News and updates

Spring 2016

TOPO to go ahead - job done?


September 2015

The second Development Control Committee meeting this summer was cancelled after an earlier rowdy meeting, and another  revised planning application for the Old Post Office site in central Kingston was submitted in September, with the tallest building reduced in height and changes to the public realm, though plans for community space in the PO building survived- see announcement on the RBK website at

 “…St George will be holding a public exhibition of the new plans at the Old Post Office site on 18 and 19 September 2015.  Kingston Council has written to 6,000 households and businesses in the vicinity of the Old Post Office site informing them of the revised plans and inviting comment.  

The revised application will be considered at a Pre-Development Control Committee meeting on 14 October 2015 with a decision due to be made by Development Control Committee on 5 November 2015.”

The TOPO consortium sent in a very similar response to earlier ones; we have no group view on height, affordabilty etc on the rest of the site, merely following our original remit of welcoming the conservation and proposed resuse of the listed buildings.



April 2015
A revised planning application for the Old Post Office site in central Kingston is now in (see at, closing date for comments 13th May. Conservation and re-use of the listed buildings, with some community space in the former Post Office, are still there, and the tallest building proposed for the site is now 19 storeys. You can see St George's summary of the changes to the previous application at

The Council begin discussing this revised application on May 14 at a Neighbourhood Planning Sub-Committee and ST George hopes for a decision in early summer. We will be responding pretty much as before (see


January 2015
Comments invited on the planning application at by the end of January. See our blog for occasional updates on TOPO steering group activities, which will tend to be minimal from now on as we feel we have done as much as we realistically can -

You can see our brief response to the application, restricted to our remit as TOPO, at


December 2014
Developers St George have applied for planning permission to develop the site , and will be holding further public exhibition in the Old PO building on Th 15th Jan, 12.00 - 8.00pm, Fri 16th Jan, 10.00am - 6.00pm, and Sat 17th Jan, 10.00am - 4.00pm. Do go along, see what the updated plans are (they do include renovation of and some community space in the Old PO buildings + workspaces) and comment if you get the chance. See also for an update and signing off from the TOPO Steering Group.


July - August 2014
New owners (subject to planning permission), the developers St George, held a public exhibition and pre-planning consultation in the old Sorting Office building early in July, and met with some members of the TOPO steering group and showed them round the former main Post Office building (see our blog). Several hundred people visited the exhibition and the majority wanted the old buildings to be conserved and were interested in seeing more community/cultural space in Kingston. There are likely to be further opportunities to see at least part of the building and plans and to comment later in the year - we'll keep you posted.

Copies of the Prospectus have been sent to all Kingston councillors since the May elections and members of the steering group have met with the new leader of the Council.

Recently published on this website - a pdf of the TOPO presentation at Transition Town Kingston early in July, just before the exhibition, and an extract from our full Prospectus with examples of how community cultural centres work in other places.


June 2014
Marilyn and Peter of the TOPO steering group went along to a Kingstonfirst stakeholders' meeting on Fri 7 June to tell them about TOPO and seek their support (mainly moral support at this stage) for our proposals, which offer clear benefits to the town centre,  complement other town centre "offers", and don't compete with existing businesses. Our ideas were generally positively received and there were some helpful comments, as well as a few predicable cavils about the practicalities and the (un)likelihood of a developer gifting the building(s) to the community. The new abridged Prospectus was on offer, and Kingstonfirst will circulate the Powerpoint presentation along with links to the website pdf of the Prospectus, so it will be disseminated beyond this meeting and may lead to further opportunities to spread the word. No local media present unfortunately! 

May 2014
Thanks to the small award from Kingston Council, we will have a printed abridged version of the Prospectus to hand out at meetings and when needed. You can read this revised version here. And there is an unabridged, printable version (which will be updated occasionally) here.

February 2014
The steering group meet to consider the outcomes, possibilities and questions arising from the January meeting - and to plan our (successful) defence of our application for a very small award from Kingston Council for funding towards admin and printing costs that will help us with further public engagement and fund-raising.

January 2014
A meeting for potential users and hirers of the Sorting Office space was held at Kingston Environment Centre.

December 2013

SURVEY: Now that part of the space is on the market to rent, we would be grateful if you could complete our short survey

November - December 2013
3 meetings (one open to all our stakeholders and supporters and potential users) were held to discuss whether or how TOPO could use the opportunity offered by the availability of the Sorting Office part of the building on Ashdown Road. The space, though it has huge potential, would be expensive to rent and needs a lot doing to it to make it usable, so there was much to discuss, reported at,_what_next_meetingsx3,_Nov-Dec2013.doc.

The steering group applied for a small neighbourhood grant from the Council to assist with admin and printing costs - it'd be useful to have printed copies of our Prospectus available for public meetings, but in the meantime we can revise print off A5 fliers as and when needed.

October 2013
After many Steering group meetings our Prospectus is published - at - and, after a decade of developer inaction, part of the building, the former Sorting Office, has become available to rent. Members of the steering group have viewed the space, which has great potential as a community space - watch this website and our Facebook page for news of an open meeting to discuss this exciting but challenging development.

February 2013
Notes of Steering Group meetings are now published once confirmed in Our Files at

January 2013
As soon as we can tidy up the notes from our Steering Group meetings we intend to file them on this website so that supporters can follow progress and be kept informed. If you have any contributions or comments on what the Steering Group is doing, please contact us on the form below.

December 2012
Recently compiled from examples all over England, some inspiring community hub models - see

November 2012, potential users of TOPO if/when it becomes a community hub, please download, complete, and return a TOPO Expression of Interest form. These forms will help us to build up a picture of the range of needs and possible uses of this currently neglected building, the space(s) required and the income that could be generated. Filling it in at this stage implies no commitment on your part or ours - you will simply be helping us to produce some interim plans and proposals to present to the Council, future developers, and the local community. There will be follow-up meetings and further consultations, and we will get back to people who fill in forms first, if and when we have something firm to offer. Thank you in advance.

The campaign is launched in the local press, July 2012

Post office buildings among seven on at risk register, July 2004



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