Getting involved

How can I get involved?

How can I get involved?  

We really want to work closely with residents and there are a number of ways you can get involved:

  • Register online to keep up-to-date. Visit www.kingston.gov.uk/cambridgegardens for more information and to sign up to our new engagement platform to receive regular updates and bulletins. We will also use this forum as a way for you to have your say throughout the project.

  • Not online? Come along to one of our face-to-face meetings. We will be hosting regular meetings at the Queen Mary Hall where you will have the opportunity to speak to our planning officers face-to-face and share your views. We will ensure that all households are aware of the timing of these events well in advance.

  • Join the Residents’ Association You are strongly encouraged to join the Cambridge Gardens Residents Association which will enable you to get directly involved in the development of this potential project. If you are interested in joining or would like some more information, please email cambridgegardens@kingston.gov.uk

Development

Why is the council looking at options for the redevelopment of land owned by the Housing Service?

The council has a Core Strategy target to build 2,000 new affordable homes in the borough between 2012/13 and 2026/27.  The council currently has 9,502 families waiting for a council home with 693 families in temporary accommodation and the with the projected population growth, the need for housing will grow more. The council therefore has to provide new affordable homes to reduce the number of households on the housing register, meet its obligations to house homeless households and reduce the number of households living in temporary accommodation and bed and breakfasts.

Is the council definitely pushing ahead with this development?

At the moment we are at an exploratory stage of investigating whether it would be feasible to accommodate additional housing on the Cambridge Gardens site.  Nothing has been decided at this stage.

How big an impact will the new housing have on Cambridge Gardens?

The building of additional housing on the Cambridge Gardens site would likely have a significant short-term impact but every effort would be made to keep this to a minimum.

Will the flats only be for social housing or will some be private?

The majority of the flats would likely be to increase the council’s stock of social rented accommodation, however to meet the significant build cost, there would also likely be a proportion of ‘affordable’ homes at the same location which would be sold to qualifying residents to finance the build.

What is the difference between ‘affordable’ and ‘social’ housing?

Social housing is a type of affordable housing.  The term ‘affordable housing’ covers a range of different rental and lower-cost home ownership options including:

social (‘capped’) rents commonly known as council rents.

discounted rents (up to 80% of market value)

shared ownership and equity share.  This is when someone buys only a share of the property, generally between 25% and 75% of the property’s value.  In the case of shared ownership, residents will pay rent on the remaining share i.e. the share of the property’s value they don’t own, commonly known as ‘unsold equity’.  If buying through an equity share scheme with a higher share, normally at least 75% of the property’s value, rent is not charged on the unsold equity.

If the council is reviewing all its land across the borough why have they started in Cambridge Gardens?

The council is reviewing all its land across the borough and looking at every opportunity to provide further housing. You will no doubt be aware that a regeneration programme is underway at your neighbouring Cambridge Road Estate. Other estates likely to be considered for regeneration in the future include Kingsnympton Park and Sheephouse Way.


Will all the residents currently in Cambridge Gardens be able to remain?

It is not anticipated that building additional housing on Cambridge Gardens would require any of the existing residents to move.

Will Cambridge Gardens need to be in place to enable the Cambridge Road Estate regeneration scheme to proceed?

While it’s true that new dwellings at Cambridge Gardens could be used to temporarily rehouse Cambridge Road Estate residents in the early phases of the regeneration scheme, this is not essential to the regeneration programme and if Cambridge Gardens was not available, other solutions would have to be found.


Why are they building lots of student flats in Kingston when we need houses?

In addition to the requirement for more housing across London, there is also a recognised need for additional student accommodation as set out in the Mayor of London’s Plan.  The council has no authority to dictate what type of scheme a developer applies to build.

Who will own the land?

The council will retain ownership of the land in Cambridge Gardens and has no plans to sell this to a developer.

What will the new buildings look like?

At this stage we are just doing the early feasibility work and cannot yet confirm that this development is definitely going ahead.  The final design would only be confirmed following the masterplanning process in which the council would actively work with residents to ensure that their views are reflected within the proposals.

