New Malden station and would seem to be ideal for small business and start-up companies. We cannot therefore support the further loss of employment space in the borough and urge the Council to consider more ways in which small businesses can be helped.

14/16878: North Wing, Tolworth Tower, Broadway, Surbiton

This application relates to Building A in the north wing, which is the lower building above M&S (a hotel is accommodated in Building B). Like many offices from the 1960s the building no longer meets current standards, which raises questions about the future of the Tower itself.

While the Society remains concerned about the loss of employment space, especially in existing commercial areas such as the Broadway, we are also concerned about the future of the whole development and so we support this proposal.

Although resisted by many at the time, Tolworth Tower has become an important landmark, announcing to travellers on the A3 their arrival in Kingston, and despite the rooftop clutter of aerials and equipment it is surely worthy of listing.

Weekly List 21 November 14

14/10358: 36 Hook Rise North. Surbiton

The location, adjacent to the A3, must make living conditions less than ideal. The applicant seeks to justify the works by referring to planning policy and bringing empty homes back into use, however the house seems to be still in use. The existing house has 5 bedrooms, however it is not a large building and trying to squeeze in 3 flats will surely create cramped accommodation. Also the existing house has a garage, which will become a bedroom and only one car space {plus space for 4 bikes) is now proposed for the 3 flats.

The Society recognizes the particular constraints on the present house, adjacent to the A3, but is concerned about the creation of substandard living accommodation. The lack of adequate car parking is an additional concern. We would therefore suggest converting the property to just 2 apartments instead.

14/15134 WILD CROFT, COOMBE PARK, KINGSTON UPON THAMES, KT2 7JB

The site lies within the Kingston Hill Conservation Area and has the benefit of three previous approvals for a single dwelling, originally designed by "architectural designers". The current design by architects is of a mock-Queen Ann style, not as elegant as the real thing but perhaps better than other recent examples near by, and certainly better than the design approved last year (13/14213). It is on a large site, so has plenty of space and considering the existing consents there is little to object to.

The Society welcomes the applicant's use of architects and the new design that it considers an improvement on the originally approved scheme.

14/16740: Dysart School. 186 Ewell Road. Surbiton

The school has the benefit of two street frontages, Ewell Road and Kingsdowne Road. The proposed buildings are of simple modern design, serviceable and quite elegant. While inevitably the buildings will occupy part of the school's existing grounds the loss is modest.

The Society recognises the importance of adequate provision of school spaces within the borough and therefore, despite the small loss of open space within the site, is happy to support this application.

Weekly List 14 November 14

14/13061: 77 Surbiton Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2HW

The planned extension lacks the charm of the exiting Victorian building however its location on a corner site means that the over all bulk of the proposed extension appears reasonable. The new use maintains a retail unit on a parade of local shops.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13149: 41 (Pizza Express) High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1LQ

Somewhat reluctantly we agree that the proposed large “black on white” roundel sign is less offensive than the existing “white on black” one.

Therefore, the Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13153: KINGSGATE BUSINESS CENTRE 12-50 KINGSGATE ROAD KINGSTON UPON THAMES KT2 5AA

An alternative proposal for the site previously approved (following an appeal) for student accommodation. The proposed residential use seems preferable. There are no drawings of any alterations to the existing elevations and are response assumes that there are no significant changes.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/14940: Aulion Coombe Park, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 7JB

The design of the existing house is a curious mish-mash of pseudo-classical and mannerist details and the proposed extension is of a much simpler, modern design which is perhaps reasonable as more of the same would be indigestible. Although the extension is big the site appears large enough. If there is an issue it is with the existing house rather than the extension.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15013: 58 PORTLAND AVENUE, NEW MALDEN, KT3 6AY

There appears to be no external changes planned and the building seems large enough for the proposed conversion.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15071: Wansbeck Traps Lane, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4SQ

A detached house was given outline consent in 1988 but that permission has now expired. The site is certainly large enough to be sub-divided and being on a corner has the benefit of a separate street access. However the design of the proposed house is crude, the fenestration is mundane and the 45degree pitch of the roof gives the building a top-heavy appearance which we think is unsuitable for a conservation area.

