Kingfisher demolition planning application
An application to demolish the existing Kingfisher Leisure Centre was approved at Kingston Council’s Planning Committee last night (1 September).
The centre has been closed since 2019 when it was discovered that urgent repairs were needed. Detailed investigations revealed the works required to make the centre safe to use were more extensive than initially thought and it was decided by the Response & Recovery Committee in November 2020 that a brand new facility would better serve Kingston’s residents for generations to come.
During recent public engagement, residents were clear that replacing the Kingfisher Leisure Centre is a key priority. The council is fully committed to providing a new community leisure facility as quickly as possible, understanding that the Kingfisher, especially the swimming pool, is much-valued locally. This is an opportunity to create a modern, accessible and sustainable leisure and sports centre and development that will benefit the whole community.
To facilitate the development of the new facility, an application to demolish the existing building was submitted. Putting in a separate application for demolition allows the council to move more quickly to deliver a new state of the art facility for Kingston. Extensive consultation and engagement with residents and stakeholders is ongoing and to date there have been thousands of comments to help shape the future facility and what it should contain.
Following the first listening exercise in March and April this year which asked residents and stakeholders about their priorities for the Kingfisher, Cattle Market and Guildhall complex, the council recently held a further round of engagement which ran between 5 July and 1 August 2021 focused on proposed plans for the new leisure centre and initial, high level ideas for the Cattle Market car park site.
We heard from thousands of people, gathering really helpful feedback and ideas about the new leisure facility and the Cattle Market site. In phase one, we recorded 2,646 engagements whilst phase two amounted to 1,515 engagements. This number takes into account survey responses, calls, emails, webinar attendees and in person conversations. We are now reviewing this feedback which will inform the designs and help shape the detailed proposals.
More information can be found on www.kingstonletstalk.co.uk/transform-kingston.