Welcome to the Kingston Society

Serving the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Chessington, Coombe, the Maldens, Surbiton and Tolworth.
New members are always welcome.

Our mission

The Kingston upon Thames Society exists to promote high standards of planning, conservation and design in the Royal Borough.

Who we are

The Kingston upon Thames Society, founded in 1962 and affiliated to the Civic Voice (formerly the Civic Trust). We are Kingston’s major voluntary and independent organisation concerned with planning and conservation.

What we do

  • Society representation on applications, consultations, meetings of local conservation and planning bodies

  • A monthly public meeting, with a guest speaker, on a topic of local interest

  • Co-ordination of the borough’s Heritage Open Days programme

  • A Newsletter for members every month

  • Townscape Awards for new buildings of distinction

  • Visits to buildings of interest, and outings to historic towns

  • Partnership with other groups in community projects

  • Leaflets and Booklets on subjects of local interest

Reviewing new planning proposals

A significant part of the Society’s activity is to review and comment on planning consultations and applications. Each week Kingston Council publishes a list of new Planning Applications, and we comment on those we think are most important,  enabling us to tackle planning problems at their source.

Our Major Schemes page covers the most significant planning applications, such as Tesco Tolworth and The Old Post Office site.

Our Minor Schemes page covers other applications that are on our radar or of concern to us.

Our Other Consutations page covers non application consultations, such as the formulation of the London Plan and Local Plans.

Celebrating some of the good things in the Borough

We help organise Kingston’s Heritage Open Days where free entry is offered to interesting buildings that are normally closed to the public.

We recognise good local architecture and greenscape projects through our Townscape Awards. The 2023 Awards were a great success, especially the new category – People’s Choice – which was awarded to Queen’s Promenade Friends.

We organised a week long Urban Room festival in the Market House Kingston in February 2023 to examine the issues facing the borough in the next 25 years.

Monthly public meetings

The Society wants to increase and improve the debate on what the Royal Borough of Kingston is and what it could be. One way we do this is through our regular public meetings.

We are currently accepting guest speaker bookings for 2024/25 and have some interesting guests already scheduled.

Full details of our public meetings, and guest speakers and talks are on the Coming Events page

Visits and Socials

The Society organises occasional visits to explore the good and the bad of architecture and design. Our popular Summer Guided walk starts opposite the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Aldgate East to explore the East End.

Our Society Summer Picnic, returned again in 2019 which was enjoyed by all who could make it.

Details for upcoming visits and social events will be posted on the Coming Events page.

Become a member of The Kingston Society

The Kingston upon Thames Society exists to promote high standards of planning, conservation and design in the Royal Borough. This includes the towns of Kingston upon Thames, Coombe, the Maldens, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

The Society welcomes new members and there could not be a better time to join us and to meet other people with an interest in conserving, celebrating and enhancing our Royal Borough.









Membership benefits

1. Community Engagement: Actively participate in local events and initiatives.

2. Stay Informed: Stay updated on local issues, news, and developments.

3. Networking: Build social connections and relationships within your community.

4. Community Projects: Contribute to and participate in projects that enhance your neighbourhood.

5. Advocacy: Work collectively to address and advocate for shared concerns.

6. Education: Gain insights into local history, culture, and resources.

7. Civic Responsibility: Promote and uphold civic values and responsibilities.

8. Influence Positive Change: Contribute to positive changes and improvements in your community.

9. Collaboration: Collaborate with like-minded individuals for common goals.

10. Sense of Belonging: Develop a stronger sense of belonging and connection to your local area.