Good news on government funding for new council housing is being overshadowed by Kingston’s bungled consultation that has left many local residents fuming.
Government funding is enabling Kingston Council to build much needed new council flats on council owned land. However, residents neighbouring some of the initial development sites are voicing their anger at the poor consultation and unfair treatment they are receiving from Kingston Council.
LibDem-run Kingston Council is currently carrying out the consultation over plans to build 101 flats spread over four council-owned sites at Cumberland House (Kingston Hill), Roupell House (Canbury), Cambridge Road (Norbiton) and York Way (Chessington). Yet the proposals, including a nine-storey block, have already been approved in secret meetings prior to the consultation with residents taking place.
Many of the new flats will be used to house residents from the Cambridge Road Estate, whilst the estate is being redeveloped. However, when the plans for the Cambridge Road Estate were being considered, residents there were consulted very early and had a direct input into the plans. But Kingston Council is not treating residents living at these four new development sites the same way, despite the plans having a big impact on their quality of life.
Cllr Ian George, Conservative spokesman for Engagement, said: “Kingston Council has let local residents down, by effectively taking the decision to build the flats prior to the consultation. The consultation that is going on now is being rushed through, with major decisions being taken in secret meetings without any resident input. Some residents will lose garden areas, and no longer be allowed to park their car at home.
“The good news of much needed new government-funded affordable housing is being overshadowed by this LibDem-run Council trampling over Kingston’s residents. They are acting like the worst developer, but local residents have a right to expect better from Kingston Council. New council housing could and should be delivered, by early and thorough consultation with those who will be affected the most.”