A plan for Kingston town centre area

Shaping the future of Kingston town centre and the surrounding area

A graphic showing the heading A plan for the Kingston town centre area, with sketch images of landmarks in the town centres.

Kingston Council is working to create a 10-year plan for the Kingston town centre area, which includes a vision for how we all want the town centre to transform and change.

To ensure the vision is community-led, inclusive, deliverable and owned by all, we have been following a new national best practice design process, engaging with a wide variety of people during 2022.

We are now carrying out a consultation on the draft vision document for the Kingston Town Centre Area, Your Vision Our Future, and would love to hear your comments. The consultation period runs from 1 March 2023 to 30 April 2023.

Please visit our consultation portal webpage to view the draft document, Your Vision Our Future, and complete an online survey to share your thoughts. 

An exhibition is also available to view, staffed every Thursday 10am - 1pm, in the pilot urban room in the Market House, in Kingston’s Market Place. Consultation events will be taking place which will be advertised on the engagement portal webpage. 

Creating a vision with our communities

In 2022 the council set up a Citizens’ Panel, which represents the demographic make-up of the borough. This brought together 40 people to discuss the issues and together create their vision for the future of the town centre area. We also spoke to other residents, workers, visitors, community groups, businesses, landowners and developers, to make sure there was wide local input into the draft vision.

As well as this engagement the work to create a draft vision has also been informed by feedback we received during the further engagement on the Local Plan in summer 2021 and an economic development report which Arup were commissioned to do pre-Covid looking at the changing nature of the town centre economy over the next 15 years.

Read the Arup report.

Why do we need a plan for the Kingston town centre area? 

The vision will form one part of a Plan for the Kingston Town Centre Area. This plan is needed because Kingston town centre area is currently experiencing significant levels of change. 
We need a plan to be proactive and ensure we: 

  • Find sustainable ways to adapt and breathe new life into our town centre, making it is resilient to climate change so our local economy and communities can thrive
  • Invest in and create memorable places and spaces for everyone to enjoy and benefit from 
  • Celebrate and enhance Kingston’s rich heritage and cultural diversity
  • Respond to opportunities emerging through the major development of Unilever HQ, council led development and the educational offering at Kingston University and Kingston College
  • Require all new development to be of the highest design quality, environmental sustainability and inclusivity to all people 
  • Secure a balanced mix of commercial spaces, homes, green spaces and infrastructure 

The Plan for the Kingston Town Centre Area will be a Supplementary Planning Document to the Local Plan, providing area-based guidance, to manage the delivery of new development, public spaces and infrastructure in and around the town centre. 
It will be made up of three parts.

  • A vision - setting out what we want the town centre to look and feel like, bringing together the different strands of engagement into one clear document. We are currently carrying out a consultation on the draft vision and would love to hear your thoughts. 
  • A planning framework - this will demonstrate how planning policies will apply in the town centre and surrounding area and guide investment over the next 10 years. It will provide design guidance for all major developments coming forward in and around Kingston town centre, defining key social, economic, environmental and transport infrastructure which will be required to support any new development coming forward.
  • A delivery plan - this will identify and prioritise new projects, how they will be funded and which organisations will lead them to make the vision a reality. 

Next steps

We are currently consulting people on the draft vision for the Kingston Town Centre Area and would love to hear your comments. The consultation period runs from 1 March 2023 to 30 April 2023. Work is now also starting on the second part of the plan - the planning framework - which we will also consult our communities on throughout 2023. 

For more information about the 2022 engagement and reports from the workshops with the Citizens’ Panel and to share your views on the draft vision, visit our engagement portal.

Last Modified: 28/02/2023 09:45:41