Plans for huge towers above the leafy London borough of Kingston have caused fury among local residents.
Plans to bulldoze a nursery on Cromwell Road and replace it with a seven-storey block of flats, including a new nursery and community centre, were pushed back by the council due to a lack of affordable housing.
Residents also said the building’s scale would block their view, create “a severe sense of oppression” and intrude on their privacy.
Previously, council plans for huge new tower blocks that would loom over the leafy London borough were leaked by a Conservative councillor.
The pictures were leaked on Twitter by the local Conservative council leader Kevin Davis, who said Kingston had “enough” of taller buildings in the town centre.
But the council hit back, claiming the images were not shared with the public because they aren’t the plans it wants to deliver.
Objecting to the Cromwell Road nursery plans, one resident told Kingston Council’s planning committee on Wednesday evening said: “The building height and the massing of the development is not suitable to the urban context, creating a severe sense of oppression to the neighbouring properties.”
The resident added: “With the proposed height, and development, the sheer amount of apartment units looking down into our kitchen, living space and bedrooms and gardens, especially to the north side of the street, takes away our freedom from access to the sky.”
Developer Aroch Limited said in planning documents: “This is a great opportunity to regenerate this ‘dull’, town centre site which has been earmarked for redevelopment and in so doing improve the local environment by integrating it more successfully into its setting.
“This proposal is for a residential led development incorporating an upgraded nursery school comprising flexible and fully accessible community space and will create residential units of the highest quality to all current/new standards, in this extremely accessible and sustainable location – taking care to respect the amenity of its neighbours.”
Just 13 flats would be affordable (21 per cent) in the now deferred plans.
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Liberal Democrat councillor Olly Wehring said: “I’m massively disappointed at the number of affordable three bed units in this application.
“I would strongly urge the applicant to consider sacrificing some of the one bed affordable units, or maybe even the two bed in between to give us more three bed units because that is where the absolute need is for affordable housing.
“I’m very disappointed about the numbers here and also the low percentage of the total building.”
Kevin Davis, the opposition Conservative Group leader, previously said: “I think we have reached the point where we have enough taller buildings in the town centre.
“I do not sense the appetite amongst the public for more and I want us to protect the best of what we have not squander our heritage on the altar of tall buildings.”