Meeting the Council’s Vision
Kingston’s Local Plan (2012) identifies several challenges relating to the historic Town Centre, noting that measures and policies are required to maintain the Town Centre’s vibrancy and attractiveness to residents and visitors alike. A series of measures and objectives relating to the regeneration of the centre of Kingston have been outlined for the Plan period.
The Council’s overall vision for Kingston Town Centre is to create:
“A thriving Metropolitan Town Centre serving the needs of its catchment and providing a sustainable and enhanced range of town centre services including retail, leisure, employment, education and community facilities, as well as new homes and improved job opportunities, in a high quality environment, that is safe, clean, and easily accessible to all.
“High quality new development will maximise the potential of vacant, outmoded and underused sites…. Kingston’s distinctive character, especially its historic environment and riverside, will be safeguarded and enhanced. A range of improvements to transport, access, public spaces and the natural environment will enhance its attractiveness for residents, businesses, workers, shoppers, students and visitors, in the daytime and in the evenings.”
The Plan also set a target of delivering 5,625 new homes to meet burgeoning demand, with Kingston Town Centre earmarked for 1,000 homes due to its sustainable location and proximity to public transport links. This target is likely to increase once the emerging New London Plan is adopted, which sets a target of 9,640 new homes in the Borough.
Given that adopted and emerging policy strongly encourages making best use of brownfield sites and optimising sites in town centre locations for residential purposes, Sports Direct’s plans for Market Place will make a valuable contribution to meeting housing need in the Borough in a sustainable location.