Will the children still have a play area?

Cambridge Gardens is surrounded by a significant area of open land.  While the location of any potential additional housing has yet to be decided, any lost recreational facilities would be replaced elsewhere on site as a priority.

Will existing Cambridge Gardens flats be overlooked by these new flats?

The design and location of any new development will need to be in full adherence to planning guidelines including having regard to privacy and outlook of neighbouring properties.

How many new properties will there be?

Until we appoint a development partner and undertake masterplanning, we cannot confirm how many properties there would be. However our aspiration would be to maximise the amount of affordable housing, while respecting the character and aesthetic of the existing housing and we would hope to deliver in the region of 90 additional homes.

Where will the properties go?

We cannot say at this stage where any development should be located within the development.  Once early feasibility work has been undertaken by architects, we will await their recommendation.

What are the next steps?

If Cambridge Gardens is seen to be a suitable location for further development, we would then proceed in looking for a development partner to undertake the development. Residents would be involved in the selection of the development partner.

Parking

How and when are you going to sort out parking on Cambridge Gardens?

Currently we are aware that Cambridge Gardens car park is subject to unwarranted usage by non-residents. This means that the level of parking required by residents is probably significantly less than what is currently provided and extra capacity could be recovered through more effective management.

We wrote to everyone earlier this year to get your views on whether we should introduce parking enforcement on Cambridge Gardens, issuing resident parking permits and having the site monitored by parking wardens. We received a response from 23% of residents, out of which 72% were in favour. The outcome on this will be decided at the Housing Sub Committee meeting on 7 September and we will update you following that meeting.

Can you stop the builders who are working on the Vibe Student flats and around the corner at the old Robert Peel Pub from parking on Cambridge Gardens?

When we became aware of this issue, we contacted the developer and have a management agreement in place to stop unauthorised usage of the parking space.  This should not still be happening, but if you observe unauthorised parking please get in touch with your Resident Services Officer, Richard Grainge. This can be done through the Contact Centre on 020 8547 5003.

When are the garages on Cambridge Gardens going to be knocked down - residents were told that this would happen 2 years ago - the land could then be used for parking?

It is true that garages 1-19 have been earmarked for demolition at Cambridge Gardens. We can’t say when this will be yet as it will depend on the timing of the development plans should they go ahead. However, it is likely that the garages will be knocked down to make better use of the land as part of the process.

What about parking when/if the new flats are built?

The provision of parking and its full adherence to planning guidelines would be an integral part of any planning application that could be considered for approval.

Community

Will new residents fit in or will it upset the status quo of Cambridge Gardens?

While understandably a change in the makeup of a community may appear daunting, we are confident that the new occupiers of the additional dwellings, many of whom will have been waiting for some time for housing, will make every effort to integrate themselves into the local community and be respectful of their neighbours.

Won’t this development prolong disruption for Cambridge Road residents in addition to the Vibe student accommodation?

While we know that you have been subjected to considerable disruption during recent works, we urgently need to address the shortage of housing in Kingston. Unfortunately, building is disruptive for neighbours, but we will insist that measures are taken to minimise this.


Overcrowding?

The Cambridge Gardens estate is currently home to 165 households.  The site includes significant areas of landscaped open space which in our view could accommodate additional housing without leading to overcrowding.  Any proposals would be evaluated against planning policies and guidelines.

We sometimes have problems with drugs and antisocial behaviour - will this make things worse?

We don’t believe there will be any impact. During the masterplanning process we will involve residents and we will ensure the design of new properties meets best practice for crime prevention. Currently we work very closely with the Safer Neighbourhood Team within the Metropolitan Police. It is really important that you report any crime or anti social behaviour so that it can be dealt with. There are a number of ways you can do this by calling the following:

  • Housing Management Team: 020 8547 5003
  • Police (non-emergencies): 101. For any emergencies please call 999.
  • Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111 or report online at: www.crimestoppers-UK.org (allows you to anonymously call or report online any information about crime).