Disappointing news announced today, by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, could now allow Goldcrest, owners of the controversial Kingsgate Business Centre in Kingsgate Road, Kingston, to build 210 student flats on the land where Liberal Democrats had always planned to build a school.
Speaking about developing the large gas works site in North Kingston, Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Liz Green said,
“To ensure we could build a school on the North Kingston site, during my Leadership of the Council, we gave precise instructions to developers in our Development Brief that said ‘land swaps between land owners were possible to build a school.’ And our plan was coming together nicely, we even successfully persuaded Berkeley Homes not to put in a planning application to build over 800 student flats on another part of the site so it’s enormously disappointing to see the Tories have not been able to persuade Goldcrest to work with them in the same way.”
Delaying tactics, played out at February’s Development Control Committee by Tory Councillor David Cunningham, allowed Goldcrest to lodge an Appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate against Kingston Council for non determination.
Councillor Liz Green continued,
“I have to put the blame firmly at the door of the Conservatives. They even called a ‘behind the scenes crisis meeting’ with Goldcrest’s management but were unable to persuade them not to go to Appeal. They have wasted another 9 months. Parents want a school on this site in North Kingston and I hope it’s not too late to do a land swap to provide a new school.”