The Society is disappointed that the proposed design is so uninspiring. The unimaginative elevations and steeply pitch roof, which creates a top-heavy appearance, is surely not appropriate in the conservation area. We recognise that outline consent has previously been granted and we raise no issue of principle however the applicant is trying to squeeze in too much accommodation. A redesign with perhaps less accommodation is suggested and we oppose this proposal.

14/15087: 52 SYCAMORE GROVE, NEW MALDEN, KT3 3DQ

The existing bungalow is modest and pretty nondescript, and the proposed replacement is likewise bland. However Sycamore Grove is comprised of mainly 2-storey houses therefore the proposed building will site more comfortably in the street scene than the existing building.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15142: 55 Elm Road, New Malden. Demolition of garage and erection of dwelling.

The site was apparently previously used as a builder’s yard. The context is mainly residential of mixed age. It’s quite a tight site but benefits from its location at the corner of a small lane. The proposed house is architect designed and quite modest, overall, nothing to be concerned about.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/16796: 12 Walpole Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 6BU

Walpole Road is comprised of mainly spacious, detached Edwardian dwellings. The proposed extension is located at the rear of the existing house and although not particularly distinguished will sit reasonably well in the street scene.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/16811: FORMER 133, KING CHARLES ROAD, SURBITON, KT5 8PQ

The site has a complicated planning history. Originally consent was issued for a pair of 3-bedroom houses, which was superseded by permission for a pair of 4-bedroom houses. They were built but incorrectly located on the site. An application to rectify the situation was then refused, as the forecourt was considered inadequate for the proposed off-street parking. The present application, submitted by planning consultants (Indigo), argues that the scheme should be acceptable, giving reasons. It seems harsh to have refused the amended scheme, as the differences are minor.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

Weekly List 7 November 14

14/12652: 2 Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2QS

The existing building has a shop front that due to the up grading of Wheatfield Way appears to have become redundant. The proposed elevational changes appear reasonable and despite the loss of a small office unit, due to its isolation from the town centre and the predominance of housing in the conservation area there seems to be little to criticise.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13036: 164 (Shell UK Ltd) Richmond Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT2 5HD

This is a re-vamp of the existing service building, the principal use as a petrol station remains, although the jet-wash is to cease. The planned sales building has an area of 120sqm, 70sqm larger than the existing one. A simple modern design is proposed using a proprietary panel system that is difficult to assess from the drawings submitted, however it appears inoffensive.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/13137: 41 (Pizza Express) High Street, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1LQ

This application follows previous proposals for the Pizza Express building in the High Street. We find the main 1.8m diameter sign proposed on the side elevation excessive. The applicant claims that the “design concept” for the signs “complements the surrounding conservation area and is sympathetic”.

This building is listed Grade II* and the Society objects to the size and proliferation of signage on one of the oldest buildings in the town. Furthermore the proposed signs, particularly the 1.8m diameter roundel sign, will detract from the character of the conservation area. This should be the opportunity to tidy-up the building and restore something of its medieval (16th century) dignity.

14/16810: 174 Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 6HG

The application concerns a fine Victorian semi-detached house. The proposed amendments appear discrete and carefully designed.

The Society has no objection to this proposal.

14/15079: The Bungalow Traps Lane, New Malden, Surrey, KT3 4RY

The original approval was for a two-storey detached house in place of a bungalow. It was not great architecture and was frankly rather ambitious for the location, however its design was modest, in keeping with the rest of the street and just about OK. The new design goes way over the top. It proposes a building too large for its context with ugly, ill-considered elevations.

The Society is very concerned about this new proposal that is considered to be over-development. The proposed design is crude and ill-considered and quite out of keeping with the majority of houses in this part of Traps Lane, a pleasant suburban street. The second two-storey bay unbalances the elevation and the steeply pitched roofs are quite out of character. The applicant is seeking to cram much too much accommodation into an ostensibly two-storey building. The result is frankly dreadful and should be refused.